To say that Jaymes Young’s debut album is highly-anticipated would be an extreme understatement. The Seattle native captured our hearts over four years ago with his Dark Star EP, and that admiration has only snowballed with his Habits Of My Heart EP, ZHU and David Guetta vocal features, and five highly-enticing singles from his forthcoming Feel Something full-length.
The self-proclaimed "huge nerd" pulls from influences ranging from Coldplay to Radiohead and Maroon 5 to create thoughtfully-composed, passionately-driven works of art. The album name and title track, Feel Something, fully encapsulates the core essence of his music–raw and honest interpretations of life and love bundled in a quality alt-pop sound.
Feel Something is due on June 23, followed by a U.S. tour with fellow Ones To Watch artist Matt Maeson on July 10. Ahead of these two landmark moments for the rising artist, we chatted with Jaymes Young about the making of the LP, what we can expect on the tour, and future plans. Read more below.
OTW: What does the title track of Feel Something convey to your listeners? Is the message representative of the album?
JY: "Feel Something" is definitely representative of the album, as I tried to open up and be honest with different emotions I haven’t embraced in past releases. Ultimately, that title represents a longing to portray and embrace the ups and downs of life.
OTW: What was your writing process like for Feel Something? Since you've been working on the album for two years, are you relieved or nervous to finally release it?
JY: I don’t really think I will ever make an album that is one process all by itself. All of my work is blurred together, I’m always writing and working on multiple projects, so it's hard to see it as an individual album. I’m happy to get it out to the world soon; I think I’ve hoarded the songs for long enough.
OTW: "We Won't" with Phoebe Ryan is Feel Something's only feature. What was the recording session like? What did Phoebe add to the song?
JY: Phoebe has such a natural energy to her which is very tangible and easy to be a part of. So with "We Won’t," I felt she really made the conversation between two people very believable and real. She’s wonderful and easy to work with, and I respect her for that.
OTW: You've mentioned Maroon 5's Songs About Jane as an important influence. Why was that album so impactful for you?
JY: There’s always a ton of influences for me, Songs About Jane was an album I obsessed over for awhile when I was younger, but I suppose there’s at least a dozen other albums that have had just as much of an impact on me.
OTW: How has the mood/general sound of Feel Something evolved since your Habits Of My Heart and Dark Star EPs?
JY: Since my EPs I’ve just tried to focus on being more open and honest, both with my message and with the music itself. I’m still experimenting with production and writing.
OTW: How are you mentally/literally preparing for your first headline tour?
JY: Touring for me is all about having fun and connecting with the crowd. This headline run is pretty short, but it's only the start.
OTW: Any venues in particular you're excited for on your upcoming tour? Who is the tour support and how did you link up with them?
JY: I’m excited for all the venues. Matt Maeson is opening up, and I’m extremely glad to have him; he’s got some great tunes.
OTW: Are you traveling with a band? Who are the members of your band, and what's the live set up live?
JY: I’ve got two other guys on stage with me, we’ll be doing a mixture of stripped and full band performances.
OTW: Who are three artists on your Ones To Watch list and why?
OTW: Once all the album and touring commotion has slowed down, what do you look to next and what's your ultimate goal as an artist?
JY: I just want to keep writing and improving. I expect a lot from myself as a writer and performer, and even if I never meet those expectations, I’ll always be chasing them.
OTW: If you weren't a musician what would you be doing?
JY: If i wasn’t a musician, I’d probably be creating with other forms of art and spending a lot of time in nature. I like to make things with my hands, and I like to be outside.
OTW: What's something fans don't know about you?
JY: I’m pretty open about myself, so I’m not sure what they don’t know, but to try and answer that I guess I could say that I am a huge nerd. I like nerdy stuff, and I wish I had more time to read and study things that interest me.