By Anurag Tagat

From Delhi to Thailand’s Wonderfruit Festival

A young musician’s tale

Jameson Connects: Bringing Together Artists from Different Cultures

Usually, camera-reticent and a headphones-on/head-down music-maker, New Delhi producer Jay Pei found himself in front of a camera, interacting with Thai indie pop artist Hinano and showing her around the capital and playing Wonderfruit festival in Chonburi, Thailand. 

When the offer came to be part of the Jameson Connects project in October 2022, a lot of questions popped into Jay’s head. “Will I be able to do it? What if I’m not in my natural state in front of the camera? But then I’m one of those who always likes challenges,” he says over a video call from Delhi.

Meeting and Collaborating with Hinano

In the span of just a few weeks, Jay Pei met Hinano – over video calls at first and then in person – collaborated on a song called ‘Girl In Your Dreams’ and “instantly bonded” with a musician he had just met. In a three-part documentary showcasing the journey that both artists took on for this Indo-Thai collab, Jay Pei shows Hinano around India, specifically New Delhi and she returns the favor by showing him around Bangkok. Jay says there was a bit of a culture shock for Hinano when she saw a lot of cars honking all the time in India. He adds, “She had many Indian friends and knew local people who lived in India so she’s always heard about things [about India].”


Finding Home at Wonderfruit Festival

As for Jay, being a vegetarian and navigating Bangkok’s food stalls and night markets was something he counts as a culture shock for him. “But then the local film crew made sure that we went to places where there were enough vegetarian options,” he adds. A more important transformation awaited Jay at Wonderfruit festival, though. 

“I find myself at home when I go to a festival, because I just love to be around music and a place where it’s all about music. The day I woke up [with the festival day planned] I was like, ‘Let’s go!’” he says.

Performing at Wonderfruit Festival: Highlight for Jay Pei

The rewarding part of the experience was people hearing his music at Wonderfruit, with a crowd that gradually built up for his and Hinano’s set. Jay adds, “I could see people connecting to what I’m playing and dancing to it. It was an amazing experience to play outside my country at a big festival.” The artist points to how people from all walks of life were grooving to his music and how festivals and live performances promote inclusivity.

Creating ‘Girl In Your Dreams’: A Unique Musical Collaboration

is also arguably one of Jay Pei’s most accessible tracks, in terms of style, compared to his previous techno-leaning releases. He’s never been restrictive of style, and what matters more is the character that shines through in one’s music. “I could make jazz or metal and it would still have my identity,” Jay says. Although Hinano was not really into techno, the common ground that they both gathered on was indie-rock, according to Jay. He says with a chuckle, “We were poles apart in our musical spectrum. I sent her some tracks and she said, ‘Oh this sounds like fashion music!’” It made him realize that he didn’t need to make techno with her, rather make music that would put her in a comfortable space.

Impact of the Jameson Connects Project on Jay Pei

At the end of it, Jay says the collaboration opened his world up like never before to more artist interactions. The Jameson Connects project came at a time when the artist was working on a live band performance at the Magnetic Fields Festival in Rajasthan and collaborating with several different musicians across styles. “I’m a musician… part of all of this is growth. There’s a saying I tell everyone – smooth sailing never made good sailors. Only when you are in the waters that challenge you, you end up becoming a sailor,” he signs off.

Watch Ep 3 of the three-part docu-series on Jay Pei and Hinano below!

Jameson Connects in partnership with Azadi Records, powered by Jameson Ginger Ale.