By now, the story of how Jlin went from working in a steel factory in Gary, Indiana to being one of the most widely appreciated electronic musicians is well known. “Black Origami” was one of the most lauded albums last year. Seriously prolific and seriously hard-working, she has toured constantly since its May 2017 release and despite being involved in a wide range of projects, still manages to find a balance and time to “do some personal healing and growing.”
Here we are over a year later with “Autobiography,” the score for her collaboration with renowned British choreographer Wayne McGregor (a collaboration arranged by Krakow's Unsound). This isn’t technically her third album (that’s due to arrive in 2019 or 2020), but the soundtrack stands up on its own with all the emotional peaks and troughs of a well-sequenced LP.
For Jlin, making music for dance is the fulfillment of one of her lifelong dreams – and remarkably, Company Wayne McGregor’s performance was the first show she’d ever seen. She describes the process of working with Wayne: “We first met face to face in October 2016 in a downtown Chicago hotel, talking for about a solid two hours. Immediately, I saw Wayne was very friendly and energetic. He’s brilliant, witty, and knows exactly what he wants; an absolute gem to work with. Before I even started composing for Autobiography, Wayne told me so gently that he trusts me completely with my direction of creating the score. That was the best feeling in the world. I would wake up at two in the morning and work until six in the evening until I completed all the pieces. We were both very happy with the outcome. Creating the score for an impeccable piece of work such as Autobiography changed my life as an artist.”
“Autobiography” is a highlight in an evolving and growing career. During the last year, Jlin has also become an in-demand remixer, securing her place among a roster of music heavyweights. Unsurprisingly, given her positive and outgoing nature, she also developed friendships with the artists she has remixed such as Björk, Max Richter and Ben Frost.
Jlin will be touring with Company Wayne McGregor performing “Autobiography” this year into next. She's also completed a commission for the Kronos Quartet titled “Little Black Book.” She still approaches every performance “with the same attitude of doing my best to execute a good show, no more, no less. Doing my best is what’s most important to me.” She also still lives in Gary, Indiana, which keeps her grounded. She notes with her typical humility, “The local community is a little more knowledgeable of me now. But I don’t mind my community taking its time.”