I have started today by speaking...
with Jay Putty about his new single, Trouble, and what its story is. He talks to me about his musical influences and a few albums that are particularly special; what he has coming up next year and whether there are any rising artists we need to have a look out for.
Putty provides advice to new artists and tells me how he spends time away from music; what the music scene is like in Nashville and what sort of music he grew up around – he ends the interview by selecting a cool track.
Hi, Jay. How are you? How has your week been?
I’m fantastic! Just starting the day with my coffee and dogs.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Jay Putty. A dog-rescuing, coffee-loving; Acoustic-Pop artist from Nashville, Tennessee.
Trouble is your new single. Can you explain the story behind the track?
So. That song came to be writing with some writers here in town that I’ve written quite a few songs with not just for me...and I wanted to write a song that summed up how I feel about my wife, whom I just recently married. I really just wanted write something about how, even if it’s hard work, finding that one you want to be with is worth all of it.
You have already achieved a couple of top-ten releases. How important is that sort of success and recognition?
It’s weird because it’s important in the sense that it helps legitimize yourself as an artist but with or without that validation the song would still be the same. It’s humbling to be able to achieve at all but it’s just the power of the support I’ve received from people which is flooring.
Did you grow up around a lot of music? Which artists did you follow at a young age?
I grew up fairly sheltered with Journey, the Eagles and contemporary worship music, but it wasn’t until I heard John Mayer on the radio that I was like: ‘Whoa, what is this and how can I do it too?!’. Which led to Metal, Pop-Punk and other bands; finding myself as a solo artist four years ago doing Pop and eventually coming back to what inspired me in the first place.
Being based in Nashville; how important are the city and its musical heritage regarding your ambitions?
That’s another, almost-loaded, question because Nashville is known as the home of Country music, which I can’t deny parts come out in the songwriting but I myself don’t fit into that category of music or the circle. The Pop scene here is great and growing but I’m also too ‘Country’-sounding to fit in there.
So, it’s a great musical city that challenges me and surrounds me with incredible people but also is somewhere I don’t feel like I have a home yet, musically, which that musical discomfort I think really helps sharpen my sound.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
Trouble is marking the last release of the year for me and, honestly, I’ve almost tripled what I had done a year ago this year. So I think, by the end of this year, I wanted to watch this song grow into itself while taking December off to enjoy the holidays. I can worry about next year, next year.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
There’s stuff on the table like a European tour hitting the U.K., Ireland; France and more that we are finalizing - as well as two singles with an album. I’m finally glad that we are finalizing tour dates and hitting the road mostly.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Man. I remember the first time I heard my song on the radio on Kiss FM. I was taken completely aback and thought to myself if this reaches one person and hits them the way it is me I could die a happy man.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
John Mayer - A Room for Squares. The first time hearing Why Georgia absolutely changed my life.
The Greatest Showman Soundtrack. My wife walked down the aisle to Rewrite the Stars. I can’t listen to it without crying now.
Ed Sheeran - +. That album sparked something in me when I was writing all this other kind of music. It called to the soul of the artist I could be instead of who I was trying to be.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
That is so difficult to choose who I would but, if I had to, it would be John Mayer. My rider would be super-simple. Food for my kickass band that plays with me - because they make me sound good - and a place to decompress after playing
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Write every chance you get, even if it sucks. You have to write the bad songs to get to the good ones. You have to write the good ones to get to the great ones.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
No tour dates right now but, come 2019; I’m hitting the road hard.
IN THIS PHOTO: Pagentri
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I try to get time away, but my wife calls me a workaholic because I don’t know how to disconnect. But, when I do, I love to cook and go to the movies.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Check out Jonny Z - Hard to Breathe
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