Connecting with music, with a particular sound, or even with a 10-second fragment that is perfectly constructed and touches your soul, as a listener, is such a powerful experience. It's also very accessible and democratic, because music is probably the art form that we engage with in so many different ways and with such different criteria, there is no academic barrier for enjoyment. One of them is our inner instinct, and that means that somehow yours and the musicians' instincts have come together for a certain reason and the brilliant experience of creating music makes sense. And that's one of the key elements surrounding Jenys’ realm.
We have known Jenys for a few years but after settling in Paris it is this year that she decided to release Dive Urgent, which she considers her "serious statement in the music industry". And what a reintroduction it is. In 6 songs we get to know very different corners of her musical universe. The first one we met is the impressive single Claim That Dress in which the Paris-based artist commands with "Claim that dress / Now I show you my fist", conquering an intricate self-produced beat infused with drum n' bass. A paean to femininity and sisterhood, Jenys' new track proclaims her right as a woman, alone or in a group, dressed however she wants, to assert herself in the still very male confines of the club. And if that wasn't already a winning song, the video is a piece of digital artistry that deserves to be displayed in a museum.
Like A Virgin is brash and provocative, Jenys embodies who she no longer wants to be over a twisting beat co-produced with Chaika (producer of Pussy Riot). As feverish as it is grandiose, Like A Virgin illustrates the euphoria of the club, it is an ode to the night and intoxicated youth. The industrial atmosphere and sicker beat of Fingers Inc. is an example of the producer's skills, which she demonstrates with ease on this electronic symphony. Cut The Line is more restrained and marks her pop approach, but it is in her lyrics that the real statement is made: “Your reasons aren't clear but I'm ready for a ride / Express it in your tears cuz I'm about to cut the line”. The last song, J&C, is an ode to her friendship with musician Cantabile, with whom she challenges singing on this track "about female rage".
At just 24, this multi-talented artist masters styles with astonishing ease, forging a genre-less soundscape that puts her on the map as the future of Russian pop. The last few years have been far from easy for the musician, but it is not only in her talent that she has found hope; it is also in her instinct that we find a glimmer of light through her music, for the future. 
The EP's press release ends by saying that "the question is whether she flees or moves forward", aptly capturing the strength behind her work. But also, is the world ready for her? Because Jenys' musical approach, knowledge and control is ahead of its time, and only those brave enough to connect with her instinct will be in for a treat. The whole EP is a journey around different electronic genres, working them into a very particular outcome.
The fury of the club as much as the relapse that follows, the futility of the nights as much as their intensity, the lightness of a youth trapped by the brutality of the world, Jenys blends these romantic feelings into flights as frenetic as they are fragile, unpredictable compositions that are aggressive and then tender, saturated and ethereal.
We had the chance to talk to Jenys about the EP and much more.
Hi Jenys, how are you? Dive Urgent, your new EP, has been out for over a month now, how has the response been? Are you happy with the result?
Hello, Antonio! All good, thanks. I’m really glad to see that people are gradually connecting to this music. It’s my first drop in the international environment so I’m trying to be patient and just enjoy whatever this EP brings into my life.
The first song we've heard from it is Claim That Dress, which you've defined as "your own statement of girlhood". It's a bold step forward in your catalogue and its revolutionary tone is infectious. There's a part of the chorus where you sing "Picture me in soft glow, closing all the gates as my fear has melted away, cuz I get a bit over. We’re getting much older". For me, it's a statement of self-acceptance and growth of someone who is ready to move on after having learned a lot. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of this song?
I remember sitting alone in my studio at night, craving something I’ve never done before. Gentle yet confident and bratty. The words emerged by themselves. I concentrated my attention on the imaginary figure of an almighty goddess who’s trying to have some fun with her sis and being bothered by men on a night out. The way she can be both emotional and protective of her own peace at the same time. Through her eyes I saw myself. I wanted to tell a story of my youth. The endless chasing of the present, overcoming the pain and finding my own sense of embracement in girlhood.
There's a lot of detail in the production of this first single - as with the whole EP - but the verses are rapped. Was hip hop an influence on the outcome of the song?
Yes. hip hop has always been one of my biggest passions. The one to never be shared in my close circle of friends. The path of owning this part of my identity has sufficiently defined the sound of my new record.
The video is breathtaking. You directed it with Tata Bikbau, and worked with Angelina Toros and Quentin Encore for the graphic and text design. What was the process like? In your socials you mentioned that you and the team worked within the concept of “meditative vertigo”.
Thank you for the nice words here. The development of the project began 6 months before its release. We wanted to dig into the feeling of an uncanny valley and see the possibilities of using the metahumans in Unreal Engine. Tata was working on the technical part whilst my responsibility landed on the field of art direction. We didn’t know where it [was] lead[ing] us to, the concept was clarifying itself as we progressed on trying out different ideas. We created everything by ourselves: starting from the original concept, makeup and dress designs to the game of light, architecture and even the weather conditions. [It was] a lot of work that turned into a beautiful journey of finding our own way of visual expression.
To me this is a story of getting older, experiencing the worst times of your life and growing out of it. Becoming stronger and burning all the bridges. The action is limited to one night. From the darkest hour she runs into the new horizon, revealing her true face and embracing her inner child.
Like A Virgin appeals to a different tone. A sense of liberation in the context of a night out. Specifically, a winter night in St. Petersburg, when you were 19 years old, as you explained about the origin of this song. It gives a vibe that encourages the listener to reconcile with their past, to start again by experiencing the new. What is the significance of this song for you?
I see Like A Virgin as the IDM banger it is. I was basically a baby when I wrote it. Just introduced to the nightlife, I had an intention to document the sensation of losing my purity and innocence in the rave setting. Being the fury of the club, an unapologetic diva who doesn’t care if you live or die. The one to party the hardest and leave the latest. The crazy girl everybody’s going to talk about [the] next morning. This vibe is what Like A Virgin is all about.
J&C seems to be a nod to your friendship with Cantabile, with whom you released That Girl in 2021. Why was it important to feature her on the EP? How did you both create this song?
Cantabile and I have a long story of friendship. She was the first one to truly bond with me musically back in days when we were at the dawn of our art journeys. Together we made our stage debut and wrote dozens of songs, including That girl and J&C. She inspired and encouraged me to open the gates of melancholic and dramatic sound. I guess this track talks on female rage. How tired we are of living in a world that was built by men for men. “No dress on me, no dream of men I’m sick of them” remains to be my favourite quote from the EP.
There’s this sort of pure blue that you can feel when you listen to the track especially the last section drop. [It] gives me goosebumps each time. I like that part because it serves the lyrics the best. We get a space to let our tears out and just scream, shout out loud while dancing to the darkness of the night. Dancing together, united in pain.
The sound design of the whole EP is really interesting, as I think it takes us through different states and emotions. I guess it's different for every song and idea, but I wonder if you had a plan to focus the whole production to get this feeling of wholeness.
Production wise, I like to see Dive Urgent as a collection of my desires spread in the fields of IDM and pop music. I wanted each song to be an invitation into the unknown, that’s why I tried to merge the incompatibles. Take Cut The Line - a lush child of DnB seasoned with a RnB topline or Claim That Dress that exists somewhere at the edge of deconstructed club and Eurodance. However I never plan my artworks, at this point I tend to trust my inner instincts and intuition. These are my most reliable allies.
Fingers Inc. has the power of the soundtrack of a key scene in a film, if that makes any sense. I might be wrong, but I sense a meeting point between industrial IDM and Tecktonik. Has French electronic music influenced your music since you moved to Paris?
I’d rather say that Fingers Inc. is a blend of Dubstep and Industrial Experimental Dance Music. My initial inspiration came from 180db_ [130] by Apex Twin and listening to a lot of works of Siriusmo. I was obsessed with the maximalist style of production and the meltdown type of mood. I really enjoy it when a chord progression makes you want to crush the cars and wiggle your hips in the light of the explosion. Something toxic and sweet if you know what I mean.
Speaking of the French electronic music scene, I don’t find it quite influential for myself but I do have my personal picks. For instance, Arp #1 by Jackson And His Computer Band or Oublie moi by Sexy Sushi. I’m also a huge fan of SebastiAn and Christine and The Queens!
I wanted to ask you about the gig you played at La Cigale, a landmark of live music in Paris with more than 130 years of history. I remember reading on Instagram how important that night was for you, how has Paris been for you in this new chapter of your life?
Oh yeah, La Cigale was definitely the brightest highlight in my career last year! 1300 people in the room doesn’t sound like a joke (laughs). I was extremely nervous that day, I couldn’t sleep the night before but it all eased up the second I got on stage. Starting that moment I just knew what I had to do. It was akin to controlling the ocean waves. Big amounts of people [sometimes] form one inseparable organism you can interact with! I genuinely love it and so far have been relatively successful in doing it.
Paris is being warm to me in terms of my career but moving here wasn’t a part of my initial plan. I have a feeling that there’s some other place in the world that would fit my spirit better. I grew up living close to the mountains, spent my childhood playing in the Siberian forests and swimming in the lakes. I miss it a lot nowadays and can’t really imagine myself living here till the rest of my days. Nonetheless, never say never! I’m open to any sort of possible outcomes.
I remember listening and watching the video of Hometown a few years ago, it was the first time I heard your music, and I loved it. How do you feel now seeing the evolution of your music?
The S.ncerity era was pretty unconscious in its core. I didn’t know who I was back then. To me it was rather an exercise in art direction. Meanwhile Dive Urgent is my first serious statement in the music industry.
You are very good friends with Jenna Marvin, who seems to be a very dear person to you and an inspiration, who also lives in Paris. Has the fact that some of your chosen family is in the same city as you helped you through the difficult times?
Jenna is an angel and one of my closest friends. Our friendship has helped me to overcome many things. We ended up in the same boat at the very difficult time of our lives, nobody could relate to what she and I had to go through as much as we did towards each other. We were both alone, running away from the [Russian] regime we couldn’t fight anymore in the country we didn’t know anything about. This traumatic experience has bonded us in many ways. Years later, Jenna has become my muse. I find her presence inspirational, she is the one to have the craziest ideas in the room. She’s not afraid of dreaming big and making her dreams come true. I respect that a lot.
"The world she invites us into is genre-defying", says the EP's press release. It makes total sense when you listen to the whole EP, it kind of has this versatility but within a very particular sounding field. What are your favourite influences and musical artists?
Talking about music production, I think I was driven by the tunes of Siriusmo, SebastiAn, Flume and Smerz. They have a refined taste when it comes to working with the spaces, textures and song structure. Vocally, I was inspired by such artists and bands as Monica, Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, Rye Rye and Azealia Banks. The last two are my rap mothers. Listening to their tracks in my high school years made me who I am today. The albums [and EPs] I would recommend to check out if you like Dive Urgent are Have fun by Smerz (2018), Mosaik by Siriusmo (2011), Thirst by SebastiAn (2019) and Broke with Expensive Taste by Azealia Banks (2014).
Finally, what's next for Jenys, is there a new album planned?
Well, only good things I hope, (laughs)! We’ve got plenty of material to be released in the next few years. My debut album for example.
Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview. I hope Dive Urgent brings you only good things and joy.
My pleasure, Antonio! Thank you for this interview.