What was the inspiration behind your track?
In August 2016, I embarked on my first ever overseas tour where me and my band played 3 dates in Amsterdam. As the whole tour was self managed, I experienced the clash between ‘Jess Kemp the musician’ and ‘Jess Kemp the tour manager’ for the first time ever. The tour of Amsterdam was one of the best times of my life and I would absolutely do it all over again in a heartbeat – however as you may understand, there were times where I felt the pressure of so much responsibility and organisation. The track “VondelPark” signifies the middle of the time we were there and the time where I felt I could just switch off from all of the organisation and just live in the moment. The moment of playing in the middle of a park in a European country with crowds of people gathering to hear us play. It was an amazing feeling.
What did your songwriting process involve?
I wouldn’t say I follow a specific process when I write songs – I never have. The songs just tend to come when I’m at a point in my life where I feel strongly about something. It was a big moment for me so I had to write about it. For me, the music comes first (guitar chords), where I find a particular melody and then from there I start to add in lyrics a bit at a time. I remember really vividly, sitting on my back door step last summer on a really hot day, recording voice memos and playing over them to get the structure right.
What things do you do differently to other bands?
I think I’m very similar to other bands but very different at the same time. In some ways, I’m similar as I write about things that are personal to me because I like to share those with my audience. However, I do like to keep an element of code and secrecy in my lyrics. I like to portray messages that only few people would pick up on. Sound wise, I feel me and my band are falling into our own unique sound. I like to think it’s catchy and poppy but different and unique at the same time.
Can you describe your sound in three words?
Powerful, Snarly, Punchy
Have you channelled any artist in particular on this track?
I probably have without realising, I can only comment on who I am influenced by overall and that is KT Tunstall, Alanis Morisette, Paramore and even Adele (With Rumour Has It).
What’s the best thing about studying at BIMM?
The industry contacts and opportunities. I recently performed another song of mine ‘No Shouting’ on the BIMM End of Term Songwriters Showcase gig at Sound Control. It was beyond cool to play in front of that crowd.
What’s the best bit of music advice you’ve been given?
It sounds so cliche but “don’t give up”. It’s something that everyone says and it’s banded about a lot… but it’s probably the most important in my eyes. It’s a very easy industry to “give up” in. It would be so easy to get knocked down or to put something out there that doesn’t do as well, but there’s too many people that give up at that stage. I think it stands out to be one of the people who don’t. Many of my heroes have openly spoken about not giving up.. and most of them are stupidly successful now, so that’s a bit of motivation at least!
Whats next for you?
At the moment, my main priority is keeping the ball rolling with “VondelPark” and trying to promote that best I can. I have a few big things in the pipeline that will help with this – all very exciting stuff.
Additionally, over summer me and my band are playing on a few big stages which is going to be very cool.
// 16th April – SpinFest (Spinningfields, Manchester)
// 2nd June – Irlam Live (Supporting The Wailers)
// 22nd July – Blackthorn Music Festival