Alt-pop star Jagwar Twin, aka Roy English, told us about his love for a Kendrick Lamar contemporary classic — and that Ariana Grande runs a close second.

Jagwar Twin: The truth is that I don’t have a favorite album and it’ll change from day to day. But if you asked me at the moment, the first thing that comes to my mind right now is Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar because I think Kendrick is saying things that need to be said in our culture. I think he’s one of the only people who isn’t afraid to just speak what he feels and do it in an artful and tasteful way. I’ve probably listened to that album 100 times.

2 Kendrick Lamar Mr. Morale the Big Steppers

Kendrick Lamar’s “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers” (Interscope/Aftermath)

“Mother I Sober” from that album made me cry the first I heard it. Like, bawled. I don’t know if any other song has ever done that to me. “United in Grief” is also incredible. The production is insane and it takes you on a journey, but it’s really the lyrics for me. The song talks about who we are and where we come from through his own, personal lens, but we all have the same story. It’s the same source I try to tap into with my music, like on my new single “Bad Feeling (Oompa Loompa),” just from a different angle — Kendrick is more direct with his message. I like to paint in abstraction with my words.

Another album I really love is Ariana Grande’s Eternal Sunshine. It’s everything I love about pop music at the highest level. Not only does it have great melodies, great production, and great vocal performance, but her lyrics on this one are different. She’s saying so much about the human condition and exploring the heart and the mind. There are really deep concepts disguised as catchy pop songs and that’s my favorite kind of music. The title track “Eternal Sunshine” is my favorite. 

Jagwar Twin’s “Bad Feeling (Oompa Loompa)” single is out now.


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