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Artist Spotlight: Jitwam's soul-seeking music reflects his universal demeanour

Arun Ramanathan speaks to the pyschedelic savant ahead of his Asia Tour

  • Arun Ramanathan
  • 30 March 2023

An adamant and wholesome mindset is what primarily propels Naarm & Brooklyn-based artist Jitwam. He encapsulates the essence of a globalised sound through interweaving influences, experiences and a thirst for growing his technical know-how.

Jitwam’s tenacity to amalgamate multiple genres and styles results in him creating his own sonic aesthetic; to any keen ear, pinpointing all the ingredients he’s thrown into his “cultural melting pot” of a single, or even album, will leave you stunned. Lauded by The Guardian amongst a plethora of global publications, Jitwam’s wide-minded approach deserves credit for his astounding impact on the South Asian diaspora.

Whether he’s DJing, producing or entrenched in a long digging session, as a true citizen of the world, Jitwam's commitment to music is a testament to the magic of cultural discovery and reflects the importance he puts on self-definition.

His first two LPs, ‘ज़ितम सिहँ’ and ‘Honeycomb’, alongside a slew of singles and EPs quickly embedded him on the global underground circuit — and evidently, they also marked a cataclysmic beginning for Jitwam. His most recent record, ‘Third’, is where he raised his own bar to evocative heights, and where not only was it his third LP, but it was truly reflective of his universal demeanour as a third culture kid.

Unpredictability is one of the few expectations Jitwam has in life, and we’re more than fine with following his humble trajectory to see what kind of soul-seeking road we end up on — our journey with Jitwam starts this week while he’s on tour in Asia as he delivers a 101 Production Workshop in partnership with Arturia and Eaton HK. Check out his full tour details here and scroll on to learn more about South Asian musical wonder, Jitwam.

Describe yourself in 5 words.


Your worldly movements started with being born in Assam, India, then migrating with your parents to Australia, and subsequently moving on to South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Is there a particular place that musically impacted you more than others, and how?

Definitely India. Being the cultural melting pot that it is, and how it so effortlessly touches so on so many sounds and flavours. In my music, I try to be a musical melting pot, contrasting different rhythms and sounds against each other to create a new whole.

You recently moved to Brooklyn. Has NYC been like everything you expected?

Ummmmm… I'm kind of a wandering soul and am currently based in Melbourne, Australia. NYC is nothing like you expect, the movies make it feel familiar but the flow of the city has an energy all unto its own and is experienced differently by those who encounter its glory.

How attached/embedded are you with your Indian roots?

India is everything to me. And whilst I'm not necessarily Indian, its cultures and practices influence how I deal with people, ideas and my vision on how to keep things moving forward.

What were your musical influences growing up?

The sound of the radio. The sound of cartoons and movies. Everything from hip-hop, r&b, rock, metal, pop, to strange songs with frogs making techno music.

You’re an avid crate digger. What defines that ‘golden moment’ when you’re digging for samples?

The late 60s to mid-70s is definitely my sweet spot.

I love the sound of the drums, the psychedelic textures and the melodic ideas and arrangement.

And your go-to supplier for record digging?
These days, my favourite place to dig is going through my friends' unwanted records in their collections. Thankfully, I've been blessed to have access to some DJ's collections whom I really admire, and hold in high regard.

By either price or sentimental value, what’s the most prized record in your collection?

Starting out I used to trawl the $2 bins for records and my first purchase was a white label with a stamp of a dude with an afro. Fast forward a couple of years, it turns out it was Moodymann’s ‘Ya blessin' me’ 12”.

How did you react to Moodymann reaching out for his DJ Kicks compilation?

Moodymann is a hero of mine, not only in music but the way he affects his community and those coming up under him. It was a surprise and a complete honour, to say the least.

You founded Chalo while living in London. What were the goals and are you still involved?

Chalo was born from a desire to show love and place a light on the burgeoning South Asian scene outside of genres, trends and scenes. I’m so proud of that compilation and looking forward to doing more in the future!

What’s the artistic agenda of Jitwam — where would you like to see yourself 10 years from now?

Planting more seeds from south to north, east to west. I love making music, and god willing i’ll be making more music in another ten years.

What’s your current go-to track for dance floor hype?

So many tunes… namely Neba Solo ‘Can 2002’ has really got me hype at the moment.

Your upcoming Asia Tour will see you perform as a DJ, can you tease us a little about what we can expect from your sets?

A cultural melting pot of funk, boogie, house music and dance from all around the world. I like the audience to expect the unexpected.

We heard you’re releasing a deluxe album later this year. How did that come about and can you let us in on any previously unreleased material?

We dropped ‘Hollatchu’ with Jaydonclover and yungmorpheus. A late night house roller bringing back the good ole’ r’n’b days of Brandy and Ray-J to the modern era.

If you could collaborate with any artist in the world, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

Asha Puthli. Because she’s made all this possible!

And lastly, what’s the one thing you’re most excited about when you head on tour to Asia?


Arun Ramanathan is Mixmag Asia’s Director. Follow him on Instagram.

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