Hi Jay, thanks for allowing me to interview you for IYE website. Can you start by introducing yourself, tell us about you?
Hi Amy, and firstly massive thanks for asking me! I’m a singer-songwriter from the Midlands and I write intense and passionate indie-rock songs with a cinematic vibe. I’m married and have 2 cheeky but amazing kids who are 6 and 2. I also work full-time so life is hectic! Music is my passion but work and family life don’t allow much time for it, so all I can do is try to grab little pockets of time here and there to write and record.
Your most recent single, Noxville was released in February – tell us about the track?
‘Noxville’ was born out of watching a number of iconic action films such as Bladerunner, Terminator 2 and The Crow, and then blending that with some social commentary on how fractious the world has become in recent years. There’s also a message of solidarity in there though, for anyone who is going through a tough time in their life – just keep on going, believe in yourself and don’t let anyone or anything get you down.
You fronted bands for ten years before going solo – how did you find the transition and would you say you prefer being in a band or solo?
Yeah, I loved my time in bands and had some great times, but life started to get in the way a bit so going solo just evolved naturally. It took a while to develop my songwriting to match my musical vision, but once I got going I haven’t looked back. I love the freedom of writing whatever I want and not sticking to just one style of music, say. But the music I write does suit a full-band sound so I do miss having that when it comes to gigging, and being in a band is a great laugh too!
If you had to pick one of your singles as your ultimate favourite, what would it be and why?
I’d probably choose ‘The Stranger’ which seems to be a favourite with people. And I think it does everything that excites me in a song – epic sounds, big guitar riffs, a story lyric and hopefully people feel like they want to dance to it!
What is your music writing process, how do you come up with ideas for new music?
So, I basically sit down with my acoustic guitar and either start with some chords or a melody idea and build a song from there. I use the Voice Memos on my phone to capture every melody, riff, drumbeat idea etc and then I map it all out until I have a full song I’m happy with. I’m nearly always working on one song or another so I sing ideas into my phone a lot if I don’t have my guitar with me.
What do you dislike most about the music industry?
I think the worst aspect is the kind of hierarchy that’s reinforced by the likes of Spotify where only the very top artists really benefit and get backed. But it feels like the underground indie scene is fighting back now so that’s very positive.
If you could open a show for any artist who would it be?
I’d probably say either New Order, Johnny Marr, The Cure or Noel Gallagher. All absolute legends who I massively respect as artists. To open a gig for any of them would be incredible.
If you were to headline a gig this weekend, which three independent artists are supporting and why?
There’s so much independent talent around at the moment so that’s a really tough question! I love Glass Violet’s sound so I’d definitely want them on the bill. The Capollos are awesome aswell – great energy and tunes, and I reckon they’d really get the crowd going. And I’d have to say Sam Lambeth too who is a massive talent and a really great guy. In reality, I think I’d be supporting all of these guys! What a line-up though!
Playing live is such a massive buzz if you have a great crowd that really get into it. It’s like one massive party when that happens.
What is next for you musically?
I’ve got a few more big singles to release that I think are the best I’ve ever written, so I’ll be looking to release those soon. And then I’m really keen to finish my 3rd album but just can’t get in the studio until late-May due to lockdown. So I’m going to try to be productive with the time and finish writing Album 4. I already have a number of big tunes for it that are ready to record.
Lastly, I’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who supports me by listening to the songs, putting me on playlists or radio shows, buying merch or supporting me in any other way – it means the world when people are interested and enjoy the songs, so thank you!
You catch Jay on Twitter @Jaytennat_ where he is constantly sharing music with us all. Also listen to his music on Spotify