1. Can you tell us more about your latest single “Benny Blanco”?
Benny Blanco is my first proper single and I got the idea from the character Benny Blanco from the movie Carlito’s Way. He was the underdog that wasn’t taken seriously at first but had the last laugh, I wanted to tell a similar story regarding my music, a message to anyone that didn’t believe in me, that I can be an artist and not just a song writer behind the scenes.
2. Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I got inspired to do a Reggaeton song when I went to LA for the first time and went to some Reggaeton nights out there. The atmosphere was electric and saw the reaction of the crowd and wanted to make a song that would get people dancing with the same energy. I would say that, along with the whole underdog story from the carlito’s way movie is what inspired me to write the song.
3. Talk us through the recording process, who did you work with?
I worked on the track with a producer called VSG, he is a versatile producer, artist, writer and engineer. I wrote the song around April and didn’t do much with it as I was writing other songs too. I decided to show the lyrics and the melody I had in mind to VSG around July 2019. We started working on the track in august 2019, the track was finished the following month after a few changes and I shot the video in September and released the song in October 2019.
4. What made you want to bring a Reggaeton flavour to the track?
It was my time in LA as I mentioned before, it’s a genre that I’ve listened to for a while, been a fan of Reggaeton since I heard the daddy yankee song ‘Gasolina’. No one in the UK was doing rap songs over Reggaeton music so I thought I’d try it myself and see how it goes. It has had positive responses for far, so I’m happy with the song.
5. What made you want to pay tribute to Carlito’s Way with the music video for “Benny Blanco”?
As I mentioned before, I wanted to portray a similar underdog story like the character Benny Blanco in Carlito’s Way as I felt close to the character but in a musical way. It’s a great movie as well so I think the concept of using that particular character in that movie worked well.
6. What role does the UK music industry play in your music?
I started off writing on grime music over ten years ago so the UK industry has influenced me in a lot of ways. I usually rap in a faster style which is more known to the UK than the US. The US has influenced me more overall but the days of garage and grime music definitely play a big role in my music story.
7. How has Michael Jackson and Nas influenced your writing?
Michael Jackson and Nas both depict music greatness for me. The thriller album and Nas’ debut album ‘Illmatic to me are just musical perfection. The writing of Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton on that album is flawless and I’ve learnt the commercial aspects of how to write a great song because of it. The Nas album is more lyrically complex and the story telling is genius in itself too, I learnt how to structure a hip hop song from the Illmatic album. I think they are both greats of their genre and music as a whole too. Those artists and those particular albums inspired my love of music even more.
8. Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Yes, I have been in the studio a lot and I am currently working on more songs and will be bringing out an E.P soon. Written about 50 songs and will pick the strongest and relevant ones for the E.P.
9. Any tentative release date or title in mind?
The next single will be entitled ‘Only One’, and I am planning on releasing this song sometime in February 2020 with a music video. As for the E.P, I don’t have a title in mind yet.
10. Any plans to hit the road in 2020?
I am planning to do some open mic nights around London and other parts of the country this year. I will also do the same when I go out to L.A again this year. No dates announced yet but I will post up dates on my social media for when they are coming up, my social media handle is @jaellesongs for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, so keep an eye out on there for all my latest releases and performances, 2020 will be exciting for my music. Thanks very much.
Here are his social media, music and video links –