JAQ Interview

JAQ interview
JAQ interview

JAQ Interview. Up and coming publisher, songwriter and producer JAQ has made quite the impression with his new tracks that have been played on Radio 1 by Danny Howard and at renowned places such as Ministry Of Sound and Ultra. With his new release, ‘Machine’ and his music in the duo ‘Ekcle’ genre-less electronic masterpieces, expect to see him at big festivals soon! Read our JAQ Interview to learn more about the Bristolian’s rise to fame.

What got you into music? What was it that you loved?

I started playing the piano at a young age and then followed with the guitar. I always loved film scores and have appreciated all music from metal to score to reggae to very left-field. I always liked the emotional and energetic side of things and have never cared if something is regarded as ‘cool’ or not!

How do you go about songwriting, does inspiration come in random spurts or can you sit down and just write?

I can usually just sit down and write, although sometimes I go through stages of no creativity and productivity. If that happens I usually take a trip downstairs to the kitchen and have a snoop around. I prefer writing with other people, although sometimes it can be difficult if your ideas aren’t on the same wavelength.

Who are your idols, who do you take inspiration from?

Hans Zimmer, Bob Marley, a lot of the more underground producers who just make great music and get on with it, I don’t usually feel artists that are in the spotlight or mainstream – I love to discover underground artists

I love your new track ‘Machine’ what’s the reaction been like? 

It’s been great so far, the song had been through about 10 different versions before we finally settled on this version. I’m very pleased with the remixes that came with it; also the Raumakustik remix just got played by Danny Howard on Radio 1.

You collaborated with emerging singer Jordan Lisle for the track, how was it? 

Good fun, we originally wrote the tune back at university together a few years ago. I was studying Production and Jordan was a vocal student at ACM in Guildford. The song never got properly finished but always had that hook ‘I’ll be your machine’. One day I just decided to finish it so I rang Jordan and told him my thoughts and we got together and just tweaked it a bit.

Is there anyone in particular you would really like to work with in the future? 

There’s many. In all styles and all ranges. Someone I’d actually really like to work with is Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish Composer).

Nowadays, Spotify and Soundcloud are such prominent streaming sites, do you like the way they help to really engage an audience? 

Spotify is pretty good, Soundcloud has a lot of room for improvement. It’s actually very frequently cited amongst the electronic music community from all corners and all genres that unless you are on a major label then Soundcloud is a bit hit-and-miss, it’s definitely not just my opinion. I really like Spotify though. They’ve featured JAQ and my other project, Ekcle, on some of their official playlists which is great and always results in lots of others discovering the songs I write. I also really like the Discover Weekly playlist, I hear some great new music each week. Streaming has obviously changed the people discover new music and it’s constantly changing the goalposts, and challenging the historical dominance of radio in breaking new acts.

Your songwriting and production has already earned huge club reactions from renowned places such as Ministry Of Sound and Ultra, how does that feel? 

It feels great to know that people are enjoying my music worldwide and to a wide range of audiences. Hopefully one day I’ll be one the pressing play on those stages!

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As well as your budding songwriting and production career, you’re also one half of duo ‘Ekcle’, where did the inspiration come from as far as the name and the direction you want to take your music in? 

The name came from a combination of a random name generator and my love for Eccle cakes! It’s a made-up word as far as I’m aware. The direction there is, well… any direction. If you listen to the music you’ll quickly realise that we incorporate pretty much every single genre into our music at some point along the line. If we think it sounds good, we do it. We commonly see the phrase ‘breaking boundaries’ and it really doesn’t too often mean anything, we actually wanted to break boundaries with the music we write, actual genre switch ups, tempo changes, energy diversions. It’s pretty cool. We hope to bring a live show element to it too.

Your recent release managed to rack up around 100k streams, which is so crazy, how does it feel to know so many people are listening? 

Again it’s fantastic to know that that many people are listening and sharing with others! We only had our first songwriting session about a year ago. It shows we’re doing something right! People are digging the interesting music we’re writing and we frequently hear how unique and experimental the music is and we really appreciate that.

For a musician, I’m sure one of the best things is to see a crowd enjoying your music, are there any events, festivals or venues that you really want to play at? 

I really would like to play at Outlook, Boomtown, EDC, and of course the big ones like Coachella. We are talking to agents now so hopefully it wont be too long before you see JAQ or Ekcle up there!

Last of all, where do you see yourself going, what’s next?

Publishing, songwriting and production hopefully, I have a lot more to offer than house music and I hope that I can show that to people and it can also earn me a living. The music business is really changing because of the demise of downloading and the rise of streaming and it feels exciting to be around an evolving model which seems to be adapting daily!

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