I love the sound and vibe of ‘Juliet’! What did the song writing process look like for this track?
Jem: This track was originally written with me laying down some chords on the piano that resonated with me emotionally in that moment. Juliet inspired the whole forbidden love idea for the EP. After writing the topline I met with my producer Tomi to make the arrangement, laying down keys, bass and drums - dotting these little ideas I had for motifs throughout the track. Tomi had a jazzy chord progression for a middle 8 so we created a new section. I recorded lead vocals at home then had time at Tomis stacking all the harmonies and liaising with Alex to add the funky guitar motifs. Later the lead vocals were re-recorded in a studio to push to that higher quality. Finally, we added the last bits of arrangement such as the synths you hear in the final chorus.
If ‘Juliet’ had a music video, what do you think it would look like?
Jem: Haha you’ll have to stay posted on this one. I’m not going to lie, coming up with video concepts definitely hasn’t been my strong point, it took a while for me to have some kind of idea for the Juliet video and still not sure if it's any good. Let’s just stay I wanted to steer away from what you might think the video would typically be and instead do something more authentically Jem.
Congrats on your new EP that just came out in September! What is your favorite track from the EP, if you had to pick one?
Jem: Gosh this isn’t an easy one as each track is special to me for its own qualities. But I’m going to have to say Juliet, particularly the pre-chorus and bridge as my favourite sections. Overall, I love all of the textures in the track and we had a lot of fun making the arrangement and all the little motifs you hear. It’s groovy, and funky with the awesome guitars recorded by Alex England. My producer Tom did bits on the bass like that riff you hear at the beginning. Being a drummer, I really wanted to throw in that half-time feel at the end to make the final chorus something that would be epic live.
What inspired you to first start creating music?
Jem: I couldn’t pin-point one specific moment. I have just loved music since I was a kind, listening to it, singing and dancing - until I discovered I couldn’t dance. I was pursuing a more musical theatre route in my early childhood but in secondary school I started taking up the drums and piano. Songwriting from the age of 11 ish but probably not writing anything decent until 18. In the last couple of years that I have been finding my sound as Pop with RnB/Soul and Jazz influences, working with my producer Tomi Balogh to envision this in my first EP Love Me or Lose Me and all the new projects to follow…
What is one of your go-to karaoke songs?
Jem: I don’t usually do karaoke (within the earshot of other people) often, but we went there with some friends for my 20th birthday and it was a lot of fun. Instead of trying to belt out the classics usually sung by people with insanely talented voices like Adele which is out of my range, I prefer to rap. One of my best party tricks is doing Eminem’s ‘Rap God’ sped up.
Are there any upcoming projects you can talk about?
Jem: So many projects. I’ve got my next EP in the works in which I steer away from love and relationships and write about the nature of living and challenges of breaking through as a young adult in this hyper-digitalized, overwhelming social media governed society. I’m doing this for my final project at uni and it's going to have live drums and bass. Then I’m working on a more commercial EP to drop after that and some singles in which my rapping is going to start coming out more. Also, my producer and I are making a portfolio of songs written in the style of other artists to explore a publishing route.
Interviewed By Kendall Koval