Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Melancholy Allure of Jarryd James

 Kenny Laubbacher photography

A darling in the music blogging world and a Spotify regular already racking up over 65 million plays for Do You Remember, it's hard  to miss Jarryd James' sultry voice, crooning over his electronic R&B beats. Drawing comparisons to artists such as Nick Murphy (FKA Chet Faker) and James Blake, James utilizes his voice as the primary tool, backed by a minimal yet effective sound. Listeners are attracted and more so connected to his music, guiding them through heartbreak, longing, and life's constant ebbs and flows.

Recently releasing How Do We Make It as an official video, Jarryd shows that everything he releases proves to be a surefire hit, and he goes beyond a hit single that initially captured his audience by storm. 

I recently had a chance to catch up with Jarryd, on his way back home to Australia, after spending some time in New York recording new material. From discussing quintessentially Australian things such as Vegemite, to his own inspiration, take a quick sit down with Jarryd James. 

What are you inspired by? Are there any distinct places or people that inspire your music?

I'm inspired pretty heavily by the weather..mostly rain. Whenever it's raining I immediately feel about 1000% more creative. I'm fairly weird I know.

New York City is a place that inspires me, and I love Germany also.

I've heard you mention in previous interviews that your writing is very subconscious. Is that the case for How Do We Make It? It seems very specific.

Yeah that was a different one for me, well spotted. I'd had an extremely emotional night the night before I wrote that song, so it was very fresh in my mind when I arrived at the studio; it was inevitable. I usually steer clear of writing like that, but it felt right at the time so I just went with it.

Speaking of How Do We Make It, congratulations on that music video recently! It's so powerful. Let's talk about it for a minute, how did the idea with the glass come about? 

I will gladly give all the credit for that video to my friend Sherry Elbe - she developed that treatment and directed the video and I think it's so perfect for the song. Plus Sherry is a straight-up legend of a person.

Sam Keeler photography

Would you say making music is therapeutic for you?

It can be. But at other times it can be my greatest cause of stress. Depends how inhibited I feel on any given day I guess. It also depends who I'm making music with. Over time I'm figuring out who makes me feel the most comfortable to express things exactly how I want/need to when I write.

Is there a way you reset when you're home after touring or working on new material?

Normally I will sleep for about 2 days straight, then get up and go to a restaurant and eat a nice steak. Then I'll be ready to go away again.

I understand you're in the US right now writing more music. Can you give us some insight on how it'll differentiate from High?

Well I'm home now, but I was very recently in New York working with one of my favourite producers, and I wrote and recorded a song there that I think I'm more content with than any other song I've ever written. I don't know if it's different in any specific way, but I've been really trying to write with honesty.

How was touring with BROODS? Anything you took away from that experience?

I've learned that Caleb is shit at FIFA. And that they have the worst luck with tour buses. The recent US tour that we did, I'm pretty sure they went through 4 buses in a week at one point.

Those guys are family to me though, for real, and I love them with all of my heart. Even though I'm older than them I learn so much from both Caleb and Georgia about just doing whatever the hell you feel like doing and not being so damn insecure like I am. 

When you're away for longer periods of time, what do you miss most about being home? Is there anything specific you miss that you can't find when on tour?

I miss the Thai restaurant near my apartment. I miss my bed, it's very good. And I legitimately miss Vegemite toast when I'm away from Australia.

Anybody you're currently listening to that nobody would ever guess?

I've been listening to Kirin J Callinan a lot. He's a very interesting human and I've had his song S.A.D stuck in my head for about 3 solid weeks now. Plus the video for it is a work of art. It's seriously incredible, please go watch it.

I know you're a Kendrick Lamar fan. I'm curious to hear what you thought of his new album!

Ha yeah, it's pretty hard for him to do something I don't love (we'll forget about that unfortunate Taylor Swift feature). I think the album is great. I always return to good kid m.A.A.d city though, that album is timeless for me.

Besides working on new material, do you have any plans for the summer?

Well it's winter where I am at the moment haha but no, the only thing on my agenda at the moment is to try make some special music that I can be proud of that people can listen to and feel something to.

Any weird, pre-show rituals you can share?

I only have one pre-show ritual, and that's to listen to Tequila Sunrise by The Eagles on repeat, both before and after I am on stage. For some reason that song calms me. Weird enough for you?

And lastly, as we do talk about film on this blog as well, favourite movies you've seen in the last little while?

Hmm I can't think of any amazing movies that I've seen lately, but I did just finish watching the latest season of Broadchurch - it's pretty heavy but such a good show. Anything British I will usually like, I love Midsomer Murders and Heartbeat ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚


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