Jay Smith – a naked man


Jay Smith, the man with the large voice is back, and not just with his new single but also with a new sound. We will be faced with a “naked” and stripped version, where his voice and foremost Jay’s personality comes through in an all different way then before. Is it better? Yes it is, this artist is capable of more than he gives himself credit for, and with a dash!

Svip.se asks the inevitable question; what has you winning the Swedish Idol in 2010 meant to you?

Basically it meant that I could go on with music. Which was my goal to start with, my plan was to continue playing with my band but it didn’t happen that way. We went on for a while but than I started to get involved in other genres and I wanted to make different kind of music apart from hard rock and heavy metal.

Could you please tell me about your new single; God damn you?

Yes, it came about when I started a new band that was supposed to go more towards the blues, but we didn’t really get it right. And I have always had comments after my acoustic gigs that people appreciate them more than when I play with a full band. I have been on the road and played n my own now and I wanted to write, I wanted to do a song that wasn’t band based, so that I could, what can I say… so it sounded more like myself when it’s live, when I’m on my own.

Foto: Fredrik Gustafsson

Yes, it is quite naked and you do fill the stage with you’re alone with your guitar…

Yes, that is what I though as well and me and Mattias Tell my current producer and song writing friend, we have tried to build a sound that would be based on acoustic and that sounds more like me when I am out playing. My last record felt quite bombastic when I was out and playing versions of the songs and didn’t have the full production with me. So we decided to make it as bare as possible and make it sound the same when I am out playing. We picked this song because we recorded it and put it on Youtube over nearly a year ago and it became the most listened to and the most wanted song. It seems a lot of people really cares about it and there has been loads of requests about a release. And I have a very strong connection to the lyrics.

The lyrics are incredible heart-stirring, could you please tell me what it is about?

It is about my first love that I met during high school, and who died from an overdose. And I have never really been able to get past that, I have written a lot of songs about her, but this one is the clearest and just for her. She’s been mentioned in other songs, in lyrics and such but mainly metaphorical, this song is all about her. It is my way of trying to move on from my sorrow and try to write it down and record. For me with music and writing, when I get it down on paper, like when writing a diary, it feels like I get a bit of distance and perhaps moves on.

What I reacted to was that this is a new genre for you; could one say there’s a touch of country music in the song?

Yes, country music is something that sneaked up on me since back in 2011, I have had a bit of a one track mind there, and it is a lot of country music that I listen to, country and blues.

Foto: Johan Lindberg

Where do you find your influences?

Then I have to say Ricky Van Shelton, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Union Station, what else is there that I like… Will Hoge is a clever guy, not pure country music but then there are off course the classics Kris Kristofferson and also Josh Thompson.

Is this the genre we can expect to hear in the future and how do we label it?

Yes, well it’s really sing and songwriter of and with country influences. I have wanted to make country music, as a base. But I feel that I don’t have enough experience yet, the hard rock sneaks up on me, and I’ve done that for such a long time so it is nearly stuck in my muscle memory. If I had a full band behind me, I am sure it would have been and sounded more country, but now when I am on my own it will be more bare and naked. I hope that I will be able to continue with this genre. Next song might be even more country, or it will be less… it is a learning process. Country is a fantastic genre and we will se and hope that it will be good.

How does the first half of the New Year look, and will we be able to see you soon?

New gigs started to drop in and hopefully they will continue to increase with this new single. I’ve nearly been around Sweden twice with my last record, so I felt I had to release new material to keep the interest and I have hopes for this song and that it will bring me new gigs for this year. Somehow I can’t be off for too long, sometimes it can be difficult when you had some time off but the minute you get on the train or flight, you all of a sudden know who you are again. In a way the roads and hotels has become a second home.

Finally, which one was your first LP album that you bought or was given as a young man?

Uhm… I believe I was three years old or even younger and my auntie gave me Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry, W.A.S.P’s Animal and Europe’s Final Countdown. She gave them as a gift to me.

Naturally we at svip.se congratulate Jay Smith to a fantastic song and wish him all the best and success with this new single that will be released this Wednesday January 14th, and thank you for a lovely conversation!