JAY BROWN UNVEILS VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE ‘GREEN’
‘MY NAME IS HER‘ EP OUT FEBRUARY 23RD IN CONJUNCTION WITH RELEASE SHOW AT THE WAITING ROOM
Northampton-born singer/songwriter Jay Brown has just unveiled a video for new single ‘Green‘ – which comes off her forthcoming EP ‘My Name Is Her‘ – set for release on Turn First Records on 23rd February.
Born into a huge musical family, growing up singing in gospel church and spending her teenage years fronting a rock band for which she wrote all the songs, Jay took her time to realise that her future lay in music. Football was her first passion – she played for her county, spent weekends watching Newcastle and her earliest ambition, she cringingly admits, was to be the first female player in the Premier League.
“I’m one of six siblings, all of whom sang and played instruments,” says Jay. “I grew up thinking everyone made music. Almost from birth I was singing in church. In Pentecostal gospel church, where everyone really goes for it, you almost train to sing without noticing it. We all went to a school run by our parents where music was mandatory.”
Watch the video for ‘Green’ here:
Jay played piano from the age of 5, until she got a guitar when she turned 15. Immediately, she began writing songs, adapting lyrics from poetry she’d written or her daily diary entries. She formed a Skunk Anansie-style shouty rock band with her two best male mates and her brother as drummer.
“Even then, I didn’t think my passion for music was unusual,” says Jay. “I thought everyone loved it as much as I did. At home, my sister would be in her room blasting out soul and R&B and I’d be in mine blaring out emo, Nirvana and Pearl Jam.”
It was only when Jay moved from her native Northampton to London to study psychology that she realised how much making music meant to her. She was devastated by the break up of her band, but scared of starting out solo.
“I didn’t have the confidence to stand on stage alone,” she recalls. “Eventually the urge to perform became so strong that I forced myself to do it. My first gig was terrifying. I missed having people around me to bounce off. But the reaction was good, so I found my confidence.”
When Jay should have been studying, she was making her mark on London’s sprawling club circuit, adapting her love of rock to solo performances on an acoustic guitar, alongside spending months writing in a derelict house in Northampton that her Mother owned, with cellist and friend Val Balligand.
Along the way, Jay has built up strong bonds between fellow artists and contemporaries, including Bastille (Dan) and his manager Mark – who invited her out on tour last year. “I met Mark and Dan and they become mentors. Mark helped me realise how my songs could sound and brought in backing musicians. Dan was amazing at giving me advice. He still is.” Jay has also been collaborating and writing with her friend Ed Sheeran, another impressive string to add to her bow.
BBC Introducing in Jay’s native Northampton picked up previous track ‘Video’, played it and suggested it to Radio 1, who playlisted it. The same happened with ‘Keep Talking’, by which time there was lots of label interest. Last autumn, Jay signed to Turn First, home to Ellie Goulding, Dan Croll & Jack Garratt, who release her ‘My Name Is Her‘ EP on 23rd February.
Jay now has her own five–piece band, including cellist Val, and following support slots with the likes of Rufus Wainwright earlier this year, she’s no doubt in for a busy 12 months ahead – starting with a headline show on 23rd February 2015 at The Waiting Room, in association with Communion.
Listen to previous EP track ‘Diamond’ here:
23 February, The Waiting Room, London