It’s rare these days to find musicians who are completely hands-on with their own music. It’s not to say having a team makes you less of a musician in anyway, but to have absolute total control, from start to end is hard work. Jetta has clearly been working hard to make her own songs. From the birth of melodies, to taking full control her own music videos, she’s keen to be there in every step of her upcoming EP’s journey. Right now, as I’m speaking to Jetta on the phone, she says she’s locked in her own studio in London, where she’s been working on her EP for the past 18 months. She’s even decided to release her EP (out August 24th) on her own independent label, ‘Lion’s Roar’.
Today marks the day of her latest release, ‘Fool’ – a song and video that reflects a very Sia-esque style. That being said, Jetta clearly has her own style, which you can clearly see in her past songs. A soft voice, which can transcend from a powerful vocal to a sweet harmony. Her music is diverse, and as she assures me, is something she intends to play around with in the future.
We chat about her music, including her upcoming EP and latest track drop, ‘Fool’:
If you could just start off and tell me about the creative process behind both ‘Losing Control’ and your newest video, ‘Fool’ and how they all came to be.
The creative process is kind of the same for the whole EP really. For me the music comes first and it’s usually defined by my mood on the day and you know in the EP there are so many different moods on this track, like if I’m feeling happy, say for example with Fool or Losing Control then you know you’re going to get some electro funk battle or if I’m feeling more bittersweet, there are loads of layers and then I’ll think about the melody and the lyrics come after that. But then once in a while I’ll wake up with the whole song stuck in my head, and that’s what happened with the final track on my EP where I literally just had to jump out of bed and grab me laptop, and I was still in my pyjamas and everything, just to get it all down. It’s been about an 18-month process, I’m still here! I’m still in here at the studio, I can’t get out of here! But when it comes to the video I really love to be creatively involved in everything and it was really fun to get stuck into the concept of the video and everything as well with the team.
In ‘Fool’, you’re not actually in the video, it’s just mostly based on dancers
No I’m not, and actually, they’re the same three girls that are in ‘Losing Control’, I’ve just basically styled them up and given them some wigs, so you have to do a double take. I did the styling of the hair, the makeup, picked the location, so it was really it was nice to be on that side of things for this video
Was there a particular reason why you didn’t want to be in the video yourself?
I just had this image really when I was listening to it of being these three girls dancing and I just wanted to stick with it. I don’t feel like I don’t need to be in all the videos, and because I did a visual for every song, it’s quite nice just to break it up with something a little bit different
I loved your video ‘Losing Control’ and all the beautiful clothes you got to wear
Yeah, I got to go shopping with the stylist as well and we picked everything all together, and we went to this amazing warehouse and we just tried on so many different clothes, which is just an excuse to dress up.
It’s the one thing I’m jealous about musicians is that they get to wear all of these amazing outfits and dresses
You can do that as well!
So what can we expect from your new upcoming EP?
So my EP is launching on the 24th August, so that’s in about two weeks. I’ve been releasing every track individually each week along with videos, just because why not? Apart from that, I’ve got these other projects that I’m working actually just as a producer, with a couple of other people. I can’t say who, but it is exciting! It’s nice to separate it a little bit form my own material that I’ve been working so intensely on, all the time. I’ve got my first headline show in Camden Assembly in London on the 27th September, so I’m really really looking forward to that.
Do you have any other gigs happening outside of London?
Yeah, for sure, I haven’t got them confirmed yet but they will be all over my Facebook, just keep an eye out!
So from what I understand, you’re going to be releasing your EP on your own independent label which you started yourself, was there a particular reason why you wanted to release it on your own?
I think at this point especially, it kind of ties into of why I love the freedom of being a producer. It’s that there are just no boundaries and I think the journey that everything takes that everything takes is up to me and I can do it my way and that the freedom of being able to do that with my own label is something that I felt that I wanted to show that it is possible to do that.
Why did you decide to call your own label, ‘Lion’s Roar’?
Two reasons, one of them is a reference to some lyrics from a song on my EP, ‘Start a Riot’ where it’s ‘feeding the lion’s roar’ and for me, that was about being courageous and obviously I’ve got, I’m the only on my label now, but the whole point is just being your person and taking risk and just shouting out about what you’ve got to say, and that’s what ‘Lion’s Roar’ means for me.
If you could sign anyone up to your label, who would it be and why?
I’m really into Moderat, I love them, and I would love to collaborate with them as well. But then when I think about influences as well, obviously I would want my own influences to be on when I was making the EP. I’ve been listening to a lot of the 80s and 90s British music. I love Underworld, they’ve always been a massive inspiration and then in terms of production, I’d say Timbaland’s records with Nelly Furtado, that sort of vibe. It’s because all of these people are real and they have something to say.
I’m in the studio now looking at me shelf, and I was back in Liverpool last week, I was going through all of my old stuff and I found these really old tapes, and guilty pleasures back then – so I’m looking at now, I’ve got Spice Girls on there, Shania Twain, and Mariah Carey. They’re all in a shrine in me studio.
Speaking about your hometown, Liverpool – it’s a city that’s renowned for being the birth home of so many great musicians; so how has your upbringing in Liverpool affected your music today?
I’ve always followed the Indie movements because it’s heavily guitar bands all across Liverpool and that’s something that my Dad, in particular, has loved. He’s always played in guitar bands – and he wouldn’t always necessarily just play Liverpool artists, he would play things like Bowie, and TRex as well. But for me, I joined an acapella choir when I was a kid and when I started producing my own music later down the line, at 16, I took those acapella influences with me. Actually, for ‘Losing Control’ for example, that verse was actually one of the first song ideas I ever started writing. At the time I just had the first verse and I’ve had that verse with me for so long and I finally have that verse in a song and it’s just amazing to have that link from the journey from Liverpool to now. So, I used to start with acapella vocals, when I was still trying to teach myself how to produce music. I’d lay on all these different harmonies and different sounds. So, Liverpool has definitely been the sort of staple for me, with that indie electronic crossover.
Is there a particular genre, other than your own you would want to try out in the future?
Do know you what, I don’t feel like there’s one genre necessarily on the EP. You know when people ask me to describe your sound? I really hate that question, and I’ll tell you why. I don’t identify with one way of doing anything, whether it’s making a song, or it’s the way I dress – as long as people feel it in some way, that’s what it’s about for me. For the EP I wanted to go on an emotional journey which reflects how I was feeling at each stage, so I feel like the at the beginning it starts off with a more vulnerable tone, and then goes into a lusty stage, and then into doubt and self-reflection and acceptance, you know where you’ve come to, so I feel like that in itself is very much like, an emotional journey, and I feel like I want to continue to experiment as much as I feel like I have been now.
As a new artist, what do you think is most important when breaking into the music industry in order to set yourself apart from everyone else?
I think it’s important to lead with your heart, and stay true to yourself, trust your gut in terms of the decisions you make with your music. For me personally, I want to make people feel everything because emotions are good for you really, aren’t they? I just wanted to move people in some way, and to be honest. I actually quite like it when I get dislikes on videos, because I know it’s not just me mates listening to my music, it’s actually reaching someone else and making them feel something.
When it comes to producing your own songs, do you normally have a team with you, or is it just mostly you making your own songs?
It’s literally just me, I do it all on my own – and I have someone who mixes it and masters it so it sounds like a proper song. I compose everything myself, and I’ve actually worked with someone else on one song, like part of one song, but I would say it’s just me with my keyboard and laptop, then I just go in an finesse it with someone.
It’s a really simple set up, as well, I don’t have anything fancy, I feel intimidated with big studios. I like to have my travelling studio where I can just take my laptop and headphones, and I’ve got my own mini keyboard at home as well, and so I can go on the terrace, and maybe even go to the park. I’m not confined to this one space if I don’t need to, you know? I find I can’t really express myself, or very well in what it is I hear if I just don’t do it myself, so, something I can’t say, I just have to make it into something musically
Watch Jetta’s Brand New video, ‘Fool’ down below: