Paraj Jain has always been an outlier, even when he didn’t want to be one. Now, he and his music are standing out for all the right reasons. “I was struggling to find a place to fit in,” the artist says. “I’ve always felt unable to see myself in all of these different places: Pop culture, music, fashion, film. But I’ve now realized that is actually my greatest gift – that I can’t fit into certain things.”

Raised in both India and America, with an Indian father and a half-Black mother, Jain is innately unique:  A multiethnic, multiracial artist who has several homes and no homes, all at once. Through his musical project Jane. – a play on his last name – he is finally fully embracing his own identity and recognizing his own singular vision.

Nowhere does this ring truer than on Jane.’s sophomore project Celeste, out March 31, 203 via Good News Only.  Whereas Jane.'s debut project, 2021's What A Wonderful Time To Be Barely Alive, was made in the clouds (emotionally and almost physically), his second act was made in the heavens.

“This record is around spirituality – I’m trying to understand and deal with pain,” Jane. explains. “It’s titled Celeste, the Latin word for heavenly, as a representation of my journey mentally traveling to the heavens to deal with that pain; to ask questions, to make confessions, and to heal. There’s beautiful moments and songs on the project, but overall, it’s something of a cry.”

With vulnerability as his North Star, Jane. has created in Celeste the most honest and authentic work of his career: An ethereal and dreamy record that elaborates on, and pushes the boundaries of, what it means to be a singer/songwriter. Inspired by artists like Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Bon Iver, Ry X, and Tamino, Jane. set about creating a record that was at once insular and worldly, delicate and intense – a set of seeming contradictions that define who he is, inside and out.

That journey opens with the haunting and heartfelt “How I Long” and its explicit, up-front plea. Through muted pianos and comforting textures, Jane. pours his raw soul onto the metaphorical page. “It was so important to start the project with that song because there’s a freedom in being confident enough to say, ‘How I long to be heard,’” he says. “It feels so powerful to be able to say that; to be comfortable saying that. Even to be honest enough with myself and say that – layers peeled back, naked in the world. It’s a statement, it’s a chant, it’s a mantra, it’s a prayer. I don’t want to beat around the bush; I want you to listen to what I’m saying.”

Jane. continues to peel back his layers through songs of tranquility and turbulence alike. The tender “Beach Inside” is a tranquilizing, softly stirring song of peace: “There’s an optimism and positivity toward it that was important to have on this project,” the artist reflects. “It’s about trying to find moments of peace and where that place is, and living in that place, and questioning if there is peace but trying to stay in that place and have it be okay.”

Conversely, the bittersweet “Dreaming” laments the state of the world, in particular the epidemic of gun violence proliferating in the United States. A breathtaking vocal performance and stunning mix of organic and electronic production finds Jane. addressing a topic he found unavoidable.

“I felt the need to talk about some real issues that are repeatedly happening in the country I live in, and this song felt like it evoked the right emotion to do so,” he says. “We’ve gotten into a place where we’re so overly informed that it’s almost like a broken record continuously howling about how messed up things are. This is probably the furthest out of my comfort zone, but I think the lyrics are important, and there was another mass shooting and I felt the need to say something. The song starts on an optimistic note as I still have faith change can be made, but as the song progresses that faith is lost. I still don’t understand.”

Celeste closes on Jane.’s darkest moment: The achingly intimate and gut-wrenching “Sun in My Eyes” sees him confronting and unpacking long-held trauma. “This is the first time I’ve ever written or publicly spoken about an accident I was in during my youth. I was involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident that showed me the preciousness of life in one quick moment. This is something I carry with me every day of my life, and it’s insane that the sun, which is one of the most cherished and beautiful things in my life, was also the main catalyst to this accident, one of my most feared, and terrifying memories of my life.”

“This song almost feels like a confession,” he adds. “Something so delicate and private, something that I am so fearful of being judged by. But it feels so important to share. It’s a story that is as a part of me as my cultural identity. It’s something I can’t escape. It’s a naked raw fear – like telling a deep, dark secret.”

Jane.’s production is intense and intentional, his songcraft spiritual and exposed. If What A Wonderful Time To Be Barely Alive was the artist’s rebirth, then Celeste is his ascension: A pivotal embrace of his identity, his pain, and his personage. As he sings on “How I Long,” “I fall into nature, my spirit awakens, speak through the silence, I’m ever-changing.

“That’s really the message at the moment,” Jane. says. “It’s finding peace and finding freedom and connecting with whatever source you’re able to connect with, shining a light on that and bringing it to importance.”

For Jane., that message has manifested through his own reckoning with identity and acceptance.

“In music specifically, I don’t look or sound like anyone,” he says. “I don’t see anyone like me, who comes from a place I come from. I’m also confused here! This confusion is now being harnessed into my greatest power.”

Once an outlier, always an outlier. Singular in style, substance, and nature, Jane. is an artistry unlike any other.

Past Shows


Aug
3
rd
2023
First Avenue
Aug
3
rd
2023
First Avenue

Suki Waterhouse

(rescheduled + moved from Fine Line)
with jane.

More Shows

Aug
1
st
Turf Club

Nate Amor

with WESTON WOLD
Oct
11
th
7th St Entry
Oct
11
th
Fine Line

Them Coulee Boys

with Clare Doyle
Jul
19
th
First Avenue

PRIVATE EVENT