Jaymes Young


Being a songwriter comes first for you, so do you remember when you had that realization of wanting to be a writer? What was that like?

I honestly never had that moment. I think I just started writing so much, and at some point you’d have been able to say, “Hey, I think you might be a writer.” But I’m not typically too proud of anything, I always want the next best thing in songwriting. I don’t ever want to stop growing as a songwriter. I’m really hard on myself that way. I think most of the people I surround myself with told me that the album was done 6 months before I felt it was done. I’m always going to be like that.

When did music become part of the equation to writing? What past influences of music did you have to create your “sound”?

Music was always a part of the picture. Even when I didn’t know how to play or write music, I could hear rhythms and melodies in my head. Sometimes I would write lyrics to another artist's song or instrumentals just to practice. Do I have a sound? Please do let me know, I don’t think I’ve figured it out yet. *laughs*

What's the songwriting process like for you? Do you have any routines that you do before you start writing?

Not a lot of routine in my writing process, much like there isn’t a whole lot of routine in my life. I want things to happen naturally and for creativity to exist outside of rules.

Congrats on the release of your debut album - Feel Something. How long has this album been in the works? How does it feel to finally have it released?

Thank you! It feels good to have the album out. It’s strange writing for so long and then just stopping cold turkey to do all of the other work that goes along with releasing something like this. Every song is old to me, but its really cool to see people bringing them back to life and saying things about them that maybe I thought when I first wrote them. 

You recorded your first EP in your bedroom. What was it like recording in an actual studio for this album? Did the location make a difference for you?

The location has a huge impact on the vibe - from the geological location, right down to the actual studio. It’s important to create and be in a space that feels good and lets your creativity breathe.

Do you have some memorable moments of writing or recording any specific tracks? 

I’ve got little memories attached to different parts of the album, but it also feels a bit blurry to me and very fragmented at the moment. I remember recording “Don’t You Know” in a guest house over in Van Nuys where I lived for awhile. It was so hot I could barely sleep in that house. I’m surprised I finished any music there at all!

Do you have a favorite/special track that you're particularly proud of? Why?

I try not to get too excited about my own songs (don’t ask why), but of course I’m proud of what my labors produced. I’m particularly more happy with songs like “Stone” where I feel like I’m touching on subjects that aren’t always comfortable for people to talk about in regard to their own lives. “Naked” is a song I’m very happy with as well. It really was a moment of release for me during a time when I really needed to say something about what I was feeling.

What do you want your listeners to take away from the album?

I would hope that listeners simply give each song a chance to marinade a bit, don’t over play anything. Most importantly I want them to see that I’m on some kind of path, and that I’m going to keep giving 100% of myself into creating music as honestly as possible.

The response for “We Won’t" was very positive and has gotten great reviews - what was it like working with Phoebe Ryan and the entire process of that song? 

Phoebe Ryan is awesome, she’s just super down to get creative and make music without giving any fucks… That’s not always the case with collaborations, they can be complicated, and overthought. My experience with We Won’t was exactly the opposite. We found vibes and energies that we liked and immediately committed to those aspects, and I loved it. I actually don’t always work well with others, since most of my experience has come from working alone, but working on We Wont was a breeze, and felt totally natural.

Another successful single from the album was I'll Be Good. Where did your inspiration from that song come from since it seems very personal?

Oh boy… well when I wrote I’ll Be Good, I was taking a hard look at myself, and I still am (in the quiet moments when I can find them). It is indeed a personal song and for me was difficult to write at times because of the indications it has about my self image and perception. It’s not always easy to do the right thing, and its harder sometimes to apologize or make up for the mistakes that you’ve made. That song is really a vow to at least try and do those things. 

What's the biggest difference between live performances and just recording for you, if there is a difference?

The biggest difference on stage is that everything happens in order and can’t be changed, its obviously much more raw. That has positive and negative consequences because everything you do is final, which is both great and nerve racking. In the studio however, there’s a sense of forgiving and space. There is time to explore and craft the exact sound that you want.

Are you working on something right now even though you'll be on tour?

I’m always working on new ideas, and I’ve got some in my pocket that I can’t wait to work on again. I’m addicted to songwriting and I’ll be doing it every chance that I get.

Follow Jaymes: Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Photos by Talia Azadian.
Story by Caitlin Ison.

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