G-7L1BQ01JC4 google-site-verification=FcHx71H1bjVosBa3N5PbNSP0lPlz9dKW5Fnb3zbHVBI Interview podcast featuring British gay musician Jsky. - Gay Music: In the Key of Q

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Published on:

15th Feb 2022

Jsky - Revisited

Featuring new material made public for the first time, LGBTQ singer Jsky discusses his five favourite songs plus the one track that he'd chosen as a gateway song into his catalogue.

Series 2 of In the Key of Q will begin on 1 March 2022.

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Transcript
::

Dan

Hello, it's Dan here. In the Key of Q is on hiatus until the first of March, but until those new episodes drop, here are clips from the patron exclusive feed, plus other treats from the main episode to keep you occupied.

::

Dan

This week we revisit Jsky. This is an episode in our songs to save you from Armageddon series, in which our wonderful guests selects five songs to save from the end of the world. Enjoy.

And I'm delighted to welcome back for this Patreon special, Jsky all the way from Manchester.

::

Dan

Hello?

::

Jsky

Hey, how are you doing? All right.

::

Dan

Jolly good. Thank you. Now I'm afraid I got some terrible bad news to tell you, and that is the end of the world is coming.

::

Jsky

Apparently so.

::

Dan

Oh, it's it's not a good space, really. You know, all this, all this doom and gloom. But nonetheless, you get the joy of managing to rescue five songs.

::

Jsky

Oh wow, OK.

::

Dan

You can say five songs from the end of the world. So what would they be and why?

::

Jsky

Well, one of them has to be one of my own. Probably Want You because my latest single is doing quite good. Well, that in terms of other records, there's a record by Denise Williams called Free, and that was the song that I first came to the conclusion that I was gay to.

::

Jsky

So I remember I found it when I was at university and it was so bizarre. It was like something about the song. I don't know if I'd heard it in the womb. I don't know if I'd heard it when I was a baby, but something about this song is like, I knew it, but I didn't know it.

::

Jsky

So I kept the song on repeat and I couldn't sleep at night. I was tossing and turning and thinking about everything as like my life was flashing before my eyes, and then I just realised and thought about as I Oh my god, everything makes sense now and then.

::

Jsky

Years later, I got to go to a Motown event, which was hosted by David Guest and a lot of Motown original records. And I used to say people like Dionne Warwick and people like Denise Williams on tour. I got to meet her after she performed a little song changed my life.

::

Jsky

And it's a beautiful moment, so that would be the second record.

::

Dan

Now that you're more musically aware and you know you're producing stuff When you listen to that now do you have any inkling as to what it was that just made you go, Oh!

::

Jsky

There's a lot about that record. There's obviously a Denise Williams voice is very angelic. The lyrical content about wanting to be free, it just resonated with me in such a way where it just made me sort of an external look at my life and what everything could be like.

::

Jsky

I was that I was able to connect the dots from a place where music, the best music, it should be felt. And I felt something when I first heard that.

::

Dan

It is funny, though, isn't it? Sometimes with a piece of music? Like, even before you reach the chorus, something just goes wow!.

::

Jsky

Oh yeah, the best music is definitely does yeah. The third track could be Pavarotti's Nessun Dorma again, when I was a child, the first cassette I ever owned was Pavarotti. The second one was Ace of Base. I was a very random child, both obviously.

::

Jsky

The signs were that that I was going to be in some way musically challenged.

::

Dan

Could I ask which Ace of Base? Was it All That She Wants?

::

Jsky

It was.

::

Dan

Indeed. Oh, it's a good song.

::

Jsky

I got it. I got it from a car boot sale at my high school, so I was always into music. But Nessun Dorma, I think, is it's got again you listen to it and you feel something.

::

Jsky

And if it's the world's end, then there's no better time than then than to feel something right.

::

Dan

You know what a time to feel something. Yeah. And I think one of the amazing things about Nessun Dorma is that and in fact, with any piece of music that isn't that's in any piece of music that's in a genre that maybe you don't listen to and somehow still strikes you.

::

Dan

Because I'm not an opera fan. It really doesn't speak to me. And yet something about that is so stirring.

::

Jsky

Yeah, it's beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. What would be your record of choice in this situation?

::

Dan

Oh my god. You're the you're the 10th person I've recorded and you're the first person that’s asked that back. What would I? Oh, God.

::

Jsky

Put you on the spot there, haven’t I/

::

Dan

You know what, it's back to that thing of what were those songs that just before you'd even knew who was singing them kicked you in an amazing way? I'd say one of them was Green Day's American Idiot, because it was that kind of post-punk that I really love.

::

Dan

Yeah, definitely. You know, not being any stereotype here, but Judy Over the Rainbow? Definitely Nancy Wilson's version of the Masquerade is Over. Oh my god, it's incredible. It's incredible. Just you listen to the control on her voice.

::

Dan

Yeah. And it makes you faint and you know. You know in that way that when you listen to the Carpenters absolutely control in the voice or someone like k.d. lang and you just think, Oh my God. I think probably the Stereophonics cover of First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.

::

Dan

It’s so horny. Yeah. It's just like it's one of those lovely songs. You just got hard listening to it. It's just, Oh my god. Wow. And the fifth one. Or the fifth one be. You know, probably. It would have to be something just right up there and fun, so.

::

Dan

Oh, probably a song called Hello from Mars sung by FLY, which was a Eurovision song from, I think, Lithuania, where 15 years ago and it just something about that just sends me to heaven.

::

Jsky

Oh, well, there we are. And then that's it. The world ends. Absolutely it.

::

Dan

But not before we hear the rest of yours.

::

Jsky

Oh, of course. Yes. A little bit of a distraction, certainly there. But I may apologise. You know, if it's going to be the end of the world, I'd like to have a bit of a boogie and the ultimate floor filler for me is Somebody Else's Guy.

::

Jsky

By Jocelyn Brown.

::

Dan

Oh yes.

::

Jsky

one of the best intros, one of the best drops. So I probably say that. And then another laid back house record, which is a classic for me, is Missing You by Larry Heard. I don't know how many people know it, but I just think there's something about that.

::

Jsky

Also that makes me feel something.

::

Dan

Those sound like a pretty marvellous selection, and for anybody that wants to hear them, of course, we'll have a playlist in the show notes linking to them. I'm curious to know just before we wrap this up what it is about the current single that you have out of yours that you feel you're going to enjoy

::

Dan

Is it? Is it a sense of achievement that you've done it? Or is it just you produce only authentic music that you feel speaks to you and could speak to an audience?

::

Jsky

It's definitely a case of I've achieved something that I was told I was I wasn't able to do for the longest time. I was told not to sing or that I was wasting my time, et cetera, et cetera. And when I got to do this single was during the lockdown, so I was able to get to a studio. There was an extra extra pressure to not be able to do something. And yeah, I was able to source new producers over the internet people I've never even met.

::

Jsky

I turned my bedroom into a recording studio. I worked extra hours because I was one of the lucky people. I managed to keep the job but working from home, so I literally just saved up as much money as I could.

::

Jsky

So the money that would normally be spent on travel to the office and for lunch etc, I'd literally put that money towards being able to buy the rights to to say, Look, I am the bosses who told the song to sound and just make something that I'm truly proud of, because previously it was a case of trying to get favours for studio times, working with producers, but not really having any artist control over the actual music that was coming out and just hoping for the best. Well, with this track you is like, OK, I've done house music before. I've done like 90 style R&B before, but can I make something that is the best of both worlds, but speaks truth to me in a way that it's got a similar style to the music I listened to growing up with sounds that people might appreciate now.

::

Jsky

I was just trying to bring all the worlds together, but put my stamp on it and put me at the forefront instead of me featured on someone else's track. This was the first track I felt was really, truly myself.

::

Dan

And I've seen it in the press that you've said that this track has helped you see yourself in a new light.

::

Jsky

Absolutely. Yeah, it has. It's made me feel like, you know what? I can actually do everything that I wanted to do.

::

Dan

And I think that is, you know, that's such a fantastic thing to say and a great thing for people to on this podcast to hear, because I think certainly for us queer individuals, we spend so much of our life with people saying, you can't do this, you can't do that, including, you know, loving people.

::

Jsky

Yeah, yeah, definitely. And also with this record, that was another thing because like, I've never been one person to write or sing about something which isn't true. And I just thought, there's a massive gap still for that to be a gay artist doing music like this, which things about being in love with a man or wanting a man, but in a way that's accessible to any audience. And I wasn't hiding it in the video. I've got topless men in there, but at the same time, if I look at the algorithms and the data in the background, most of the people are listening to this record are straight people.

::

Jsky

Everyone wants love and this is a way to maybe bring a bit more acceptance across the board so that people can see and unify us across the board.

::

Dan

Jsky my ambition for this podcast is to introduce our listeners to new queer music and to celebrate that music. But I think often approaching some of these catalogue when there's a whole lot of songs to listen to can be quite daunting.

::

Dan

So if if our listening audience had one track of yours to act as a gateway drug into your catalogue, what do you think it should be and why.

::

Jsky

It be the lead song from my EP. It's called Want You, and it's just a very nice catchy R&B pop bob. It's got elements of some of the sounds I like in house music in there, but it's also got a bit of a laidback feel.

::

Jsky

It's a mid-tempo, so a lot of different audiences should appreciate it for different reasons. I tried to make my EP, which is called A La Mode a very fashion-forward record so that it's something you could possibly imagine, maybe a piece rolling down the street or on a catwalk or something just to make you feel a bit better about yourself in your everyday life. So there's some records I've got a lot of sass in there. There's some records I've got a lot of self empowering messages in the there. But overall I just wanted to bring out something that was fun and made you feel good.

::

Dan

Jsky it has been absolutely wonderful to have you on the show, thank you so much for joining us.

::

Jsky

Thank you for your time. It's been a really good conversation.

::

Dan

Brilliant, brilliant. And when things get back to normal and you do come down to London, you must make sure you give a shout because I must buy you a drink to say thank you for your time.

::

Jsky

Thank you very much. You know, that's my favourite kind of drink, a free one!

::

Dan

Many thanks for listening. Check out the show. Notes for the Spotify playlist, compliments this episode, and remember, there's exclusive content over at patreon.com/inthekeyofq.

::

Dan

The pod’s on social media or email me on podcast@inthekeyofq.com and rate and review the show on your podcast provider. It really, really helps. Our theme tune is by Paul Leonidou at unstoppablemonsters.com.

::

Dan

Many thanks to Kajann Kantha and Moray Laing for their support in making this episode. The show is presented and produced by me, Dan Hall and made at Pup Media Consultancy. See you next Quesday!

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About the Podcast

Gay Music: In the Key of Q
Queer chat. Queer music.
Music-loving gay podcast. The best bi and gay music from around the world featuring insightful and inspiring conversations with Queer musicians.

Episodes drop weekly and are 30-40 minutes in length, celebrating LGBTQ identity, tunes and stories.

Presented by Dan Hall (producer, BBC’s Freddie Mercury: The Final Act) and produced by Pup Media.
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