BRISTOL lad Jay Beale is part of the wave of D.I.Y. artists…
laying down beats and electronics in a bedroom setting. Still based at university; he is creating some of the rawest and honest music around. Listening to his songs and you feel like you’re actually in the room as it’s being recorded. I talk to him about Bristol and the people who influence him. A fan of The Streets; I wondered whether Original Pirate Material – an album fifteen years old – had inspired his music in any way. Beale has met and support Pete Doherty; he is one of the most promising new artists in Bristol right now. He discusses the albums that have influenced him most and how important the music of the early-‘00s is to him. With so many new musicians coming through, I was keen to see what advice he would offer and whether there are any new names he would recommend we investigate.
Hi, Jay. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey. I’m not bad. Really happy to finally get the E.P. out!
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
Hey. My name’s Jay Beale and I’m a twenty-year-old musician and producer. I used to write mainly Alternative-Rock music. But, in the last six months or so, I’ve delved into more Electronic music. I recently release an E.P., 359, which you can get on the likes of Spotify, iTunes and SoundCloud.
359 is the new E.P. What can you tell us about it and the significance behind that title?
359 is the length of the original demo. of that track (3-minutes-59-seconds). I couldn’t think of a name when I first made it so put that (and ended up keeping it).
Can you tell me how you got into music or what the reason was?
I’ve been interested in music for as long as I can remember. I really can’t remember a specific time when I got into it.
You are a Bristol lad. What is the music scene like there and how has it changed since the 1990s and Trip-Hop, for instance?
There’s always something going on in Bristol, music-wise.
I haven’t really kept up with the music scene there for the last couple years as I’ve been down in Falmouth at uni. Bristol is a great city for art.
Your music borrows from Electronica, New Wave and the legends of British Rock. You have eclectic tastes. Who are the artists you adore and those most influential to you?
I’d say it’s weird, as my music is now very Electronic-based, but I don’t really listen to that much Electronic music. I’m starting to get into it more now – as I’m writing in that genre – but at the moment I listen to Alt-Rock and Hip-Hop a lot more.
How do you get a song down? Is it D.I.Y./bedroom-made or there is any studio work at all?
It’s all bedroom and field-recording. My room (in my student house) is tiny so I actually use one of my housemate’s rooms to record everything.
I didn’t go into the studio once to make this E.P. – I much prefer writing and recording at home.
Whenever I write a song, I have to record it as I’m writing it; I can’t do it any other way. It’s cool as it means every song I write I have a demo. to either work from or develop.
How important are social media and the fans in regards giving you drive and that passion?
I wouldn’t say it gives me any more drive or passion. I love making music and would do it regardless of showing it. That said, it’s nice to be able to write stuff and then share it with people – especially when they like it as I guess it does encourage me to write more.
Can we expect to see a full-length record in the future, perhaps?
Listening to the E.P.’s experimentation and I get hints of The Streets – that sort of Original Pirate Material rawness and field recordings. Is he someone you listened to a lot and how important were British artists of the early-’00s to you?
Yeah, I love The Streets. Original Pirate Material is one of my favourite albums; I definitely take influence from them.
I’ve done a fair bit of field-recording this year: I find it really fun writing and producing with random sounds as I don’t feel any boundaries. I can literally record and add-in (whatever I want) and use effects I wouldn’t usually use. Artists in the early-’00s are a big influence to me, in general. Most of my favourite albums are from around that time.
You have supported Peter Doherty in Brixton. What was that experience like and what is he like to hang with?
It was a definitely an experience. I didn’t really hang with him – was just briefly introduced. I remember he was listening to R.H.C.P. (Red Hot Chili Peppers) when I went up to meet him, which was cool.
London seems like a city set up for you. Can you see yourself moving there or are you settled in Bristol?
Bristol is an amazing city but I think I’d want a change in the future – London’s definitely a possibility.
If you had to select three albums that have meant most to you which would they be and why?
Is This It by The Strokes.
As they’ve both come up here, By the Way and Original Pirate Material would also be up there. My parents’ love this ‘The Chilis’ and played them loads as I was growing up so that album is pretty special to me.
The same goes for Original Pirate Material: I was listening to that record loads as I grew up, as again, my dad would play it.
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
Being at uni. studying Music; there are new artists everywhere. It’s great as there’s so much opportunity for collaboration.
What advice would you offer songwriters coming through right now?
Get stuff out there.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can name any song you like (not one of yours as I’ll do that) and I’ll play it here.
A Dream of You and Me – Future Islands
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