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Getting To Know: Jay North

Your journey into music started recently in 2022, and within a short span, you've gained significant traction with songs like "POTS N PANS" and "NEVER LOOK BACK." What motivated you to start this musical journey, and how has the response from the streets and your local community influenced your approach to your art?

My motivation came from a love for music and rap first a foremost. The first hiphop album I ever heard properly was J. Cole’s album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. It had been out for years but I was walking in plessy woods and it popped up on my spotify, I walked through the woods and it changed my life forever. That was the moment I became obsessed with music and hiphop. It was so relatable, the story, the feelings and the beats, that’s where I first saw the vision of myself doing it too because it made so much sense in that moment. For far too long I was holding onto a story of my life that not many people have been through, but also, a story that way too many people haven’t made it through, a story of tremendous suffering with a happy ending. I wanted to share my story, so I started writing and sharing them with family, my girlfriend, who Is my day one rock and Shelly and Suresh, who are two of the most important people in my life and have been a guiding light to me.

They are from India and took me under their wing in many ways, literally guardian angels. They nurtured the small idea that I could be so much more and meeting them was a huge part of my journey. Finally, I read the power of now by Eckharte Tolle and he led me to a very sacred space within myself. All of these big moments in my life, a growing self-belief, an expansive feeling I felt within myself to connect with people, a desire to be something, and an unmatched obsession with music, everything felt aligned and I found something I could open up and let everything out. The more I was writing the better I got, winning competitions and one day I was with my mates Tarek and Youseff, from Bahrain and Egypt, and they told me to rap on a beat, we pulled it up and I just went off the dome and they went absolutely insane over it, ill never forget that, from then they pushed me hard to do this, and still do to this day. 

Response from the streets was instant. They connected to it and supported it and the love was humbling. I knew it would because it’s their story as well as mine. My second song NEVER LOOK BACK made radio first week of release and that was the recognition I needed, that every artist needs when starting, but that radio play meant the world to me and it was when Newcastle first heard Jay North. Since then, my song ANGELS as well-made BBC Radio. Two singles from ANGEL OF THE NORTH EP.

2. Your upcoming EP, "ANGEL OF THE NORTH," explores themes of self-discovery and belief in oneself. Can you delve deeper into the inspiration behind this EP and how it reflects your journey in understanding your faith, both in yourself and in your community?

This EP is all about me realising that all the suffering I have been through and all the suffering I have seen, has all been a crucial part in me becoming the artist I am and was there to lead me to realise the vision, and more importantly, led me to this journey of self-discovery through music. When I speak on self-discovery, I don’t mean it in a personality sense, Its beyond that. Kobe said something that resonated with exactly what I am feeling, he said basketball was just what he liked but really, he was on a quest to become his true self through basketball, his higher self and conquer the sport, it was something working through him. That’s my energy. Since young I have felt an inner fire that I didn’t know what to do with, but I now see it was a small spark on my antenna to open up to something more, a little light slowly growing and guiding me, I can see I have always been on this path but now I understand it more and can see the way. Now it’s a choice to walk this path and put in the work. I see the vision of me in music and rap. People will see I am different, not just a rapper taking this lightly, or just having fun, but I am a Kendrick, a J. Cole, a Dave, I am just my own version of that same unicorn like artist, and not in an ego way, it’s just that’s the quest I want to be on, that’s how deep I love this and how deep I want to go in the fire to be at the top and materialise the vision I have in my head. When I write I can feel it, I can feel I am a different kind of animal.

I started 5 months ago and my first ANGEL OF THE NORTH EP will be out in January 2024, 10 tracks, ANGEL OF THE NORTH, and people will see I am here to stay and there is not one atom of doubt in my mind that my music will enter the hearts of the people and stay there forever. Expect aggression, love, heavy drums, even drum n bass, expect hard hitting stories of my journey as a kid to teen. When you hear my EP I want you to think, yeah this kid is coming for real, coming with more than just raps and beats, he is coming for the top spot.

Faith is the theme of this EP, faith in the vision, faith in my future self, faith in the child in me that suffered, faith in the young man that deeply suffered and faith in the people who share my journey, faith that I am everything and everything is me and music will guide me to my higher self and I will lift the heart of the world.

3. In your description of your music, you express a desire to capture Northern Culture not just in sound but in feeling. How do you infuse the essence of Northern Culture into your music, and what specific aspects of Newcastle and its surroundings inspire your lyrics and style?

Northern culture is who I am, to infuse northern culture in my music is to be myself. I am not on gang, I am not on street, but I have been in and around it, and I just want my music to be for the people. People on the streets around me, people suffering, families going through it and to feel my music in a way that lifts them up and show them they can change their life too. Northern culture is a community, hardship, love and just real people. They had everything taken from them and left with nothing, but through the hard exterior of the northern community there is still a soft beating heart, and I can feel it in the city, the tyne bridge, the quayside, the abandoned coal mines, Blyth harbour, North Shields, and when I listen to beats, whether it be the violins, the drums, I want to feel the city and towns when I write. I want you to feel the northern spirit because there is nothing like it in the world. I recommend listening to NORTHERN SLUM DOGS and ANGELS and you will feel it. I have a song coming out called BY THE QUAYSIDE and I know the city of Newcastle will go MAD for it but as a taster of that song, I’ll leave this here…”gannin along the Scotswood road to see the blayden races…” if you know you know, 

4. Your singles and EPs seem to be a reflection of your personal growth and evolving vision. Can you share more about your creative process and how you go about translating your experiences and inner visions into your music?

I always start with the beat first and the feeling that’s already there and more times than not the idea comes quite naturally when writing, or at least its hidden there for me to find. I am starting to get more in tune with that intuitive feeling and opening myself up to what the beat wants from me. Feeling is always my main goal with a song, what do I feel and how do I translate that into a story so that you can relate and your antenna receives the signal. I start writing to the feeling I have with the beat and if the feeling grows stronger, I know I’m going in the right direction but if it fizzles out I write my way back to that place. 

For Flows, I do it instantly with the beat when I her it, I record melodies and flows with no lyrics just random, and that when I find the key one I lock it in and start writing. Literally like trying every key you have until you find the one that fits the lock, that YES moment is how it feels. My first YES moment was NEVER LOOK BACK.


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