A bizarre music blast upsets my serenity. I open the window and I shoot the sky with candies. A sweet feast upsets the universe, the sun tastes like sugar and clouds look like cake! Bizarre day! It’s the day I discover KOORTWAH! Wild music / wild world / real music/ real world! Jake Courtois talks to me. Can you hear? Poping Cherry presents KOORTWAH! Are you ready? (Interview: John Vlachogiannis)
When you were little you were spending time alone in your favorite abandoned factory with your headphones. Now you create music that can bring some other children to an abandoned factory with their headphones and their dreams. So, who are you? Who is Jake Courtois? What is Koortwah? Is that little child that grew up “inside” an abandoned factory to bring his music to the world?
Well, firstly, KOORTWAH is a phonetic spelling of my otherwise rather French last name: Courtois. I was tired of hearing people mispronounce it, so I decided to provide a more user-friendly, phonetic spelling. I think that, outside of therapy perhaps, it’s probably best to leave describing myself to other people, and keep my mouth shut when they get things wrong (or I imagine them to be wrong). The little kid who used to kill time in abandoned factories is still alive and well – he’s just got a lot of tattoos nowadays.
You say that music is somehow between blood/life/death. Music is a way of bleeding constantly without dying. What inspires you to create music, to create life, to create a spiritual death? Are you ready to give impetus to people through your creations?
I wouldn’t describe music as being between blood, life or death. Blood is simply a metaphor for the role music can play in people’s lives, and death is an integral, unavoidable, and important aspect of life. Music is something that some of us create during our lives, and almost all of us listen to in some form. I try to avoid using a word like “spiritual”, because I think it’s too often vague and potentially desperate. I’m not so self-aggrandizing as to imagine I’m creating life, exactly, when I write songs, but in their own way, the songs that I write have helped me to survive when I might otherwise not have.
The Wilderness EP. Wild music / wild world / Reassuring inspiration for a better world. How can you describe the EP/ your music? Can music help the world?
Anything that makes people think can be helpful. Helping “the world” seems rather lofty, but I’d be satisfied if the songs I’m putting out there are comforting, challenging, or even just distracting to any number of individual listeners. Song-writing is a bit like having a conversation with people I might not be able to communicate with conventionally, and in as much, as soon as someone has heard one of my songs, it belongs as much to them as it does to me.
Do you believe in God? In Angels? Do you believe in you? Are you here to inspire? Are you here to guide everyone who believes in you? What’s next in your life?
Gods and angels are certainly potent characters in story-telling, but it’s important to distinguish between the pantheon of fictional figures and actual, discernible entities. It would be absurd for me not to believe in myself. I think that all true artists are guides of sorts, and their status as outsiders allows them to provide others with hopefully fresh and fascinating perspectives and insights. At the very least we’re meant to entertain. I intend to continue recording and performing music for as many people as possible, should I be so fortunate.
Do you have a secret/ a message to share with Poping Cherry?
I try to avoid keeping secrets. They poison people from within. May honesty and kindness find us all.
Honesty and Kindness are here for me! Thank you Jake Courtois! Thank you KOORTWAH!