Who: Jinj is a duo consisting of Gor Tadevosyan and Sevana Tchakerian. Tchakerian, a French-born Armenian, is already well-known on the international music scene as a former member of Collectif Medz Bazaar, an alt-folk group founded in Paris in 2012. She announced earlier this year that she was parting ways with the group to pursue other artistic projects. Just a few months later, Jinj released their first single, Khosa Khosa. The band released the single a few weeks after introducing themselves on social media, and while their debut was practically unannounced, it’s clear in the song’s complexity that it’s the result of a long-term creative project.
What to expect: French-language rap and Armenian folk beats come together in a music video that is equal parts Lady Gaga and Sergei Parajanov.
What they say: “Jinj fuses French hip-hop with Armenian folk music into an unconventional sound rooted in tradition,” reads the group’s Facebook page.
Why you need to listen: While Collectif Medz Bazaar set out to revive Armenian, Turkish, and Middle Eastern folk songs for a new audience, Jinj gives these traditional sounds an exhilarating upgrade. Marrying folk and hip-hop while stitching together two languages is a risky challenge, but Jinj’s courage and creativity pays off: the rap verses ground the shapeshifting track, while the use of Armenian-language folk in the chorus builds a captivating atmosphere that only intensifies with time. But what stands out most about this single is its video: directed by Armen Piri Masihi, it sees Tadevosyan and Tchakerian changing from avant-garde outfits to traditional clothing, while a string of dancers move across theatre-like tableaux to the rhythm of the song.