We do the Q&A so you can do the blagging.
Who: Karelu is the term used for the mark that is left on our skin when we squeeze ourselves into clothes which are too tight and is also the name of the debut single from CJ Pandit.
What to say: Keen to leave his mark on both our eyes and ears, CJ Pandit coincided the release of his single Karelu with a specially curated photography exhibition and the release of a zine.
Congratulations on the release of your debut single Karelu, we heard you launched your single alongside a photography and zine exhibition. What was the initial inspiration behind this?
Thank you, we sure did. I’ve always believed that it’s super important to create a world for your art to live in. We were deciding what song to release first, and how we could create that world in a physical form. Karelu (the mark something leaves on the skin when worn too tight) seemed like the point everything came back to, and was a constant topic of conversation with so many people close to me. I’ve had so many beautiful conversations around the words and themes of the song, and they felt like they carried a real weight that needed to be expressed in more ways than one.
Does the photography on display tie in with the themes of Karelu or does it create a bigger story?
I think the photography and art on display sits somewhere between the two. The photographs taken by the wonderful Vzavz, who curated the exhibition and zine with me (all round genius), act as a conversation. There was no direct or specific narrative, we wanted people to find their own Karelus within the exhibition and then leave them with us. We laid out ‘Karelu is…’ cards in the hope people felt comfortable, intrigued or inspired enough to share some of their own stories with us and it seemed to resonate. We we were blown away by the response and some of the cards left behind.
What can we expect to find in the zine?
Heartbreak and honesty. The zine feels like the memory of a place you’ve never been, blurry faces and the last glimmer of a sunset before it disappears. Weekends in the capital, overground trains on a Friday afternoons and the Sundays that you used to waste. It’s an extension of the exhibition and the celebration of the marks we leave on each other.
Are you planning more creative collaborations in the future?
100%! This zine and exhibition are part of an ongoing project. Each release will have something physical to accompany it. I love the idea of physicality over concepts and collaborations over individualism. It’s tough to be expressive in a limited sphere so having this living representation of the music offline is incredibly important to me and all the people who I work with. Above all else, I’ve never had so much fun.
Musically, which artists have been your biggest inspiration?
Talk Talk, Mark Hollis’ genius is unrivalled. Springsteen for his words, Hornsby for his piano playing, Carole King, James Taylor, Judee Sill. From a more contemporary perspective I think it’s hard to ignore Justin Vernon’s impact. I also adore Haim, they’re so great and I wish I was the fourth long lost sibling.
If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories, the best sounding and dramatic album ever. I’d feel like my life was some kind of French dance opera and life could be worse than that I suppose.