Interview: Jakil

Jakil are Kieran Grant (Bass), Kieran O’Brien (Lead Vocals), Callum Paterson (Drums), Jamie Robertson (Guitar / Backing Vocals) and Liam Narrie (Guitar / Backing Vocals). Having moved to London in 2010 to write and record under one roof (in between the occasional house party), the Edinburgh lads released single ‘Istanbul’ back in September. We caught up with the band to discuss holographic Tupac festival performances and a secret romantic affair with John Mayer. Sounds scintillating, huh?

GIGSLUTZ: Hello Jakil. Where are you and what have you been up to this week?

A: We’re in our home studio/living-room/Liam’s bedroom right now where we’ve just finished writing and demoing a couple of new songs this week.

GIGSLUTZ: You released single ‘Istanbul’ on the 28th September.  If you had to describe the sound in 3 words which would you pick?

A: Tight. Tasteful. Pop

GIGSLUTZ: Name three influences on your music, without whom you would most likely be doing something other than making music…

A: As a collective we’d probably say Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac and John Mayer.

Jackson is our first love, Fleetwood Mac is our steady relationship and John Mayer is our dirty little secret.

GIGSLUTZ: Have you whacked anything on your iPods recently that has prompted you to think “yeah we should try that!”?

A: We all have differing tastes but with a core 80’s/pop principle so we branch out from there. I think a big focus right now when we’re listening to music is to get an understanding of what made the older generation of pop songs we love so great and catchy. Then, on the other side think about how the modern music we enjoy sounds so vibrant and current. We’re really enjoying making and producing our music at the moment, writing old school pop with a modern twist. Jungle, Blood Orange & Tensnake are acts that are really effective at that neo-era stuff right now.

GIGSLUTZ: You guys live together in London, do you think that has been beneficial for you creatively?

A: Definitely, we’re five best mates who’ve know each other for years and we made the move to a huge city to make music together in a crammed house in Tottenham. We wanted to be doing music every day together so we made it happen. The situation and surroundings of it all make it an inspiring venture. London was always the hub of it all growing up, and being in the thick of it means we are now part of that. What better way to spend your 20’s than to be doing this?

GIGSLUTZ: Fleetwood Mac ask you to cover a song for a tribute album. What song do you choose and why?

A: This is a very cruel question to pick one Fleetwood Mac song and something from ‘Rumours’ would probably be the obvious choice… But I think we’d go with ‘Big Love’. (after much deliberation). The 80’s production and the grittiness of the track brings it right in line with where we are musically. We could put a good spin on it for sure.

GIGSLUTZ: What was the first song you fell in love with and which album could you not live without?

A: Michael Jackson definitely. A few of us used to have the ‘HIStory’ VCR with all the music videos on it. It never gets old. As for a specific track, ‘The Way You Make me Feel’ was always the one that felt like it was on loop non-stop – probably the way the bass line goes round and round. That video too, it just used to make me want to go outside and jump on cars.

GIGSLUTZ: Richard Branson gives you a shitload of cash and asks you to curate your own festival – who would you book?

A: It’s a shame that a lot of the people we would book wouldn’t be able to make as they are dead but so what, maybe if we could pull off the Tupac holographic thing we could have a good old 80’s American pop festival. Luther Vandross, Whitney, Michael and Marvin Gaye on the Revival Stage.

GIGLSLUTZ: You sold out the Barfly in Camden earlier this year – where would you like to be playing five years down the line?

A: Hampden would be nice eh?

GIGSLUTZ: What’s next for Jakil?

A: Right now we’re just writing and recording. Come 2015 we’re sure to get some of what we’ve been working on out there. Theres a good air of optimism and eagerness within us right now, things are feeling good.


Beth Kirkbride
I'm Beth Kirkbride and I came out of the womb with a pen in my hand. Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I'm currently studying for my A Levels [English Lit, English Language, History] with the aspiration of reading English Literature at Uni. Easily entertained, I like live music, the internet, eating and sleeping.
Beth Kirkbride

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