[Q&A] Cj Pandit Escapes Rock Bottom with ‘Just Before You Disappear’

Photo Credit: Joe Vozza (@vzavz)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // May 21, 2021

We’ve introduced you to Leicester’s Cj Pandit before, but we could certainly all use a refresher on why exactly this art pop newcomer deserves to be on your radar. While navigating through ever changing lifestyles, Pandit took it upon himself to document some of his most impactful memories by way of his mesmerizing debut EP, Just Before You Disappear. Laced between the nostalgic production is Pandit’s undeniable charm that’ll have you swaying along to his heartfelt ballads in no time.

On Just Before You Disappear, Cj Pandit shared,

“I think I always look back on things and dissect them in a certain way and music is no different. Some kind of nostalgia, an aching to find that sweet spot between the euphoria and the sadness we all feel most of the time.”

To celebrate the release of his new music, we recently chatted with Cj Pandit about tattoos, interpretation, and of course, Just Before You Disappear

HH: It’s no secret that you have an alluring, ‘80s-reminiscent soundscape. What inspires your musical approach?

CP: Real Life! Suspended chords and a whole bunch of ambient music. I grew up with a house full of ‘00s Pop music and ‘80s ballads, so I think you throw all of those together, it ends up as what you guys all hear now.

HH: How does it feel to have your debut EP out in the world?!

CP: A huge relief! These songs and ideas and experiences have been rolling on for two years, so it feels incredibly exciting and liberating for the music to belong to the world and not me now. I’m so proud of this EP and grateful for the process.

HH: For those who have no idea what it takes to create an EP, how much time did you spend on this project? What was the most difficult part of the process?

CP: From writing the songs in Liverpool and Leicester, and living in different cities and through different situations and relationships changing, it’s taken two years for this to come together. I think the most difficult part is realizing it’s finished and relinquishing control. Once those masters are sent off and out of your hands, it can be incredibly frightening to let go and say it’s done. This truly feels like a piece of my brain that’s going to exist forever, and now I have no control over how it’s interpreted… Scary.

HH: From “Right Person, Wrong Time” to “New York Time,” Just Before You Disappear is filled with nothing but pure gold. Can you describe your creative process for this EP?

CP: I mean, it was a real rolling process. I didn’t sit down and say, ‘Okay, it’s time to make an EP.’ This one felt like a running commentary of my life and some kind of companion I could dive in and out of, to express how I felt and try and find answers to complicated questions I had for myself. As situations changed and ended, so did the EP. The phrase Just Before You Disappear had been in my head for a long time and just came to explain so much in my life. It really helped pull me out of a dark patch too. Writing “New York Time” after a week of hallucinations and feeling at rock bottom was pretty liberating.

HH: We think Just Before You Disappear would fit swimmingly into a film soundtrack. If this were to happen, what do you think would be the plot of this movie?

CP: Thanks! I wholeheartedly agree; maybe it’ll get there one day. I think it would probably feel somewhere between Happy Gilmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. One long sunset with some tears along the way. Some kind of coming of age plot where you’re rooting for everyone to win… Maybe I should just write it. If anyone wants to help me out, then hit me up…

HH: “Drunk Tattoos” reminds us of some questionable times from our pasts. From this EP, what one lyric would you get tattooed on yourself? Where on your body?

CP: Ha! I’m unsure, probably the title, which is a lyric from “Right Person, Wrong Time.” Or maybe something funny. “Took an Uber just to kiss me how mad” could be a shout. Maybe at the bottom of my back, take it back to the ‘00s.

HH:If you could collaborate with anyone in the music industry, who would you pick?

CP: Right now, I think St. Vincent or Christine and The Queens, I LOVE the worlds they create around the releases to dive into. Or maybe Bruce Hornsby. I think we’d all make some magic together. Maybe the four of us will make that movie.

HH: What are your three hidden hits?

CP: Heart Sauce – “I Stopped Trying”
Blle – “Keep Repeating”
BE GOOD – “Sickie”

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