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Q&A: Jake Morley

Jake Morley interview

How did you get into music?

I have my dad to thank for becoming a singer-songwriter. My dad was a fantastic influence on me. He brought me up on Steely Dan, Frank Zappa, Miles Davis… I remember he once played the whole of Holst’s Planet Suite from beginning to end, with his commentary and big hand gestures all the way through. I was also quite shy as a child, and music seemed to set me free from that.

Who do you follow religiously on Twitter?

We are living in an age of distraction with more information available to us now than we could ever need. And here I am creating even more! We should be thinking about how we pay attention to something as well as what we pay attention to. The internet is a treasure trove of incredible, educational, mind-expanding gold hidden amongst the largest collection of addictive mind-numbing crap ever created. That said, I really love @showerthoughtts.

What have you been reading lately?
Nothing. I’m dreadful. I haven’t read a book in ages. It’s a disgrace. Hearing other people’s ideas is hugely important and yet I often try to go it alone. For my most recent album I locked myself away a lot to write which was intense and exciting. There were some tremendous discoveries but it’s a little dangerous too.

Which song do you wish you had written?
I get obsessed by songs. For a week I’ll listen to nothing else but one song because my brain cannot get enough of it. Then it’ll drop away and another will take its place. One week it was ‘Suddenly Seymour’ from Little Shop of Horrors! I literally couldn’t listen to anything else. But I don’t want to encourage the envy of ‘I wish I’d written this song’. I’d much rather feel gratitude for the fact that great songs exist.

We’re at the bar. What are you drinking?
Well perhaps it’s time for a plug. I actually released a beer last year through a brewery called Signature Brew who collaborate with artists and bands to create a beer that represents them and their music. Mine was called Beautiful Shambles and it was inspired by a song on my new album called Watch Yourself where I duet with my unconscious mind.

Who would you dread getting stuck in a lift with?
I don’t know how it happened but I just don’t mind people. In fact you have to have a frightening level of idiocy for it to register with me as being irritating. So I don’t know… I just find people interesting. Even paper salesman from Slough have a story.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I used to spend hours in the garden re-creating David Platt’s volley against Belgium from the 1990 world cup.

If you could change on thing about London, what would it be?

I’d reduce the rents so that culture doesn’t die. That’s the problem right now. I feel like London is risking creative death because to truly birth something culturely you need people with a bit of time on their hands who are forced into a corner and start taking risks. Right now people either have no time or if they can afford time they don’t have enough at stake. Don’t get me wrong in some genres it’s thriving, and there’s such a big audience here the best stuff will always pass through and influence people. But I think London risks being a soulless administrative hub.

What gigs, songs or albums are you promoting at the moment?

My new album is called The Manual and it was my attempt to address the big questions of adulthood. Each song is like a diary entry and every detail was patiently arranged over 3 years, we felt like clockmakers! It has beautiful string arrangements, lush production and lyrics that I fought myself very hard to produce.

I really wanted to challenge myself to find something special, both in the form of answers to those questions and also a great album as the two had become very much entwined. Letting go of youth, discovering yourself as an adult… it can be hard to make that transition and this story emerged of a personal manual for that journey as I felt it. The CD is also bound like a book, I wanted it to be a great thing to own if you like CDs or books.

How can we find out more about you?

Put my music on. Start here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jake+morley

Then here: http://po.st/jmspotify

Join my tribe here: http://www.facebook.com/jakemorleymusic

And here: http://www.twitter.com/jakemorley

Tony McDonagh
About Tony McDonagh (74 Articles)
National and Regional Radio & Press PR co. Working with some of the best established, independent and up and coming artists around London.