In the need for some dreamy guitar pop? JW Ridley’s got your back.
The London-based former art student is creating emotionally charged guitar heavy music that you’ll want to hear over and over again. The newest artist on the unique Speedy Wunderground label, JW’s debut release, “Everything (Deathless)”, has already established him as one to watch. Released in two parts, JW describes the process as cathartic and “the most important thing I’ve ever done for myself.” The track in question is captivating and hypnotising, with stunning vocals and intoxicating rhythms, and the buzz that it has created is hardly surprising.
Currently on tour with Ten Fé, we sat down with the most exciting newcomer this year.
When did you first start making music?
In my early teens, when I was around twelve or thirteen.
Who would you say are your main musical inspirations?
I think growing up it was more albums that inspired me than specific artists. Something like Astral Weeks by Van Morrison, Songs of Leonard Cohen or Disintegration by The Cure kind of exist in their own space for me. They have their own world beyond the artist; I think it’s the same for books that have had an impact on me.
When did you decide that you wanted a career in music?
I never really made a decision at a specific time or anything. I think I have just always had the feeling that making music is the most important thing to me. It sounds quite irrational; there isn’t really anything else that occupies it.
“I think I have just always had the feeling that making music is the most important thing to me.”
Can you tell us about your newest track “Everything (Deathless)” and the accompanying video?
I made the video in the same way I recorded the song: just on my own in a room. I wanted to keep it simple, so the focus was on the song itself. For me, the song is about a feeling of not being able to get inside or outside of yourself. When difficult things happen, I think you create your own little world to live in as a way of surviving. It can feel like everything is going on outside of you or that this thing you are carrying echoes in everything around you. That’s what the window means I guess, a separation from something that is very much there, and at the same time passing you by.
What was the creative process for this song?
I wrote the song when I moved back to my hometown after living in Brighton for a few years. I think a lot of people have experienced that feeling of flux where you have been at university or moved away from where you grew up and then had to go back to it before you know what’s next. You’re left with this strange combination where you’re a different person to when you left, but this younger part of you is woken up by being back there, and that is a weird thing to navigate. So the song belongs to that time and place.
You’re currently on tour with Ten Fé and are about to head to Paris with them! How’s tour life treating you?
It’s been great to play in so many different cities, a lot of the shows are in places I haven’t been to before so it’s been really interesting.