An incredibly versatile producer and multi-instrumentalist, Jeia doesn't seize to surprise us with every new project she drops! Switching through genres, you can find her releasing everything from slower more introspective tracks all the way to energetic music that makes you get up and dance. Among her influences are musicians like Carter Beauford, Victor Wooten, Eric Johnson, all the way to Björk, The Flashbulb and Aphex Twin. Driven by her love for music and creative exploration she has collaborated with a wide range of musicians and initially caught our attention because of her chillhop tunes, such as "Petrichor".
In this interview, Jeia, who recently took part in our research on female producers, will share how moving from Jakarta to Toronto impacted her music career and vision and will reflect on the opportunities that being a versatile artist brings. In addition, she will tell us a bit about her creative process and upcoming projects, so there are quite a few interesting things to discover in this article.
Hi, Jeia! I’m so glad to have you on board! In which part of the world do we find you and how is it there right now?
It’s close to winter now in Toronto and this is the part of the year where I miss my hometown the most lol
Can you tell us more about moving from Jakarta to Toronto – what was this journey like for you, what did it mean and how did it influence you and your career? Did it affect your sound too?
It has been unreal. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet people and do things that I wouldn’t be able to do if I didn’t make the jump. However, it’s also tough because the living cost in Toronto is insane, and that I’m away from my mom. Lots of ups and downs - and I keep reminding myself to just ride the wave and enjoy the journey.
It definitely affected my sound because of the new artists and creatives I discovered and met in this part of the world. So many talented people here in the city, and I really enjoyed being surrounded by them and listening to their stories and insight about how they make their art. It changes the way I think, therefore it changes the way I create - and I let my sound evolve with it.
What is Jeia’s favourite music directory, what are the coordinates that make you feel in your waters?
My starting point in music is always: who’s my listener? what do I want to make them feel with this track? That question will lead me to the right approach.
When I see people moved by my music — whether they are emotionally moved or literally makes them want to get up and move — that’s when I feel like I’m in my waters.
You’ve worked with various artists in extremely diverse genres. Besides that, you release your own music. Can you tell us more about your path of discovering your own sound, your own voice as an artist?
My identity influenced me a lot in finding my voice. I can sound a certain way, or make certain production decisions because of where I’m coming from, the experiences I have had, and the people I met in my life that had made such an impact. I use that as a base and I let my sound evolve from there.
I used to be more strategic and logical in the past when I think of “discovering my sound”. These days I just let loose and trust. Your sound and your voice as an artist will reveal itself.
Which of your collaborative projects so far was closest to you and your aesthetics?
This is hard to answer! I feel like every artist brought out different aesthetics in me. If I had to choose, I’d say OpenSoul - because he’s one of the first artists that I worked closely with. His sound and my sound somehow fit so well and we get to grow together.
Who would you like to work with and what is the most amazing collab you can imagine?
I have a dream list and it’s very long lol! Alicia Keys and Missy Elliot is definitely my top 2.
Can you share a bit about your creative process? How does it usually happen and is there a difference between collaborating and working all by yourself on your own project?
I like to think about creating music like being in a very open playground. More and more, I feel the importance of embracing the inner child to come out and play. I think it’s the same process for both working on my own stuff or collaborating. The only difference is that when I’m working with another creative, I would feed off of their energy and vice versa.
Either way, I remind myself to create a safe space for everyone involved to explore, be curious, make mistakes, and just let the music guide you. As long as it feels good, that means we’re doing the right thing.
Is it beneficial for a producer/beatmaker to be as versatile as you are? Do you think that it helps or it could turn into an obstacle - in the context of how important it has always been to establish a brand in the industry? Do you think that there is a difference, regarding these matters, eg. between being a singer and being a producer?
Well, first of all, thank you for the compliment. I think in this day and age, versatility never hurts. Even the skills that are not related to music can really set you apart. I worked as a videographer/animator for a long time, and that helps when I started doing Instagram videos. Some people might know this already, but Instagram videos are my launching pad in getting real work in the industry.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a singer or producer - if you’re a worker in the arts, your versatility and how you use them can really make a difference.
What makes Jeia shine, both as a person and as a professional?
I’ve been streaming a lot on Twitch lately and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I have been building real connections with people - we get to hang out, make music, and learn from each other. Connecting with like-minded people gives me such profound joy.
Also, I’m the happiest when I feel that I reached the balance between being productive and getting things done AND getting enough quality time with my loved ones.
Would you like to open the door a tiny bit and let us take a sneak peek at your upcoming projects?
My next beat tape will sound very different from the stuff I’ve released in the past. It might not be a ‘beat tape’… we’ll see :) I'm making all of these on Twitch so feel free to come in and peek from time to time!
I also have a sample pack coming out with a company that I can’t name yet, but it’s a pretty big deal for me!
I know that besides producing, you also play several instruments. If you could become any music-making device, which would it be? Which would allow you to express yourself in the best way?
I would say drums but that means people would beat the crap out of me lol. Maybe a Maschine!
Lastly, could you name 1) An artist/band you would have a D.M.C (Deep Meaningful Conversation), 2) An artist/band you’d love to party with. 3) An artist you would like to be your mentor? You're welcome to pick from artists/bands who are retired/dead.
So hard to pick just one! But here goes:
3) Alicia Keys (you know by now I’m a huge fan lol) or Imogen Heap