Following on from the love and praise he received for his debut single 'Strong Enough' earlier this year, which was hailed by the likes of Peachy Magazine, Noctis Magazine, Elevator, Nourish., HRMY Presents and The Other Side Reviews, Manchester's Jude The Obscure now returns with his latest jazz-infused jam 'Chapter 8'.
With a sound that looks to merge the worlds of hip-hop and soul, 'Chapter 8' makes for lovely slice of sun-kissed gold. Filled with sweeping pianos, bouncing brass, and his own unique lyrical flow, this new delight will have your toes tapping from start to finish.
So with his new offering now available to stream, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and what has inspired him most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Immediately fell in love with all the presets and playback-bangers on my first budget Casio keyboard. But real talk piano has always been my go to. I’ve never been the best at it, but being able to spell out harmonies and progressions right in front of you without the need for other musicians is a real blessing. But I should practice more.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Imma go ahead and credit my band here. I’d been bedroom producing for about a year and was getting to a point where I had a few singles to my name, but it was my band who gave me the injection of inspiration I needed to further my sound as an artist. Whether I took fully finished productions or skeleton ideas to them, they really helped me finalise and polish my writings to another level and did so with great patience and attention to detail. They inspire me every time we play together.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
My teenage years were a bit of an odd one really. I was in an indie/rock band when I was younger so groups like Foals and Kings of Leon were on heavy rotation. At the same time, I was listening to a lot of stuff coming out of the US like Odd Future, Frank and the Internet. I had my brother and dad to look to for musical influence as well – my brother went to uni and was getting into more underground electronic music like Joy Orbison, James Blake’s early dubstep releases, Mount Kimbie etc. whereas my dad would (mostly unwelcomingly) level me out with some oldies from his record collection; Doobie Brothers, a LOT of Steely Dan and even more Bob Dylan – was never a fan of the latter two but have come to appreciate them more in recent years.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
It was less a ‘song’ but more a performance that got me on the artist wave. I was at Band on the Wall for a Yussef Kamaal show and they brought out Children of Zeus (local icons) to play a few of their own tunes along with the band. Seeing their music completely transformed and elevated by that outfit was the maddest thing I’d ever seen. I’d never been so inspired up until that point, and the memory still hits hard to this day.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
I try not to listen to music in the mornings too much actually. I spend most of my day with music and I think it’s important to give your ears a rest – it’s good to take time to relax and appreciate some stillness on the daily, even if it’s only for a few moments.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
A fair few. I feel a lot of my music deals with emotional turmoil and an obvious source of that is people and problems I have in my personal life, but at the same time I try to look to broader societal themes for inspiration. There’s only so much of myself I can give to my music, and there’s a lot of things wrong with the world right now – I feel I can use my music as a platform to bring these issues to light. I like to switch it up.
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
I think my last show before lockdown was a highlight. We’d done a run of four or five shows, knew everything inside out and I just remember us all being so comfortable on stage. We had a proper good time, and the love from the crowd was mad.
Outside of music, what is your biggest passion?
I would go to the ends of the earth to tell you why Avatar: The Last Airbender is the best goddamn TV show of all time. That is a hill that I will die on.
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
I used to make a lot of videos as a kid, whether they were home scripts or friends’ music videos or animations. I was well into being behind the camera and editing a project, I think I would’ve gone down a media route for sure.
And what advice would you give to other musicians looking to start a career in music?
You will always reach your goal if you are patient and have a strong work ethic. If you are looking to improve, it’s essential to be able to get yourself into an accepting headspace that you might be ‘bad’ at something. Humility allows you to focus on improving at a slow and steady rate, and you need to be comfortable with this pace. Don’t cut corners.
Jude The Obscure's new single 'Chapter 8' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.