Having spent the last few years crafting a sound that looks to blend the worlds of rock, jazz and blues, Edinburgh-based singer and songwriter Jack Hinks now looks to sweep us off our feet once again with his latest swoon 'Los Angeles'.
With its smooth and lo-fi aesthetic, 'Los Angeles' makes for an incredibly warm and humbling serenade. Capturing the same euphoric magic as Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Fleet Foxes, this sweet and breezy new swoon is the perfect remedy to a long, hard day stuck in the office.
So with his new offering calming our nerves throughout, we sat down with him to find out more about his background and what has inspired him most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
The first instrument I fell in love with was guitar, but I’d always enjoyed singing from a very young age, before I ever knew I wanted to be a musician.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Most of my music comes from personal experiences. One of the first gigs I ever went to resulted with the guitarist teaching me for the next few years, so I owe a lot to him and his playing and writing style. I tend to write mainly around my life experiences, and I’m such a hopeless romantic that heartbreak tends to be a common theme, be it actually romantic or not.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
I’ve always loved a huge range of styles. I was raised on a wide diet of artists, and I think the mix of genres had a lasting effect effect on me. Jazz, Rock, Hip Hop, Singer-Songwriter and Pop sort of blurred the lines for me, so I find myself wanting to experiment with almost too many projects at one time! One of the biggest influences to this day though has been John Mayer. I immediately fell in love with his songwriting, his blend of active guitar playing and thoughtful lyrics. It really changed what a “Singer-Songwriter” could be for me.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
I can’t pinpoint a specific song, but one of the CDs that was always in the car as a kid was Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads. I’d be willing to bet that played a huge role in bringing music to the forefront of my life.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
It depends on the day. Something upbeat and with a groove like NAO or Polyphia definitely wakes me up, but some mornings I’d rather listen to something softer, like Dexter Gordon.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Almost all of my songs are about people in my life. I find it a lot harder to write a song about something I’m not directly involved in, or have first hand experience about. One of my goals is to experiment more with writing from another person’s perspective or even something entirely fictitious.
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
One of my personal highlights was opening for Chris Shiflett of the Foo fighters in my hometown of Edinburgh to a full venue. I’ve been a huge fan of the Foo Fighters for a long time so to be asked to open was a real honour.
Outside of music, what is your biggest passion?
Before I got into music, I loved sketching and drawing. For a good while I thought I wanted to be an artist, but in my early teens the focus shifted on to playing and writing. I think I would have gravitated to a creative industry even if I didn’t turn my focus to music, but my interest is never solely on one thing. I still draw and link my music very closely to my art and general conceptualisation. The artwork for Los Angeles is a sketch of mine.
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
I initially thought I wanted to be an actor or an artist, but music feels more suited to me now, although I like how both elements are still important within music and performance.
And what advice would you give to other musicians looking to start a career in music?
As hard as it is, try not to compare yourself to other artists or feel the need to change your music to fit in. If what you write is honest and makes you happy, then it’s great.
Jack Hinks' new single 'Los Angeles' is available to stream and download now. Watch the new video for it in the player below.