Jaz Karis

It is crazy to think that the end of the year is already fast approaching. However, as it tends to get when we reach December and close out another year, so much has happened this year. Definitely, in the case of music, this year has been a good year.

There is no doubt that for me, as an R&B lover, the offerings from the UK this year have been sensational. From Miraa May’s debut album Tales of a Miracle, Tiana Major9’s spectacular EP Fool Me Once, Bellah’s masterpiece that was Adulstivlle, Jvck Jame’s ON THE ROCKS and now Jaz Karis’ stunning Dear Jaz EP. These are just a few projects that have blessed my ears, but it is safe to say the talent and music coming out of the UK this year has been another display of what talent there is on offer.

And speaking on the last mention, as we close out the year, Jaz Karis has given us an offering that is perfect for those cold, stay inside your house, light a candle and put on some good music vibes. Dear Jaz is the latest EP from the songstress and speaks to her on another level. The music musically and lyrically mature project we’ve had from Jaz is her most personal, giving insight into the last year and a half of her life.

Following the release of the Dear Jaz and a sold-out show at Lafayette, I caught up with Jaz about everything from making the EP, specific songs on the project, collaborating with her producers, the next chapter of her career, and more.



Where did Dear Jaz begin for you?

I started making the music, piecing together what I was trying to say. I was thinking about where I was during that particular time when I wrote the project and what mattered to me. And then that’s how the whole concept of it came about.


It’s called Dear Jaz, so it’s pretty personal, even in the title. So, what was the concept behind it?

It was very personal to me, like a diary entry. That’s how I felt. And it was everything I wanted to say. So it felt fitting to put did jazz as a title.


What was writing process like for this project? 

I’ve written songs by myself. But in terms of, like, producer-wise, I never produce myself. So I had a couple of people, new people I was working with, such as Fred and Emil. And they brought different sides of me out, which I’m super grateful for.


Compared to the previous material you’ve put out, how would you describe this and how does it differ?

It’s a bit more mature; I stepped up a level both production-wise and lyric-wise. And sentiment-wise, well, it is my most mature project to date.


How did the production process change throughout making Dear Jaz?

It only changed in terms of the people I was working with. So, sound-wise, it developed a bit more. But when I got to the end, I knew it was a strong body of work.


As an artist how have you navigated the changing landscape of streaming and social media during your career?

There are pros and cons to social media, and there are pros and cons to streaming. But overall, I’ve had to; it’s the cards this generation has been given. And it is part of how people listen to and engage with music, so I feel like I’ve had to romanticise it a bit and make the best out of the situation.



On Dear Jaz you cover certain personal topics for the first time, how were you able to open up to express this new lyrical content?

Each song has its own story behind it. But essentially, the whole thing was that, like, through the ups and the downs, and through like heartbreak through life, where you’re going through hard times, and good times you have to always remember like your home is you are that’s kind of what I. That’s why I called the project Dear Jaz because it was like it’s self-titled. After all, it’s very important to remember yourself in all aspects, like self-love is extremely key.


How was the experience of collaborating with new producer on Dear Jaz?

I am always open to working with new people because you can create great things with people. I’m a bit of an energy person. So if it is good energy, and we can have an open conversation and stuff, we’re most probably going to like something great. But at that same time, music is trial and error. So it’s like sometimes as well, you don’t mesh with people that well, and it might not be good, but I’m always open to it, and on this project, I was able to work well with the people I did, and I think it is apparent in the music that it turned out well.


Speaking on the project and some of the tracks, in particular, Home was one of the songs when I heard it, I perked up and said, ” Okay, this is speaking to me. What was it like writing that one? 

Home was the most challenging songs because we had three chorus versions. The last version is the one we went for, and I remember I just decided to go to the studio by myself and try to get in the mood. It was an incredibly personal song, and I wanted to ensure it sounded right. And I feel like I didn’t, but that one took the longest to get there.


You opened EP with the title track Dear Jaz which features Kojey Radical . Why did you chose this to be the first song?

As the opening track and the title track, I wanted to set the pace and the environment of what it would be like. I like the feel of it, and it is a very honest song. I say some things people may not even take in the first time they hear it. However, it’s like a book, and the first thing they teach you is you got to set the scene, and that’s what I was doing with that song and having Kojey on it added something extra.


Looking back to your debut EP Into The Wilderness all the way up to Dear Jaz what been the biggest lesson your career has taught you so far?

I think I’ve grown up, you know, I know myself a lot more. And I’m very, like, grateful and blessed for how far I’ve come. So it’s always important to remember that I’m more in touch with myself as an artist and even as a person.


What is the message you wanting to say with Dear Jaz? Especially for those who are listeing to your msuci for the first time

I want them to feel like it’s a conversation with a therapist or like a close friend whom they can trust. I want them to be vulnerable, listen to it, open up, and feel a warm hug. That’s what they get from this.


Dear Jaz is out now, follow Jaz Karis via @jaz_karis


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