Interview: Jake Kelly – ‘The Mandolin Tapes’ EP

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Interview: Jake Kelly - 'The Mandolin Tapes' EP
Interview: Jake Kelly – ‘The Mandolin Tapes’ EP

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We were fortunate enough to catch up with Ireland based artist Jake Kelly, for an interview. This talented artist has released the superb EP ‘The Mandolin Tapes’ in May 2020. Check out our interview below!

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Jake Kelly, and I’m half Irish, half English. I lived in England until I was 7, then moved to South East Asia, where I grew up. I’m 20 now, nearly 21, and I’ve lived in England, China, Vietnam, Ireland, and Germany.

What is your songwriting process?

Generally, it starts with a few lyrics that come to me throughout the day. Then, when I sit down to write, I try to expand on them (and other lyrics, from other days) and attach some kind of meaning. Sometimes it takes several days to compile enough lyrics for a song, but somehow they always seem to fall into place, forming a coherent message, theme or story in a song.

Tell us about your latest release ‘The Mandolin Tapes’?

‘The Mandolin Tapes’ is my second release, a six-track EP, and it’s about struggling with moving, alcoholism, and depression. Writing and recording it served to navigate some negative emotions, and move into a new phase of my life: moving to Germany.

What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?

I like to think my music is an abstract expression of how I feel throughout my life. If there is a message that my “fans” could take away from my music, it would be that it’s okay to struggle in life. More so, It’s healthy and cathartic to express and release the negative emotions we all have.

Who are your musical influences?

David Bowie would probably be the biggest, as I started playing guitar and singing, after a long break, while I was obsessed with Bowie. Glen Hansard, Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Bon Iver, Pink Floyd, Elton John and Eddie Vedder would be some more, among many many others. Too many to list.

Who are your non-musical influences?

My family and friends are big influences, of course.

What’s the best gig that you have ever played?

My favourite gig would always be busking to a big crowd. I don’t do it as often as I should, but it’s a lovely feeling bringing people together with music on a street somewhere.

What is your funniest gig moment?

I played a ten-song gig at a bar with a friend of mine in Vietnam once, and we both thought it went really well. We had a pretty solid set of songs, a mix of classic hits, and obscure gems, from Glen Hansard to Shakey Graves. The crowd definitely enjoyed it, and we had a blast. Unfortunately, though, the owner wasn’t as happy. He thought we were coming to do a song or two, not a whole set. He also said we needed to tune our guitars and learn how to sing better. I think he was just a bit grumpy; we played alright, at least.

Interview: Jake Kelly - 'The Mandolin Tapes' EP
Interview: Jake Kelly – ‘The Mandolin Tapes’ EP

What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?

Probably getting noticed. It’s a very saturated market, which isn’t to say it’s impossible to succeed at some level, but It’s hard to figure out the best way to get noticed.

What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?

I’m not sure if I’m in the best position to give advice! But, I’d say just keep going. The only proven way to succeed as an artist is being patient and resilient. Whether you grow consistently as time goes on, or happen to get lucky on the way, you’ll get there eventually if you keep releasing good music.

What are your hopes for the next two years?

Musically, I’d like to have a healthy audience of listeners that resonate with my music and are as eager to hear more as I am to make more. Outside of music, I’d like to see businesses and project’s I am working on now flourishing, as well as any projects I embark on in the future. I’d also hope I’ll be able to tre flip on a skateboard by then.

FV Music Blog June 2020




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