Northampton singer Jake Brown has been building his reputation over the past couple of years, and is set to break out with new single ‘Crystal Eyes’. New Boots briefly stops the admiration and starts with the questions.
New Boots: How did you get into making music?
Jake Brown: I come from a musical family. Listening to every genre under the sun growing up with my parents – and being the youngest of four – I was exposed to all different music. I first started making music at university when my producer WILLD studied music production [who I’ve worked with on previous songs with], he overheard me singing in my room and shower. He needed a vocalist for a module, and low and behold we made some tracks, and I got the bug for it from then on.
How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
I find it hard to pin down my exact sound, as I’d like to think I’m quite versatile – which is part of the reason I am forever developing my sound. But if I had to pin it down I’d say it’s a modern soulful R&B sound. My main influences are Justin Timberlake, Usher, Ne-yo, and Craig David.
What was the reaction like to those collection of 2020 singles? Did they feel like the next step, sonically?
The reaction to my 2020 singles were good on the whole, but they were more experimental in testing the response of my audience, and putting out a piece of my ongoing story. They were certainly a development in my sound, but are part of a HUGE catalogue I’m sitting on, and these two made the cut of the older songs I wanted to bring to life.
Tell us about this new release with Dupex, ‘Crystal Eyes’.
I was told about Dupex by my brother who worked with him on a construction site, and my brother mentioned about this DJ he’d been working with. I found him on Instagram and we instantly admired each other’s work. We got talking about doing a track together in future. Both continuing our journeys. Low and behold Dupex made an instrumental that was originally meant for “Jodie”, the singer on ‘T2 – Heartbroken’. However Dupex sent the instrumental to me to see what I could come up with. Having wanted to work with him for a while I came up with the melody almost instantly, and had a finished demo to him the next day. Dupex loved the song and we put things in motion, and that was the birth of ‘Crystal Eyes’. It was mastered by Josh Hunter. The song had a lot of interest from various record labels and was made Track of the Week on BBC Introducing, and was played four weeks in a row on the show leading up to it’s release. With a lot of general public feedback from promo clips and hearing it on BBC Introducing there was a lot of hype behind the pre-release. Therefore we opted to release ‘Crystal Eyes’ independently, and the rest is history. ‘Crystal Eyes’ was written as that perfect going out song for when lockdown ended. The beat is a toe-tapper and epitomises the feeling we all want when clubs open again and we can hit the dance floor. “Let your body rock from side to side, move your feet until your satisfied”. It’s the ultimate dance song to get people going, up on their feet and dancing like we have all missed. It’s the ultimate summer feel-good song.
You performed at the Picturedrome in Northampton last year; is the live thing a new thing for you? What are your live shows like?
My Picturedrome shows were amazing. Whilst limited capacity they sold out, and the place was buzzing. I have always done live gigging, but I much prefer doing original material, which is why I may not gig as frequently as other artists than do a set of cover music, which has limited my gigging experience to now. My live shows are a mixture of covers and original material, it’s great to gauge what goes down well and test new material. I like to mix it up, and attempt to showcase my voice by doing everything from your slow R&B songs to upbeat Motown classics, all to get peoples heads bopping.
Has the lockdowns/pandemic period been one that has helped or hindered your creativity?
I’d say a mixture of the two. I feel I have became an extroverted introvert 🤣 I’m such social person when I’m out and when you meet me, but nights in seem like the norm right now. I have definitely developed creatively as an artist through lockdown, working on learning both guitar and piano which has enhanced my creativity. I have written some of my greatest material to date in the midst of it, through my struggles, which is due to be released in June.
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I constantly like to listen and find new music. But The last album I streamed was J.Cole Offseason. Although perhaps not a direct influence of my music my taste is so vast that I get inspiration from everywhere, as a lot of artists do. For me Cole’s artistry, flow and lyricism is up there with the best of our generation.
What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
My burning desire in the not so distant future is to have a headline show in Northampton that I sell out.
I want to continue releasing more music which I have plenty coming this year, continue gigging and getting new fans and meeting new people in the industry.
I have a new single coming in June and I am looking to release my first body of work in a four-track EP this year, which is in motion as we speak and which I’m really excited for. I want to continue gigging and building my catalogue along with my artistry; to start making my mark on this wonderful industry.
‘Crystal Eyes’ by Dupex and Jake Brown is out via the usual digital platforms