Jagwar Twin’s music speaks to the heart rather than the mind—it communicates with your intuition and subconscious before you have even processed what’s going on.
First, you find yourself bopping your head to the booming bass and childlike choir in ‘Down to You,’ one of his latest singles, while repeating a catchy but meaningful chorus: “it all comes down to you.”
Next, you’re mustering up the courage to seek what you want despite your fears and insecurities—such as requesting an interview with an artist you’re immensely a fan of.
Okay, I might be projecting a little bit here.
Regardless, Jagwar Twin’s music inspires spirit. I imagine it stems from the most spirited person I have come across, the man and artist himself: Roy English.
The 33-year-old California native kindles tranquility and warmth. When we met via Zoom to talk about him and his music, he greeted me with a lazy smile and a soft-toned voice that could put the most agitated toddler at ease.
No, seriously. Alice in Wonderland was playing on a screen in the background.
This is no surprise, though. Roy loves Disney movies and their hidden messages.
“When you go back to what we as kids gravitated towards, be that a song, or a movie, or a book, there’s usually some profound truth that was speaking to your heart, your intuition, your subconscious,” he exclaimed from his home in Los Angeles.
That’s what he strives for in his music—for children to sing along to but also be able to dissect its underlying meanings. That and telling the truth.
“Well, I am not trying to rewrite the Bible,” he joked when I asked him if he meant to move his listeners spiritually. “But I am doing my best from my perspective to get that universal truth to reflect whoever listens. We do our best to see others as reflections of ourselves. And music has the power to do that. I’m just here to make art that comes from an authentic place in me. And hopefully, my reflection can show someone else part of who they are.”
He does exactly this in his latest release, ‘I Like to Party,’ when he reminds us of the power we hold in our humanity.
“Devil waking up to claim the Kingdom,” sings Roy in the second verse. “People waking up to claim what’s in them / Heaven is within your heart / The Kingdom / You’re the Kingdom.”
This was not always the case. There was a time when Jagwar Twin was yet to be born; it was just Roy English, and not all of his music came from the heart.
“I was creating music from my mind, thinking about what would be successful and what other people would like. I really lost my way for a long time without really knowing. I think evil works a lot more subversively than we think, and it creeps in very slowly.”
In the last few years with Jagwar Twin, Roy has ventured onto getting back that childlike imagination. An admirer of all sorts of mythology across the world, Roy’s artistic name was inspired by the jaguar in Mayan mythology—a creature who looks within others as within itself.
A mirror of consciousness.
As for the ‘twin’ in his name, he was partially inspired by the duality of his zodiac sign, Gemini, but also that of worldly forces such as light and dark and yin and yang.
Ultimately, Jagwar Twin became a collaborative effort in which everyone involved, including Roy, and producers Matt Pauling and S1, had to forgo their egos to create something bigger than themselves.
Roy points out that it’s not about destroying the ego as a whole but rather its negative side. He argues that the ego is essential for growth and survival—it is how we differentiate ourselves from a whole mass of consciousness. Instead, we ought to dismantle the idea that we are completely separate from the whole.
“It’s a balance,” he speaks about telling your own truth while working with others. “It’s an alchemical process of taking things and combining them and then making it into something new. It’s difficult in the best way because you see your own reflection [staring] back at you.”
Is it just me, or does anyone else hear Mulan’s ‘Reflection’ playing in their head right now?
This transformative endeavor began with Subject to Flooding, Roy’s debut album as Jagwar Twin—a way of shedding his old self and finding the direction he was to embark on from there.
A self-explorative and metamorphic record about the human condition? Okay, now I’m subject to flooding with tears.
Roy notes that the last songs to be written for the album— ‘Loser,’ ‘Shine,’ and ‘Precious Time’—are the most similar sonically to his latest releases.
Indeed, his new songs, ‘I Like to Party,’ ‘Down to You,’ and ‘Happy Face,’ seem to be evolutions of his previous work. They are embedded with children’s choirs, synthesized beats. Roy’s bright and mellow voice, and provocative lines that critique the state of the world, such as the second verse in ‘Happy Face’:
Say you’re good, say you’re fine / Tell ‘em everything’s alright / Hollywood on your timeline / Telling you what to wear / And what to like and how to be.
“It’s me continuing to dive deeper into what I want to say and my perspective at the moment of what’s the truth.”
The lyrics and melody definitely play a role in this phenomenon, but most importantly, so does the production. What makes these last three songs stand out today is that they are tuned to 444 hertz, a “healing” frequency.
Whether you believe in angel numbers or quantum physics, you will find this number holds significant value in life regardless of its interpretation.
In music, 432 Hz and 444 Hz tuning are solfeggio frequencies, which are said to promote bodily and mental health. The former is an earthly frequency; it grounds us. 444 Hz is higher and leads us into a spiritual realm; it inspires transformation, clarity, and inner peace.
However, most music today is tuned to 440 Hz. Instruments and musical software are calibrated to this frequency. Thus, tuning these songs and the rest of the forthcoming album to 444 Hz proved to be a difficult but successful task for Pauling, who is producing most of the record.
If you are more of a skeptic, know that the frequency has been used in scientific experiments, including DNA repair and “healing” water.
For the latter, Masaru Emoto, a Japanese researcher, claimed that water has a memory and thus stores information. Ultimately, water will react differently depending on the information it receives, which shows through the crystal structures it forms.
Emoto found that when the water received positive information such as exclamations of love and gratitude, it formed harmonious and well-defined crystals. If it received exclamations of hatred, the frozen water crystals were uneven and shapeless. He tested it with solfeggio frequencies as well and found the crystals to be shaped in a definite and beautiful manner.
Like a snowflake.
“There is something with sound and the power of it,” noted Roy. “And I hope that more artists begin to tune their music either to 432 Hz or 444 Hz because it can be very healing. It was something I felt strongly about doing.”
There is no doubt that there is something powerful about Jagwar Twin’s music, a moving force of sorts. It’s everything and something new all at once. It’s not genre-less, per se. More like genre-ful. It is an abundance of sound, tuned to just the right frequency to strike a nerve in those who dare listen and see themselves reflected in the process.