Cathy Jain probes self image on the bedroom R&B bop “cool kid”

Cathy Jain is still only 17 years old but she’s got a clear and mature view of herself and her music, which is already evident from the couple of tracks she has out. The China-born, UK-based artist has just been signed by YALA! Records, and today shares the first single for the label, “cool kid”. She says:

‘Cool Kid’ is about how so much of our time is spent trying to project images of ourselves to others, and how we define other people by projecting our own emotions onto them. I wanted it to have a laid-back vibe, this time with hints of R&B and hip-hop. It’s a late summer evening by a river.”

Indeed, that summer evening by the river is where “cool kid” begins, Cathy nodding along to a song she doesn’t like just to pretend she’s as cool as her companion. It’s an act that surely all of know well from our teenage years (and probably adulthood too), but Cathy is perfectly candid about her reasons; she wants to get closer to the titular “cool kid”. She gets a little caught up, revealing “I’m always on edge, I don’t trust you although you trust me / Why do you trust me? / I’m sorry.” However, she has more compassion for herself than most of us would have in that situation, she admits “I don’t see it as a bad thing / if we feel comfortable lying.” This ultra-chilled personality transfuses itself into the production too, which is supremely accomplished, a watery synth and muted click inviting you to relax into it, while subtle ribbons of brass waft through the atmosphere. When it comes to the ending, where she admits she’s “lying while I’m lying next to you,” it feels like a completely innocent and understandable situation, full of ease and comfort. You could melt into it.

Listen to “cool kid” below or on streaming platforms.

You can find Cathy Jain on Twitter and Instagram.