Kicking off his journey in music with his debut release Pick Me Up, and recent single Hey, alt-pop singer-songwriter Jalle is certainly placing his stamp on the music scene with his eclectic and unique brand of artistry. Marking himself out as an artist to watch, there are exciting things to come for the talented UK singer! Following the release of his recent single, Shitfaced, we sat down with the talented teen to talk about life as an artist, 2020, Hey, and everything music!
How have you been finding 2020 life? It’s been a bit insane to say the least!
“It started alright and then it just kind of went downhill!”
A pretty apt depiction of the year so far! As our conversation begins on the ever-familiar topic of the craziness of this year, we began talking about the impact 2020 has had on Jalle as he starts out on his journey.
“I think Zoom kind of changed the game in terms of my creativity” Jalle mentions, as we talk about the ways he’s been managing to stay creative over the past few months. “I’m one of those people who has to get out of the house to want to create; I can’t be in my bedroom writing songs anymore! I used to be able to do that, but I think it was coming from a different place. Now I just have to be out, I have to see the world and feel inspired by other people”.
Do you find that you have to be out in nature, and out in the world, to truly get that inspiration and have those experiences to have things to write about?
“Yeah! I think I always have to do something around the time I’m going to write a song. Whether it’s like seeing my mates a week before or doing something stupid or messing up; it kind of keeps that machine churning and keeps me feeling creative. Because I think if I’m cooped up all the time in my house, I just don’t feel like doing anything all day except watching Netflix and chilling instead of actually doing my job haha!”
After sharing our favourite shows we’ve currently been binging on Netflix – with the latest series of Jalle’s current watch, Mayans M.C. (BBC) having been postponed – we got talking about the heart-breaking state of the live events industry, and all the tours and events that have unfortunately been postponed this year. “That’s one thing we’re all kind of anxious about, like ‘when can I perform?’ I just did a live video yesterday and it’s the closest thing I’ve had to performing to a room of people, which is very strange!” When asked what he is looking forward to the most about live performances when they manage to resume, Jalle spoke about that feeling and emotion of enjoying the music in person, together.
“I think just watching people vibe back to my music and getting a sense of buzz, just watching all the people and smiling faces in the crowd! Even like my mum crying because she’s so proud. And then meeting the people that come talk to me after the shows just boosts my confidence a bit more and makes me want to do it again”
From Jalle’s anthemic debut single, Pick Me Up – a song which received a plethora of support from the likes of Annie Mac, MistaJam, i-D and Clash Magazine – he has most certainly been on the rise, and cemented himself as one of the most exciting new artists to emerge onto the scene. With an effortless versatility and genre-blending style, Jalle easily displays his song writing prowess and lyrical talent, whether writing about doomed romances, growing pains or getting high with his mates.
We then got to talking about all the creative changes that have happened within the music industry this year, and in particular how technology has helped artists continue to create.
Have you managed to do any collaborations with other creatives and artists, either via Zoom or social media?
“Yeah – I think for the first two weeks when lockdown happened I didn’t do anything at all, but then I got one session that went all right and I was like ‘let’s do this again!’ I got one session with Oscar Scheller, and he’s the nicest guy, and I just connected with him! And it didn’t even feel like I was on Zoom, it was like I was in the room. I think I did like 25 Zoom sessions over lockdown. I finished my EP on Zoom and the whole A&R process too”.
Do you reckon that you’ll continue to use that whole online Zoom process for future writing and creative processes?
“I think so, because if there’s someone over in America, for example, that I wanted to work with, and I couldn’t go over there because of the current climate, I’m more than happy to do Zoom sessions. I think it connects people from other sides of the world, and people who can’t necessarily travel. I think it makes it so much easier!”
So do you have any of those international artists or producers who you’re already thinking you’d love to work or collaborate with at some point?
“Yeah, so there’s Andrew Goldstein who does a lot of the Blackbear stuff who I’d love to work with. And Kevin White, who does loads of Bazzi stuff; I think they’d be great because I like all the work they’ve done so far!”
‘All about getting drunk or high, and calling that person you know you shouldn’t’; Jalle’s recent single Hey is a record that truly demonstrates his skill as a songwriter and lyricist.
“I wrote that on Zoom in lockdown” Jalle says, talking of the single. “It’s basically about me being in lockdown and messaging a girl I know I shouldn’t have messaged, and just being like ‘Hey! What you saying? Can we talk?’, and the scenarios I put myself in. Like, trying to bring other people into my life to fill this hole that I was feeling. I was feeling a bit lonely.”
It seems like a lot of people have been feeling those exact same complex emotions of isolation and loneliness. And I feel like for a lot of artists, that has come out as a prominent theme within their recent song writing and releases!
“Yeah! I think a lot of the music coming out now is a lot sadder. I think with streaming as well, because you have people like Machine Gun Kelly, Halsey, Post Malone and Blackbear who make sad songs. I don’t know, I think our generation has this sort of doom lingering on from the last generation. Older people call us the snowflake generation, it’s because we feel more. I feel like we’re more – we are honest with our emotions – but there’s also this sense of hiding from something, and I think that does translate to the music, because people want to feel more and connect, and know that it’s not just them alone. I kind of like sad songs more than happy songs!”
Talking about all the incredible releases coming out of 2020, we also got chatting about Jalle’s upcoming debut EP; and spoke a bit more about what we can expect sonically and artistically from the record.
“I think it’s quite a personal EP but done in a way that it’s universal, and you can interpret any song any which way you want to interpret it. But to me it’s my life up till now. And it’s just my stories that I have to tell, and things that have happened to me recently and things that have happened in the past. I’m very proud of it!”
So you’ve released two singles so far – Hey and Pick Me Up – and you’re gearing up for this next release! With Hey and Pick Me Up having two quite different vibes, how would you say this reflects what you want your overall sound and artistic style to be?
“I think genre-fluid is my main aspiration for my whole project. I want to bend genres, but keep the rock theme and hip-hop style and swagger. I want to do what I want to do, and what I feel like. I just want to make cool songs and mould things together, like an 808 and a rock riff – and just keep on doing stuff that shouldn’t necessarily work but is working at the moment for a lot of artists, and just stuff I enjoy listening to”.
A lot of music and artists at the moment do seem to be taking that lead of being more genre-fluid, and not feeling constricted to stay in one neat generic box, which is really nice because it means you can put out a real range of music, and get to explore all sides of you and your personality.
“I think that’s what’s great about music at the moment, you can just do what you want and what you feel like. I’ve only just touched the surface of things I want to do, and I want to do more crazy stuff and find out what else I love just as much as the stuff I’m making at the moment. This is like the building blocks; and I want to develop it a bit more, and explore, and get it wrong to get it right. I think that’s the most important thing – getting it wrong and learning from it”.
Absolutely! Have there been any main learning curves that you’ve already encountered and learned from?
“Not being so quick to jump the gun in shutting things down. I think just talking things through and not being so quick to explode and say ‘I’m doing what I want to do’. Just listening. Learning to deal with authority in this industry took me a while; I’m still a teenager after all so there’s still a bit of backlash sometimes haha!
Haha! So as we head towards the end of the year and into 2021, as well as your upcoming releases, do you have any goals that you’re hoping to achieve over the next couple of months?
“I think just to keep writing, and bettering myself. And working on the next EP to make it better. I just want to up myself every time I release stuff and just make better and better music. I haven’t really looked to the future too much, I kind of look to the moment and just enjoy it. It’s weird because in 2020, I haven’t really set myself any goals apart from this EP because I don’t know what’s around the corner with this whole situation we’re in. But I think just getting this EP out and writing more songs – and then getting the next EP out!”
It was an absolute pleasure to chat to Jalle – his latest single Shitfaced is out now! Definitely make sure to check out Jalle and his music, and keep your eyes and ears peeled for his brand new EP Hey, which is out today!
To keep up with him and his artistic journey, follow Jalle on all his socials @thisisjalle