Behind the Music: Interview with Jazz Lingard

‘For me, songwriting is about getting out thoughts and emotions that sometimes you don’t even know you have.’

Describe your music style in no more than 5 words: Somewhere between pop and folk.

Which instruments do you play and how does this affect your song-writing process? I play guitar and very basic keyboard! I do almost all of my writing with an acoustic guitar as it’s what I feel most comfortable with, but sometimes venture into using an electric guitar. I also write with the keyboard. I don’t know what it is but it’s always a completely different experience on keyboard than guitar. I find I write more pop songs with the keyboard and folkier ones on the guitar. 

Who or what influences your music? A lot of the time a musician or band that I’m listening to influences certain parts of my music. Like when I listened to Wolf Alice often I tended to experiment more with my voice like Ellie Rowsell does. My main influences this year have been Hozier, Jade Bird, Nina Nesbitt and Maggie Rogers. But I’ve always felt very connected to Radiohead’s music ever since I started writing my own.

Where is your go-to place for writing new tracks? Probably in the corner of my bedroom! I have a desk by the window where I write sometimes but for some reason I always end up sitting on the floor with my guitar and a notebook. But if inspiration hits when I’m out and about – or away from my guitar – I’ll write notes on my phone to come back to later on. 

What impact has music had on your life so far? It’s definitely had a very positive impact. When I first started learning to play the guitar I was bed-bound with a leg problem and had to have a lot of time off school. If I hadn’t have had the guitar, I think my mental health would have suffered. Since then, my life has always been kind of centred around music. I took music at school when I went back and then again in sixth form. I think music as a subject at school often gets overlooked and not counted as a ‘proper’ subject, but, it’s such a good way of building confidence and expressing yourself. I’m very grateful music has always kind of been there for me. 

‘I’d love to go back to the 60’s and play at The Cavern Club between sets from Cilla Black and The Beatles.’

There is a beautiful sense of softness to the tone of your voice – it’s incredibly engaging! Was this a stylistic choice or did it come naturally?  I think it’s just how I sing haha! I’ve never really thought about it. But thank you!

Other than yourself, who else in involved in creating your tracks? It’s just me! I write, record and produce my tracks myself in my bedroom.

What does a Jazz Lingard recording session look like? Again, I’m normally in the corner of my room! If it’s an acoustic track where it’s just my voice and guitar, it’s a pretty quick session. But, if it’s one with a bit more production, I like to get the drums sorted first along with any instruments or sounds that are coming from the software. Then I record any guitar, keyboard and vocals. The vocals are probably what I spend the most time on as I love adding harmonies and always want to make sure they are perfect!

Though a young singer-songwriter, there’s a real maturity to your overall sound and your lyricism. Is this down to life experiences, hard work or something else? I think I’ve always been quite mature. My dad left at a young age and I was a Young Carer for my mum so I think I probably grew up quite quickly. I also have a great deal of empathy for a lot of people’s situations. Like if my best friend is going through something I often feel a lot for her (and sometimes end up writing a song about it!). Even with things like films, it’s rare for me to leave the cinema without having cried at some point!

I read recently that you have had performance anxiety at times. How do you overcome this and do you have any tips for other artists who may experience the same? Yes, it comes and goes quite a lot and I get it worse when it’s been a while since my last gig. I am always very nervous regardless, although I’ve been told I’m very good at hiding it! Over time, I’ve realised that for me it helps if I’m familiar with the venue so maybe a good tip would be to check out the venue before you play by just going for a drink there. Or arrive early enough to get used to the surroundings. Try to relax as much as possible (even though it’s hard) and bring as many friends as you can. 

Other than ‘Will You Be Loved’ there’s a mostly acoustic sound to your tracks. What led to this change and will the sound of that release return? I often think I keep to an acoustic sound because I get scared of adding too much to a song, but then I got a new electric guitar, had some jam sessions with friends and felt inspired to write a song which was a bit heavier. There are definitely some songs in the pipeline with a bit more production to them and I really enjoy the whole process of making them. My new album ‘Blame It on the Moon’ (out Friday 16th August) shows both sides too.

‘Music as a subject at school often gets overlooked but it’s such a good way of building confidence.’

What is more important about being a songwriter: creating a hit song or having a chance to express yourself? Definitely the second haha! For me, songwriting is about getting out thoughts and emotions that sometimes you don’t even know you have. And if that creates a hit song, then that’s just a bonus.

Who was the first musician/band you saw live? I think the first proper gig I went to was Yorfest (in York) in 2015. The Sherlocks were my favourite and even got a photo with them! I remember Billie Marten was there too and she really gave me the inspiration to get up and perform my own music in public.

What is your first music based memory? I was sitting on the sofa watching TV way past my bedtime, I think I must have been around 8 years old and Paul McCartney was performing ‘Live and Let Die’ live. I can’t remember what is was for but there were fireworks and the whole song amazed me. That song is such a rollercoaster anyway let alone it being live. I think I cried. That’s what I like to believe my first music memory was but in reality it was probably dancing in my room to Busted or S Club 7!

And finally… You are told you can do a gig anywhere in the world and have anyone (past or present) in the audience. Where is your gig and who is invited? Firstly, in the audience – apart from my friends and family – would be all the Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, Wolf Alice, Radiohead, Jade Bird, Marc Bolan, Joni Mitchell, Queen and probably a lot more. This is probably against the rules but for the venue, I’d love to go back in time to the 60’s and play The Cavern Club in between sets from Cilla Black and The Beatles.

Thanks Jazz for chatting with Listen to Discover

Follow Jazz Lingard on: Facebook & Twitter
Listen to and watch Jazz Lingard on: Spotify and YouTube
Find out more about Jazz Lingard’s music on: Track Review: Jazz Lingard: Lying to Your Smile

Jazz Lingard is part of Listen to Discover’s #FridayFindsFeaturedArtist series which you can keep up to date with on Twitter and Facebook.

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