Wonderland speaks to Welsh wonder babe JayEllDee on the inspiration of Marylin Manson, feeling like Vivian Ward and nabbing a free demo off her album, “You Got It Coming.”
Welsh-born JayEllDee has come a long way since, as a young pre-teen babe, being plucked from obscurity to perform with Basement Jaxx (and not to mention opening for Lady Sovereign).
Now taken under father-of-grime Wiley’s wing, relocating to London and signing to Elite Model Management, she’s taken a brief hiatus to hone her craft and put to work on the finishing touches to her debut record — as well as announcing a collaboration with SubFocus this week.
Tell us a little bit about your musical CV?
I started writing poems, playing guitar and keyboard at 8 then began rapping and vinyl scratching not long after. I ended up working with Basement Jaxx at 16 and then working with Wiley at 17. Jamie Nelson signed me to Virgin without a manager at the time and I’ve been working on my album since.
You were in a collaborative project before venturing solo. How does it compare being a solo artist rather than being in a duo?
It’s definitely a lot less stressful, more chilled an dim still not completely alone. I’m meeting great new people who I’m working with everyday.
How did the collaboration with Wiley happen?
I love Wiley! He’s such a good guy and I featured on one of his tracks called ‘Lickin’ Down The Spot’ years ago. He’s like my brother.
Your now signed with Elite Models? Has musing always been a passion and do you think it goes hand in hand being a platform to the music industry?
It’s totally new to me. I signed with them because they totally got the whole music thing and they’ve helped me understand how connected the two worlds are and how powerful that can be if done right. Image is obviously such a massive part of what musicians do and I’m just looking forward to doing some really interesting creative collaborations. Music will always be my number one passion, always.
How does the capital city London compare to your hometown of Wales? Has it inspired you to write differently?
I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman all the time! I love London and there is so much to do, although I do miss ‘home’ now and then. I’ve noticed that songwriters in London do that weird thing of like “lets come up with a catchy title + write around it” I’m totally not into that, I’d rather things be honest, deep and from the heart so nothings changed that much in that respect.
Tell us a little bit about the music? Who have been your biggest inspirations whilst growing up and most recently, whilst writing your material?
I absolutely love Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, The Sex Pistols, The Cure, Slipknot, Siouxsie + The Banshees!! I grew up listening to my mums Prince + Madonna records too. I’ve been listening to a lot of the Yeah Yeah Yeah, The Cure and Marilyn Manson whilst writing.
Who have you been working with, production wise and can we expect any collaborations on any tracks?
I’ve worked a lot with Nick Hodgson, Ant Whiting, Mark Crew, Chris Constantinou, Paul Subsource and the others are completely top secret!
By this time next year what would you have liked to have achieved?
I hope I make an honest record that I’m proud of.
Check out the link to a free download of JayEllDee’s “You Got It Coming” here.
Words: Shane Hawkins (Follow Shane on Twitter @piccadilly_boy)
Image: Elliot Morgan