An Interview With Jethro Tait
Jethro Tait releases debut single
Singer-songwriter, Jethro Tait, has just released his debut single, ‘One For The Books’. Influenced by the likes of Jon Bellion and Ed Sheeran, Jethro has centered himself as a pop artist with original music that is catchy enough to have you singing a long in no time.
Having just signed a record deal with Universal Music South Africa, Jethro has his sights set on becoming one of the country’s top singer-songwriter talents.
I caught up with the man behind the music to ask him about his new single and his future plans:
You have recently released your debut solo single, One For The Books (A.U.I). Congratulations! For someone who has written so many songs for other artists, how does it feel to finally have your own song?
Thank you! It’s a really amazing feeling because it’s something I’ve wanted to do from a very young age and it feels like a big accomplishment to finally have my own music out there!
That’s awesome! Tell me about the single. Who or what inspired it and what do you hope listeners will take from this song?
To be honest I’m not entirely sure where the song came from. In the beginning I just had the line “It’s one for the books tonight” and I just kind of ran with it. I never really pre-plan what I’m going to write about. I prefer just being open to getting out whatever needs to come out in the moment, if that makes sense. The song is inspired by having a crazy night out, which I seldom do, so I guess at the time of writing it I was feeling like life was getting a bit stressful and I needed one of those crazy nights out to forget about everything and blow off some steam.
So, what does A.U.I stand for?
It stands for “Alive Under the Influence.” I came up with it as a play on DUI (Driving Under the Influence.) When I first started writing the song I was just doing a chant that sounded similar to “AUI.” I later decided to come up with a meaning for it and I felt like “Alive Under the Influence” pretty much summed up what the song is about.
You have recently signed with Universal Music South Africa. Tell me a bit about this? What does it mean for an artist these days to be signed?
Yea, I’ve known the guys at Universal for quite a while. I started out by signing with Universal Publishing in 2013 as a songwriter. Through songwriting and with the help of a great guy by the name of Nic Burger (who has helped me out over the years) the label side got to know me. When I left Four I had a meeting at Universal and they offered me a deal. It’s always great to have a record deal and to have that support behind you, but you have to know how it works. A lot of people have this misconception that once you get signed your life is sorted and everything is taken care of. That’s not true. Obviously they take care of costs for recording, put your music out and help promote it, etc. but it still takes a lot of hard work on your part. The label can only support what you’re putting in. A lot of artists are going the independent route these days and that’s great too if you have the resources and funds to do it.
I completely agree! So, in 2014 you were part of the band FOUR. Why did you decide to go solo and how has the journey been so far?
Aside from all boybands having a shelf life our career as a group didn’t really feel like it was progressing. Our act revolved a lot around performing covers and for me personally that was never something I wanted to do. I noticed that it became more about the instant gratification of the crowds cheering us on for singing songs they knew rather than us trying to build ourselves up as an original act, and in turn we weren’t being recognized as an original act. As a songwriter I want to sing my own music even if it takes years before people know my songs. The journey so far has been great. There are ups and downs of course. On the upside I’m getting to make music I enjoy and I feel a lot more free doing it. I have a great team now who believe in the music I’m writing and trust me enough to let me do it myself. On the down side it’s like starting all over again. I know I’ve been working on music for a really long time but to everyone else I’m a fresh face and they don’t know who I am as an artist yet. It takes time but I’m excited for what’s to come!
You have had great success with Pascal & Pearce with Running Wild. How was it collaborating and how did it all happen?
I had the best time working with Pascal and Dave. They’re such great guys and were really helpful and supportive throughout the whole process. We wrote the song in December 2016 and it was almost a whole year before it came out. It was actually Nic Burger who I mentioned earlier that set us up and Initially I just came on as a songwriter. I was still in Four and still in contract so I didn’t really have any thoughts of featuring on the track. When I split from the band nothing had really happened with Running Wild and P&P hadn’t found a vocalist yet so I asked them if they were still keen on the song and if they’d mind keeping me on the vocal. Everything fell into place really nicely from there and we’re all super happy with how well the track was received.
Looking through your Instagram, it seems that you are quite busy! What else are you currently working on?
The hustle never stops! All of my focus is going into my music now. I’ve kind of taken a step back from everything else and I’m just trying to get my career going. I want to get a body of work together and put out an EP or an Album so that’s all I’m working on right now.
And any live performances coming up soon?
I actually just did a show opening for Jesse Clegg. There are a couple more in the works but you can keep up to date on my social media (@JethroTaitMusic) where I’ll post all upcoming gigs.
So, this is just the start! What’s next for you in the long run?
After building up a name for myself here in SA I would really love to go overseas and release music and tour. I would also like to start songwriting internationally as well. There are so many things I want to do and so many things I want to achieve so I just have to keep working hard to get there.
Can we listen to your music online, and/or buy it? Please share a link!
My new single ‘One For The Books’ is available on all digital platforms via this link – here
‘Running Wild’ is also available on all digital platforms here – here
Images by Oxana Nacu