Jay Carteré – Interview

Describe your sound in 3 words…

Honest, clear and witty. Well, I try to be anyway.

Tell us something random about yourself?

Haha, when I was about 8 years old I used to draw comics and sell them in primary school. I also started selling those scoubidou string things when those got popular, I always liked creating and being an entrepreneur.

So how did it all begin? When did you first get into performing/music?

I first started creating music when I was 13. I was always pretty good at English, so I figured that writing lyrics would be a piece of cake. I started off just playing around making grime tracks spitting into my friend’s laptop (we didn’t even have a mic back then). Eventually I started to take it more seriously as I made the transition from spitting about spitting to rapping about real life.

What’s your earliest musical memory?

My earliest music memory is of me at about 5 years old singing the song ‘You Make Me Wanna’ by Usher to my siblings in my brother’s room, I used to know all the words.

Who would you say your main influences are?

My influences change from year to year. Every time I stumble upon a new artist and they’re interesting, it inspires me. But people like Drake, Jay Z, Kanye West, The Weeknd and Big Sean are guys that influence me and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. However recently, as I was working on dance music, my main inspirations included Avicii, Calvin Harris and Swedish House Mafia to name a few.

What artist have you worked with or any collabs in the pipeline?

As of now, I’ve mainly worked with people I know and hang out with such as Levels, Mike and a few others. I’ve also made a couple songs with artists that just didn’t come out, so that’s a shame, I am open to work with any artists that wanna hit me up, but recently I’ve just been focusing on perfecting my craft, both as an artist and a producer.

Who is your favourite performer and who would you like to collaborate with?

This is a hard one. I’d have to give to Drake, Jay-z, The Weeknd or Big Sean, because they all make music that relates to me in different ways or that I just find incredibly witty and smart. I’d also like to work with J Spades, Chip, Caitlyn Scarlett, The Weeknd and a whole bunch of people, but it’d take me forever to list them all.

What have you been listening to recently?

Recently I’ve just been introduced to Travis Scott’s music via one of my friends and I’ve been pleasantly surprised, I’ve also been listening to some Fall Out Boy and Lorde. I’ve really widened my musical pallet recently.

What are your top 3 tunes of the moment?

Well these are my go to songs anytime I fling on some music:

Drugs you should try – Travis Scott

All about the money – T.I ft Young Thug

And any song by The Weeknd, that guy just makes audio gold. Anything he releases makes my ears shed a tear.

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What up coming artists would you recommend?

Caitlyn Scarlett, Stormzy, Clixx and I don’t really know who else would count as up and coming. I usually wait till an artist has a full project before I give them a listen and they’re usually brought to my attention through a friend and, by that time, they’re usually quite big.

Any advice for up and coming artists/performers?

First of all make sure you’re surrounded by people that will tell you if you make something wack, ‘yes’ men are useless. Then make loads of songs and only release the songs that are okay’d by the people around you. And try to put out music videos for all of those songs.

Projects and mixtapes are for people who’ve already taken an interest in your music, music videos are where you’ll attract new fans.

Also, don’t spam. I understand the urge to spam because I made that same mistake when I first started, but if you spam everyone, chances are people will start tuning you out.

Are there things you would like to see change or improve within the industry/music biz?

I wish people who listen to urban music would start buying it and supporting upcoming artists.

When did you make the decision to start pursuing music as an actual career?

When I was 16 and my drama teacher gave me a merit instead of a distinction for my final project. I said “Screw this. I’m going to pursue music instead.”

So have you got goals and ambitions outside of music?

Outside of music, I also run a video production company called Coolcut Films and I’d love to get more involved in making films.

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You’ve dedicated a lot of your time to music and a lot of people are very grateful for
that! What is it about music that keeps you coming back for more?

I’m addicted to improvement, so every time I make a track I try to make it better than my last. It’s the constant evolving that makes me want to create more.

What do you look forward to the most about playing live/making music?

I look forward to the finished product the most, when I’m really excited about a project I’ll dream about waking up and finishing it, I just love the process of moulding something into a finished project that other people can enjoy.

What have been some of the best moments of your musical career/ journey so far?

Releasing my mixtape ‘Caesar Augustus’ was a big moment for me, because I could look back and see just how far I had come. Producing my first track was also an important milestone in my career. I had always looked at the art of producing like it was some sort of mythological process likened to alchemy, learning how to construct a track from the ground up really opened my eyes and helped me a lot.

Getting my videos posted on sites such as SBTV, Link Up TV and Death Kiss Media also encouraged me to continue creating. Hearing someone say that they enjoy your music is probably the best thing that can happen to an artist.

Can you tell us about some of the ideas behind your tracks?

Some of my tracks are created from a conscious effort to document moments in my lifetime E.g. ‘Love of Money’ or ‘Pussy’ – these tracks are conceived through personal experience. Sometimes my tracks are just a stream of consciousness created to be catchy and get you dance, like ‘The Night’ or my latest single, ‘I Wanna’.

How do you approach the transition from finished studio recordings to live performance?

I try to make sure that I’m comfortable performing the song within the studio first. If I run out of breath or something, I analyse the track and see what I can take away or add in order to make it more comfortable to perform. If I’m comfortable performing it in the studio, then it can be used in a live performance.

What music can we look forward to from you this year?

You can expect to hear some more dance tracks and a few urban tracks to close the year, and you can probably catch a couple music videos coming out early next year.


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Jay Carteré releases his second single ‘I Wanna’, follow up to ‘The Night’, on 24th November. An energetic, rhythmic dance tune produced by Jay himself, possessing a sombre vibe, a party track perfect for a Saturday night. Pre-order ‘I Wanna’ below and watch out for much more from Jay Carteré in the year ahead . . .



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