JAZ SAGOO: Communicating a Journey

Jaz Sagoo - Portrait of Loss

Leeds, UK based artist Jaz Sagoo launched his debut EP ‘Portrait of Loss‘ in June this year. In a new interview for Prog Sphere he tells about the release, following the participation on Progotronics 38 compilation.

Define the mission of your project.

The project started as a way to find closure. I lost several people close to me in a short period of time and music was a way to express myself during this difficult time. This has now evolved into something larger with my next EP being a fierce analysis of injustice within society.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent EP “Portrait of Loss,” and themes it captures.

Each song on the EP tells a personal story. I explored different perspectives on the notion of loss. I sequenced the tracks to lead on from one another. So while the beginning is quite melancholic, the final track ‘Progress’ is more uplifting.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

My process of formulation has always been the same. I obsess over one song at a time and play everything on my acoustic guitar. Although this is not good practice, I actually don’t write any of the music down. Being self-taught, I just constantly repeat segments until I’m happy with them which then leads to a rough demo.

Jaz Sagoo

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Each segment of the song is written to communicate a journey. For example, the outro of ‘Progress’ is the culmination of the heartache and array of emotions that permeate the EP. I do this at a song level too. ‘Oppressed’ show the complexities of relationships through its lyrics, dual vocals and intertwining riff but then opens up to reflect the moments of beauty that manifest within.

Describe the approach to recording the EP.

I experiment heavily during the recording process. I start with the song fully written in acoustic form and develop all lead guitars, drums, bass and keys during this stage. As I recorded at home, this is the optimum method for me as I can take the song to new places.

How long “Portrait of Loss” was in the making?

As this was a way of dealing with some difficult issues, the writing process was particularly long. I had no intention of recording these until my family urged me to do so.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the EP?

I’m a big admirer of bands like Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Devin Townsend, Anathema, Katatonia, Nightingale and much more!. As a result, their influence will no doubt seep through into my music.

What is your view on technology in music?

I love how technology has given anyone the ability to make music. If you’re passionate about what you do, it’s easier than ever to record and get it out there. I’m not a fan of the way technology is used to alter certain aspects. For example, I record all my vocals raw with no auto-tuning (as you can probably tell!). I think that some people manipulate technology a little too much in some modern music.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

I would love people to hear it and help them with some of the issues I was facing during the writing process. However, my main focus now is to just record and get my music out there. For years I have stashed songs away and now it’s time to actually share them.

What are your plans for the future?

My next EP is almost complete and it resides in anger rather than the sadness that lingers in Portrait of Loss. As I mentioned earlier, social injustice and abuse of power are themes and topics that I am passionate about and this influenced the sound of the next EP. I look forward to releasing it on my official Bandcamp later this year.

Portrait of Loss is available on Bandcamp.

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