Lucid Theory

Lucid Theory

Producer, DJ, graphic designer, model, fashionista—the Namibia-born, Cape Town-based Gina Jeanz employs her creativity in many ways. Her electronic productions showcase both her penchant for putting her own spin on classic sounds, and her meticulousness—likely a by-product of learning to play the violin at age seven. Following a number of EPs and singles, her first LP, Lucid Theory, arrives after a period of dealing with the loss of her mother in 2017, and her journey toward healing and self-discovery. “Because of what I had experienced with loss, a big part of my journey was therapy, and feeling a little bit out of touch at the beginning, a little bit out of control,” she tells Apple Music. “But music has always been a space where I don’t have to think. I don’t have to question what sounds I’m using. Every time I come into the music space, it’s just like this hug. Like, ‘You’re going to be just fine; you know what you’re doing.’ These are lived experiences, because telling your authentic story really can draw people closer to you, and it’s relatable. The album was therapy for me. It’s my healing—my story.” Here, she takes us through the album, track by track. “Overstimulated” “I remember a time where I couldn’t disassociate sounds—like I was hearing everything, and normally I can isolate sounds very easily. I know what is happening and where it’s coming from. And I was scared because I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s happening to my ears. What’s going to happen to me? Will I be able to make music?’ So, using that experience and then coming out of what I went through to create music again, I was just like, ‘I want to tell that story.’ And that’s why you have high parts and then very low parts; very calm, and you go into it again. I just wanted to come in with a bang, to be honest. It was really just like a phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes type of moment for me. ‘Overstimulated’ really does command you to say, ‘OK, maybe I should sit for this and listen.’” “Sun Spot” (feat. Sio) “I produced that track with Sio in mind. And I did want to work with another woman and have that as one of the leading singles, from two Black women—very, very important in electronic music. She is so great to work with, and she writes flawlessly as well. I gave her free rein in terms of what to sing about. I just said, ‘Tell your story.’ I had titled the track ‘Sun Spot’ because I’m really into astrology, and I was watching documentaries on how [sunspots are] explosive. It’s beautiful—there’s warmth, and it’s a star. It’s just so much encapsulated in that. So, she wrote from a perspective of a relationship—and relationships can be explosive sometimes, and in a beautiful way.” “After Hours” (feat. Brad Knight) “This one is definitely out of my comfort zone. Brad Knight’s energy really resonated with me, and we got into studio and then he wrote the song. I just wanted to show range of production in this track. I guess I can be a little brave to tackle this type of music, because I know when people look at me as a Black woman, they’re probably like, ‘What is happening, miss—EDM? What’s going on?’ But I’ve definitely gone through so many genres of music, and I wanted to show that I’m capable of being able to do more than just one style.” “Can’t Pretend” (feat. MOONGA K.) “I went on a trip with my husband, and when we go away into nature, I don’t actually listen to music all the time, because I need to give my ears a break. And I like to hear other sounds. I like to be inspired by my environment more than anything. For the original beat, I had been watching a documentary, and it was just talking about life, and I was like, ‘Oh, I want to make a song to this—something’s touching me here.’ So, I made the beat according to this voiceover. MOONGA and I had a studio session, and I played this track for him. Immediately, he put pen to paper; I have never seen someone write so fast. I think from the moment I pressed play, he was like, ‘This is for me.’ And when an artist reacts like that to my music, I know they really appreciate it, and they want to do well on it. It’s definitely immediate chemistry. And then, I remember we were about to wrap up and [my manager] Jarrad [Treger] was like, ‘You have a horn sample in the beginning, but let’s get someone to come play actual horns in the track. It’s going to tie it in more naturally than just having this repetitive [loop].’ And that’s where David Watkins came in. He was in the session for 15 minutes and that was it. The fastest songwriting session I have ever been in. I was so shook, but MOONGA was also just like, ‘I have been writing for so long, I needed to get everything out.’” “All of Me” (feat. Jordan Baker) “Another take on R&B, but his one is a little bit more electronic. Jordan Baker has this angelic, sultry vibe. It reminds me of Sabrina Claudio. It’s something a little bit more sensual and melodic and beautiful. I really like making music for the soul—something you hear in the background and you’re like, ‘Oh, this is calming.’” “We Move” (feat. AliThatDude) “AliThatDude is part of a group in Namibia called Black Vulcanite, a very prominent group of hip-hop artists. I remember when I made this track, I was just like, ‘Oh man, I would like to see what Ali would sound like singing and rapping on my track.’ And as a Namibian just coming out of the music industry, we have so much work we still need to do. I just wasn’t hearing any electronic Namibian music that didn’t involve house or deep house. I felt it was important to show people what it could sound like from our perspective, and Ali shows a different skill set: ‘I can sing and rap on this. I can run through this whole beat and make something amazing with it.’ As a Namibian, working with another Namibian, on a track that sounds so completely out of pocket for what Namibian music sounds like right now, it was very important for people to see what we were capable of.” “Amagroove” “This is speaking to my African heritage and groove and how I grew up in South Africa—and rhythm more than anything. It’s such a big part of how I DJ right now. Some tracks you will hear I was having a lot of fun. And I missed groove as well, being out and being with people. I can’t wait for us to dance again.” “Dopamine” (feat. MOONGA K.) “We wrote ‘Dopamine’ and ‘Can’t Pretend’ in the same session—that also speaks to MOONGA’s pen game. Prior to us working together, I arrived at studio. He was there and I just said, ‘I would like to get to know you before we start.’ If you’re going to work with someone, it’s so important to understand the basic foundation of who they are, what they stand for, what drives them. And we spoke a lot about mental health. We spoke about our personal experiences and things we are dealing with. And I was just like, ‘Well, when we speak on mental health, it can be a downer. Why don’t we make an uplifting track?’ Sometimes you’ll be taking your treatment or going to therapy—it’s part of that, part of the growth. And it shouldn’t always have to be, ‘I have to do this.’ But it’s a vibe—‘I’m getting through this. I’m getting to the end of the tunnel. I am still me outside of everything that I am enduring.’ And it’s celebratory. Because suicide rates are high, people have lost loved ones—and I just think if you’ve overcome any sort of battle, you should celebrate it, no matter how big or small. Whatever you’ve gone through, to be alive is a blessing, and sometimes we can forget that. From what I went through, and losing my mom, to be able to make music and tell my story and enjoy it again, it definitely stemmed from that.” “100ml” “It’s ‘100ml’ of CBD oil (without the THC). Sometimes I can be very literal, and I love being in different environments. I could be in my studio and just be inspired to make a track by the sound of a clock ticking. My studio sessions are not linear, for sure. I had no plans other than to have the most fun producing this. And that’s why there’s so many different elements throughout—there’s a congo break there, it’s fast-paced, it’s energetic, it’s punchy. I did want to end on a high note on the album, just to balance out how I started. It was definitely inspired by just the positive effects that I was experiencing through therapy and all the things that I was doing to help myself get out of that funk. So, ‘100ml’ is energetically charged, it’s electronic. As a producer, I was flexing. I was like, ‘Hold up, hold the mic, hold the keyboard. Let me just show you what I can do.’ Being able to express myself this way, it’s so important. I definitely did not hold back with this track.”

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