Tiny Jag has never been one to mince words. Ever since her first EP Polly debuted in 2018, Jag has been known for her no-bullshit lyricism and cutting delivery. Though her sound has grown and shifted since then, the heart of it remains the same: an uncompromising sense of self that’s easy to sing along to. In the video for her new song, “How It Was,” Jag emphasizes the importance of keeping your circle small and supported.
“When I made this song I was dead in the center of thinking about what relationships were working for me and which ones weren’t,” Jag explains. She says that the last year has been a time of not only looking inward, but looking around her and tempering expectations around friendships and relationships. What she discovered was that supporting herself first and foremost yielded the ability to show up for others in the way that she wants to. “I feel clearer over the last few months since that song has been created,” she says. “Just being comfortable in exactly where I am at any moment… and finding a way to have my own back… makes it easier to figure out what you expect out of the souls and spirits around you.”
This realization led Jag to write the ultimate ride-or-die anthem that mirrors the relationships in her own life. She explains that her tendency to keep her circle tight in her personal life bleeds into her creative process. In an industry that is built off of multiple people – sometimes strangers – co-writing songs and cranking them out like an assembly line, Jag takes a more intimate approach to songwriting. She says that 99% of the time, she’s going into the studio with someone she has a prior connection and strong basis of trust with, and if not, that bond is made before the session even starts. “Any producer that I went into the studio with blindly, we probably talked for like two hours before we started working,” says Jag. “I think that for my peace of mind, and the way that my anxiety is set up, I need to focus on the people that feel the pull… some type of law of attraction has brought us together and here we are vibing the fuck out.”
The video follows Jag and her besties (Jag’s long-time DJ and friend Wah Wah and local musician Shannon Barnes of White Bee) as they devise a plan to rob their douchey corporate boss. At some point, we’ve all probably fantasized about tying up our boss and taking all of their money, which makes sense, considering that the average CEO in the United States makes up to 320 times more than a typical worker. The visual shows Jag and her posse enduring various morbid circumstances like domestic abuse, a messy breakup, and debilitating debt. The three decide that in order to escape their current situations, they’ll team up and take down their superior, Robin Hood-style.
While the video was inspired by fantastical scenes like the Joker walking away from a burning hospital in Dark Knight and the grocery store heist in Good Girls, Jag says her vision was one step closer to reality. “I wanted it to be something that you could see some mother fuckers fuckin’ around and doing,” she says. And that’s how a Tiny Jag song usually makes the listener feel – like you could rob your boss and get away with it. An indestructible aura surrounds her music, permeating through the speakers and touching whoever is listening. It’s fitting, then, that Jag’s ultimate goal as a creative is to be an entity rather than solely a musician.
“Even when I started doing music, I knew it was going to be a leg of something bigger. I always wanted to be a force more than any one designated thing,” she says. “I would rather be a reminder of something that reminds you to be yourself, or don’t be wasteful, or don’t throw your trash on the ground or whatever the fuck.” She lives out this intention not only through her music, but, more recently, through repurposing old fabrics to make her own merch. She explains that having multiple outlets allows her to nurture her creative self and shift focus from output to being present with herself and her art.
Jag’s unending quest towards self-discovery is what keeps her music so authentic, and inspires listeners to do the same. “It feels like every time I talk to you, I talk about how I’m being my most authentic self and that’s the best thing that’s going right now,” Jag muses. “But, every time, I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to that most internal piece of myself, that highest self.”
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