INTERVIEW: Wolfe Jackson

Hi Wolfe, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you! It’s great to be here. I’ve been doing great thanks, very busy with a few different projects but busy is my comfort zone.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Photographs”?

“Photographs” is a piano ballad that I’d describe as deeply nostalgic and sentimental. It’s a very intimate track with just my vocal, a grand piano and a string quartet; because of that it’s a pretty vulnerable and emotional track. It’s also a nod to some of those classic songwriters like Lennon & McCartney, Carol King and Simon & Garfunkel.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

“Photographs” is a reflection on a bad relationship I came out of a couple years ago and for me it was about the importance of keeping hold of all the memories and moments I had with that person despite the way things ended. Ultimately every experience, event or relationship we have becomes a part of us forever. I think this song reminds me of that fact.

The single comes off your new album The Nobody Knows Me (Better Than You) – what’s the story behind the title?

The EP is very much an open love-letter to anyone who I loved or cared about during my time in New York City. It’s a very personal record with songs to lovers, best friends and even one for my pup Bella! “Nobody Knows Me (Better Than You),” as a title, works on a few levels because it speaks out to those few people that the songs are to or about but to me it also spoke to the listeners. I often say the best way to understand me and my story is through my music, so it speaks to them too.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was a pretty unique recording situation. We recorded the whole EP in about a week at a small home studio in Brooklyn, recording everything live and pretty much all acoustically. It’s a real pleasure working with the producers Leo & Randy as we go way back and they have a really great understanding of my creative process and the sound I was trying to achieve.

What made you want to go for a live approach?

I wanted to capture the same passion and intimacy an audience would get at a live acoustic show, so I played and sang at the same time throughout the record and didn’t play to a click or use headphones. I just wanted the record to sound as organic and truthful as possible – flaws and all. A good friend of mine once told me, it is the imperfections in music that make it real and relatable. In a climate of touch-ups, filters and auto-tuning it was really important to me to make something real, honest and untouched.

What was it like to work with Leo Sidran and how did that relationship develop?

It’s always a real pleasure working with Leo! We just have such a great understanding of each other musically and I think we’re really on the same page throughout the creative process. We first met back in 2014 when I’d just moved to New York when a mutual friend, Mike Dixon at Sodarock Entertainment, suggested we get together. Leo came to a show and we decided to meet up and jam. We ended up talking for hours and began writing together immediately! We’ve worked on a lot of projects together and Leo also introduced me to co-producer on the EP Randy Ingram, who is also a blast to work with. Randy played and produced on my last single “Remedy” too.

How much did he influence the EP?

I think what I love most about working with Leo is his ability to sit back and observe what’s going on creatively, taking into account what’s best for the record. He’ll then he throws his knowledge, expertise into the mix. I mean the guys won GRAMMYs and Academy Awards so it goes without saying that his ability is phenomenal.

What role does LA play in your music?

Since I moved to L.A. I think I’ve just had a lot of space and time to explore ideas and listen to a lot of new music. After the tour this summer I had a lot of time to reflect and come-down from that experience. I’ve been writing a lot of heavier alt-rock/ blues-driven stuff. I spent most the summer and fall listening to the likes of Black Keys, Muddy Waters & Jimi Hendrix.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Last year was a real year of self-discovery and being true to myself so I think that really comes through in the content and the style of the record. I think generally anything I find difficult to talk about or deal with in my life I convey through my writing. I think above all keeping it real and talking from the heart is the most important aspect of writing.

Any plans to hit the road?

 I have a big record release show in Los Angeles on May 31st at Hotel Cafe. I’m thinking of planning a west-coast tour this summer but I’m also really keen to play some festivals in 2019 and maybe head back to the U.K. too.

What else is happening next in Wolfe Jackson’s world?

 I’ve been writing a lot of new material lately and getting some players together to make a record this summer. I’m on a mission to find the right producer for the next record; the new stuff is a lot heavier and grungier so finding someone to capture that rawness is essential!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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