Photo Credit: Nicky Digital
A Russian native and now an East Coast resident, Jenaux is thriving at this early point in his career. Known for his huge hit “Renegades”, Jenaux most recently has a collaboration with The Chainsmokers and has been featured on Above & Beyond's “Group Therapy” podcast. I caught up with Jenaux at The Exchange in Minneapolis, MN to kick off his solo Fall tour.
With Progressive House and Trance being my favorite genres, Jenaux's perfect balance of the two is what got me wanting to know more about the man himself. To my surprise, Jenaux is now trying something new with his sound.
“For a while a lot of my sound was Progressive (like my Enhanced releases) and Trance (like the collab with Jason Ross), but now I’m shifting in a different direction. I’m still trying to hold the Progressive sound because it’s more ‘break-beaty' along with funk instrumentals. It’s weird because the new stuff that’s going to come is going to be really different and funky.”
Just by listening to Jenaux's music, I could tell that vocals were a huge part in any of his tracks. I was curious if this would stay true with the new direction.
“I have instrumental drive, but I’ll take vocals any day. There’s not much that I’ll do without vocals. It instises me. It’s easier to work under a vocal for me.”
Jenaux seems like he's been making plenty of friends in the scene lately. Being friends with Audien, plus with working alongside The Chainsmokers, Tritonal, and Jason Ross isn't something every artist can brag about. I asked Jenaux how working with all of these artists has helped him grow.
“You do get different exporsure, different lanes. A lot producers think they have to force themselves on other artists and to collab with them. These things happen naturally. Everybody says they need to collab with a big artist. It just doesn’t work.”
Jenaux mentioned his collaboration with Jason Ross, “Solaris”.
“It was an amazing track, but he and I could both say that wasn’t the easiest track to do. There was a lot of time spent on it because we both had different ideas. We have two different mindsets.”
“Solaris”, along with a the Wrechiski Dub Mix of “Renegades” both appeared on Above & Beyond's Group Therapy. With Jenaux being such a Trance fan, I asked how mind-blowing this moment was for him.
“They’re (Above & Beyond) are great! I also worked with Jono on Solaris a lot. When I met them, they thanked me for that track! The first time I met them in person in Vegas I was like ‘Thanks guys for everything!’ and they said ‘No, thank you for the music.’ It just shows the humility that they have. They’re great people. It’s so humbling to be a part of that.”
With so much hard work going into music, I was curious if a guy like Jenaux ever has time for other things he enjoys.
“I'm a foodie,” he said with a smirk, “I like to eat. I’ve played tennis all my life, I swim, It’s hard because there’s always work to be done. Until you’ve been doing it for 20 or 30 years and you’ve made it, it’s not over”.
Finding out more about Jenaux's history, his father was also a big Dance music fan.
“It’s not just my Father, it’s a Russian thing. Russian culture loves American dance music from the 90s when they immigrated to America. That’s what they listened to and that’s the dance music they wanted to listen to. They love to dance too! I was 7 and listening to Real 2 Real, Amber, all of that.”
I was stoked to find out that Tiesto's “Kaliedoscope” album was on repeat for Jenaux growing up. He seemed just as excited that I brought it up and proceeded to sing a little bit of another Tiesto classic, “Just Be”. Were there any other great old school tracks that he liked?
“Yeah “Kaleidoscope” and “Just Be” were great! But if we’re talking that Kaleidoscope album, “I Am Strong” is my top tier along with “Here On Earth”. From the 90s I would say “Missing You” or even Ace Of Base or any other Dance inspired stuff.”