Local Artist Spotlight: Bradley Jago
|Published: 29th May 2021 12:58|
Meet Bradley Jago: the 20-year-old singer-songwriter making waves in the local scene from the comfort of his bedroom.
Known for his emotive lyricism and way around a ballad, Bradley released his first single ‘Shut Your Mouth' in December of last year in collaboration with Michelle Price, receiving warm reception and a feature on BBC Music Introducing. Jago has since released two solo singles: February's ‘Moonstruck,' and his latest drop, ‘Rain.' Departing from his usual style, ‘Rain' takes an R&B influence coupled with insightful lyrics, all set to a soundscape of the rain hitting his bedroom window in real time as he penned the track.
Following the release of ‘Rain' & the announcement that Bradley would be taking the stage at Victorious Festival for the first time this August, we were excited to find out more about what his music means to him.
Describe your sound in three words.
So I'd probably say soulful, emotive, and experimental. I do always like to try something a little bit different, so I think that sums it up pretty well.
Who are your musical influences?
For the new single in particular, I'd definitely go along the lines of Billie Eilish, Jorja Smith & Lauryn Hill. But all in all, my favourite artists are Adele, Amy Winehouse, Sam Smith, Bruno Mars & Stevie Wonder, too.
I think out of all of those, Adele is my absolute idol to be honest. It's funny, I was speaking about this to my friends the other day, but it's all about her performance. Sometimes it's not always the best technical performance, but you always feel it. There's always so much emotion behind what she does, and to me, music is all about that emotion. Her lyrics are so personal as well, it's fascinating watching her interviews and hearing how she writes.
How did you start in music?
So I've actually always wanted to write, but I was so nervous. I've not had any formal music education, I didn't study it at GCSE or anything like that - so on the technical side I don't know a lot about it. I always thought that was something that would hold me back and stop me for writing, it definitely did for a bit, but then I watched an interview with Sam Smith. They don't play any instruments really, so when they go to the studio they communicate to the other instrumentalists with their voice alone, which made me think that I can do that too.
I always have a vision of how I want my songs to sound, but I just didn't have the means to get there. A lot of my work is very collaborative with producers and other instrumentalists, which has definitely been hard during lockdown as I can't just go in for a jam session - trying to write over zoom is horrendous!
So for me, I always like to try and write things that mean a lot. I love to write about things and feelings that haven't been written about before, too. My song Moonstruck, for example, was about a situationship I was in, where I felt guilty that the other person was more into it than I was. I used it as a metaphor for looking at the moon and wanting it to take you away from all your responsibilities. Similarly, Rain is a metaphor for asking previous partners if I've hurt them, and wanting to feel their pain so I can grow - there's nothing wrong with feeling pain, as otherwise we wouldn't be proceeding on in life. I've also got some songs in the works about climate change - so it's all very different!
How would you describe Portsmouth's music scene, and what is it like to be a musician in Portsmouth?
The Portsmouth music scene is great, it's very vibrant and there are so many great artists in the city. It's also quite small, there's not a lot of venues which is a bit of a shame. But it's also nice in that everyone seems to know everyone. It can definitely be quite hard to break into - sometimes I don't even really consider myself as part of it as some people will go to every single gig and know everyone on the circuit, I'm definitely not there yet. Everyone has been so kind though, and have really welcomed me with open arms.
What are you most proud of in your music career so far?
I'd have to say Rain, to be honest. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. I've written a lot of ballads in the past, and it's not that they aren't what I want to make, but Rain feels like a really different direction for me, and it's really authentic. Being with my label has helped a lot, the producer really helped me realise my whole vision for the song and its concept. I guess I'm most proud of just having the confidence to be like okay, I've made this, it's different, but I think it's good enough to put out into the world.
What's on the horizon?
There are definitely more singles to come! I've got a lot of stuff going on but it's mostly still in the works. Other than that, I've got a summer of gigs - including Victorious in August. I'm really excited for it all, it should all be good. I'm just really looking forward to releasing more music and experimenting with different styles, and seeing where it takes me!
'Rain,' Bradley Jago's newest single is available to stream on all platforms - listen on Spotify below. Keep up to date with Bradley on Instagram.