Introductory track ‘Kill Ur Cool’ is as honest, raw and icy as the title suggests. With ex-Kaiser Chief Nick Hodsgon on production duties, Jayelldee’s smooth, confident vocals are layered against the perfect pop/electro landscape. We loved it so much that we caught up with ‘pop’s alternative princess’ to find out more.
It’s been a while since we last heard from you, but you’ve come back with a slightly edgier, rawer and more organic sound. Was it a conscious decision to switch lanes with the new music?
I had a record deal that didn’t work out – I wasn’t in a good place, and I was being led down a path that creatively just didn’t feel right. I wasn’t writing honest music. It was a really painful process to face up to everything in my past, but then I started writing again at home on my keyboard, and since then I’ve been working these up into tracks with an amazing bunch of people. Every song starts with me alone on my keyboard. I put some ideas down and then we take them to a place that just feels right. I’ve finished a bunch of songs for an album with Lostboy and Nick Hodgson.
Tell us more about ‘Kill Ur Cool’.
The track is about my Dad. I had to open up with how him not being there actually made me feel like the anger and disappointment of waiting up in my best dress for him to not show. At the time, it was a really healing process to write. The chorus has become a really positive meaning for me. I didn’t mention his name and I’m glad, as I really love to hear other people’s own interpretation of the lyrics now.
How would you describe your overall aesthetic, as an artist?
Punk, tomboy, street…
You seem very style-savvy – do you have creative control over your image?
I have total control, but I love collaborating. I see style as an art form and another way to express yourself. I love to work together on making the overall look, but still keeping a very real sense of who I am. Luckily, the people I work with are all on the same journey – we all want to have fun, enjoy the process and push ourselves creatively as a team. I love creepers from Underground! Also Maison Martin Margelia, Christopher Raeburn, Edeline Lee. Also Adidas, Jeremy Scott, Lazy Oaf, Criminal Damage, Urban Outfitters…
You cite everyone from Slipknot to Elvis as inspirations. How have they had an impact on your new music?
I’m such a huge fan of Slipknot and Elvis, ever since I was a kid! l guess I love that their lyrics are so honest and delivered so beautifully, with real passion. I also like how much effort goes into everything about them, including their image, and how their shows make their audience really feel connected and part of something.
If you had to collaborate with any other artist (alive or dead), who would you pick?
I’d say Elvis but we wouldn’t get anything done, because I would just pass out from excitement. Pharrell Williams would be incredible too. That track would It would be a mix of punk, rap and pop… like if Andre 3000 had a baby with Gwen Stefani.
You grew up in Wales. How has living in London shaped you, as a creative?
I’m not really sure if it has. Life has shaped me though. I was a very scared child without much belief in myself, and different life situations have brought me to a point of despair where there was nothing left to lose than to do what I love. Whether it’s London or Wales, it doesn’t really matter creatively as long as I’m being true to myself.
What were the last three tracks you listened to?
Years + Years – ‘Eyes Shut’, Frank Sinatra – ‘That’s Life’ and Madonna – ‘Into the Groove’.
What do you have in the pipeline for the rest of the year?
I’m getting my live show ready, so rehearsing for that. I have also an EP coming out in November,e and I want to keep writing.