During this precarious time, BreakOut West wants to continue to highlight the best from the west. Though many live events from the spring and summer have been cancelled or postponed, artists are persevering. This is a great time to purchase music and merchandise from your favourite western Canadian artists.
Why not start with JayWood, the once folky, now funky singer-songwriter project from Jeremy Haywood-Smith. His jangly sad songs have bent into psychedelic and syncopated exercises in pop and jazz, once just depressive, now therapeutic. Discover Jaywood's music on Bandcamp.
Before the lockdown JayWood was performing at New Colossus Festival in New York City, the last vestige of live music in the big apple. The debut album Time arrived in 2019 and is streaming on all platforms.
1. What is the coolest show you have ever played?
That's a tricky one! I think for me personally it might come down to either our set at Rainbow Trout 2019 or Playing a Gorillaz Cover set for a halloween show! I think playing with Dirty Projectors at Sled Island at 2018 would be a 3rd pick for you, that was a cool rock star moment.
2. How do you keep yourself healthy and happy working in music?
I think my relationship with music is constantly changing as it should as an artist, I can't do it all the time anymore. I give myself breaks, I focus on concepts, storytelling, and bigger ideas than just the music and for me that's given songwriting a whole new light, it's become a lot more patient but a lot more meaningful.
3. What is the biggest challenge you've experienced in getting to where you are?
Overcoming myself for sure. I get in my own way all the time, i'm constantly doubting every decision I make, and as a "solo" artist you just kinda free float through things just hoping for the best. There isn't really a guideline in how to manage your mental health or successes. They both feed into one another for the better and the worse and if you aren't ready for certain things that can mess with you for sure.
4. What is the best part of your life that isn't music related?
I'm lucky enough to have some really great close friends, I have 2 great jobs that i'm always stoked to go into. I'm healthy, I have a roof over my head so things are going pretty well in life. It wouldn't feel right to complain about anything.
5. What is the best advice you have been given in the music business?
"If it scares you, do it" I think you enter the music industry with a glamourized idea of what it's gonna be, and honestly it's none of that. Some things are larger than life and if you're a little nervous or unsure I feel like that can be a really useful tool to doing things the right way. When things start happening, you gotta be ready to hop on things and figure it out as you go. I mean I don't know shit about running a business but honestly I know a lot about fucking up and correcting my mistakes, when you're in the music biz you'll find that's a pretty useful skill to have.