“I deserve to be treated better… I’m just tryna translate that into music”
Both produced by dylantheinfamous, ‘Housenohome (Ft. Black Josh)‘ and ‘LADYBIRD‘ are the vocalist’s first official tunes on Blah Records. Jaydon had joined Dylan Gray on stage for his YUNGMORPHEUS support slot and was then interrupted by the Brummie beatmaker throughout her interview. Amidst tunes and tangents, we talked personal growth and the difficulties of treating songs like diary entries.
This is an “unapologetically drunk” Jaydonclover singing and speaking from the heart.
Listen to happier, but still sad now
You’ve just been on stage with Dylan Gray, do you have any pre-performance rituals or things you do without fail?
J: “Drink a Magnum. Remind myself who the fuck I am and just remember to be comfortable. I think that’s the most important thing anyway. When I step out my house, like bro, I’m here, I’m supposed to be here. Be confident, be comfortable, con-fi-dent in the fact that I’m here and I’m supposed to be here and I’m supposed to exist.”
[Dylan Gray makes a dramatic entrance]
D: “Wait, we should get some Jaws theme music or something right there [laughs]. Dylan Gray is in the house.”
Last time at The Hackney Social was your Blah Records arrival show. How did that gig feel?
J: “Mhhhmm! Ok so—”
D: “It’s been beautiful man, it’s been beautiful.’
J: “No, this is my interview so imma need you to just not [laughs]. So, the show, that was beautiful. I think the main thing that I’m so appreciative about the show was the fact that my homies, (the real ones who’ve fucked with me since this whole shit started), they came to London. It was them driving down and just being here, being present, performing, helping me as they always do, and then coming back to mine to celebrate my birthday. And yeah, just enjoying each other’s company. I’ve missed them so much and it was just the time for us to kind of re-connect and get back together again especially after lockdown, and me moving. I moved at such a weird time that we couldn’t actually do drinks or anything. I literally just went.
“But, I think the show was very beautiful and the audience were very respectful. It was clear that they were there to see me, which was mad though. I’m very appreciative of them being there. It was beautiful and it takes me a while to process shit so I still haven’t processed it but I know that it was a very beautiful night and I was respected and the love was there and the support was there.”
Curated by you, who supported on stage?
Your latest release just landed. Can you explain the backstory to ‘Housenohome’ with Black Josh?
J: “For me, I think it’s quite difficult because I don’t know how much I want to disclose about my personal situation when I wrote that song, but basically, I was sofa-surfing in London and I didn’t have an actual home yet. I remember being in Mem’s and Ralph’s house in Brixton and they were letting me stay for a few weeks. They’d gone out and I was like, ‘OK I wanna write, how do I feel?’ I started with this hook, this melody, then was like, ‘Shit, where the fuck did that come from?’ It made sense: ‘I have a place of residence but I don’t live there anymore’ – my mum’s house in Birmingham. ‘I have a place where I rest my head but that’s just not my home’ – Mem’s and Ralph’s house in Brixton. ‘I have a place where my family live but I just go and visit’ – and that’s Birmingham ya know, my family live there but I literally just go and visit. I remember the last time I went there I was gonna spend the night but something was just like, ‘Do what you need to do and go back within one day’, and I did.”
D: “Did you shout out B42?”
J: “Shout out B42, shout out 0121.”
D: “Where did you say your parents used to live again bro?”
Kinda near Scott Arms in Great Barr…
Both: “Scott Arms!”
D: “If I fall asleep on the bus I’ll wake up there init. It’s a long walk from there.”
J: “Walsall Road ughhhhh.”
D: “I’ve done that yeah, all the way back. Half an hour it’s fine though.”
J: “At least you live near enough the top of the hill. Bro, when you have to walk past that bridge ahhhh fuck off. It feels like an hour.”
D: “But nah, shout out Scott Arms. Shout out Dean Smith who got sacked as well. I said that to you in our interview init!? You asked me about The Villa and that. Fuck Dean Smith but shout out Dean Smith for the record.”
J: “Um, this is my interview. I don’t know who that is. Let’s not talk about him…”
D: “Are any of the questions about me?”
J: “No man, fuck you bro!”
There are too many Jaydon interviews where you’re mentioned...
D: “That’s the clause in our relationship! The only reason I still follow her on Instagram is because that is a clause.” [Laughs]
J: “Bisk is here! Lauren Arch is calmly watching from the distance – she peace signs.”
D: “For the record, Bisk just tried to jump me.”
J: “It’s about time.”
‘London At Dawn’ dropped in 2018. Now being in London for every dawn, how does your current outlook compare to back then?
J: “Oh shit you know about ‘London At Dawn‘!”
D: “This guy does research man, that’s why I fuck with you bro.”
J: “This is the ‘London At Dawn’ coat I’m wearing now – the one I wore in the music video! It’s still in good condition and it’s warm as fuck. But, when I wrote that song I was a baby girl. Now I’m a grown baby girl; I’ve learnt and been through so much. That song was about someone who was from London who I was seeing at the time and we kind of ended it. It was like ‘I wanna be in London at dawn with you’, but now I’m in London at dawn with my fucking self and every day I’m proud of myself. Every day I wake up and I’m like, ‘Shit, I’m really doing what I need to do, I really am who I am’. So yeah, I think the difference between ‘London At Dawn’-jaydonclover and now-jaydonclover is the fact that I am very much aware of my purpose, who I am, what I’m here to do, what my mission is, who I’m trying to be and what I’m tryna put out there – the vibes and energies. Back then I had no idea.”
You’ve previously described creating music as “writing a diary entry and publishing it for the world to hear.” Is it fair to say that’s that doesn’t ring more true than on ‘LADYBIRD’ where your diary is an open book?
J: “100%. Those singles, instead of it being called happier, but still sad, they were gonna be called diary entries because they kind of are. They’re literally what I’ve lived this year. So yeah, 100%, it’s very true. But it was very scary for me to release those song because I’m not talking about a guy, I’m not talking about ‘Oh this guy fucking shattered my heart’, I’m talking from me, I’m talking from my heart, I’m talking from my experiences in London as a Black woman from Birmingham. I’m talking from me. It’s very scary though, very fucking scary.”
How do you find that process of sharing your personal struggles?
J: “Very scary. So scary that I actually changed some of the lyrics to ‘Housenohome‘. They were very… honest at one point. Calling out some bullshit that I went through, but, I was like, ‘No, I’m not ready. I don’t wanna talk about that just yet and expose my truth that much right now’. I’ve been through some hard times this year. I’ve been through some struggles, some ups and downs. But yeah, I think releasing these songs allowed me to be open… you know when you unlock a character in a game? I feel like I’ve unlocked a bit of a new character. It’s a different side of me whereas before it was like ‘Uhh boys, uhh boys’, whereas now it’s like ‘Ahh life’.
In our March interview with Dylan he said “I wanna paint pretty pictures man, and that’s what my work with Jaydon is there for,” – would you describe your music as pretty pictures?
[Dylan ran over to read the quote aloud]
J: “Oh wait, bye Bisk, bye CL! My friends are going aww. Anyway, you know what, it’s so weird because when I see my music I don’t see it as pictures or paintings. I see it as my emotions and what I’m actually pouring out. So no, fuck Dylan. As much as I love art, physical art like paintings and shit, my music is feelings, my music is sound, my music is colours. When I listen to ‘LADYBIRD‘ and ‘Housenohome‘, I just see darkness. Not bad darkness, not scary, threatening darkness, I just see winter.”
Does that define happier, but still sad?
J: “Yeah, and that can work in so many different contexts because someone might be like, ‘Oh Jaydon, how’s life now that you’ve moved to London?’ – ‘Yeah, I’m happier but still sad’. ‘Oh Jaydon, how’s work?’ – ‘Yeah it’s alright, happier but I’m still sad’. That can just be used with any sentence. I wrote a tweet saying my next few singles are happier but still sad, if you know my music that makes sense to you but if you also know my life that’ll make sense to you. You can use it in so many different contexts, so yeah. I love a play on words. ‘Secondsin‘ – is it ‘seconds in’ or ‘second sin’? I think that’s a really good song you know. I think it’s my best.” [Breaks into song]
What did it mean for you to receive a co-sign from a key influence like Kate Nash?
J: “Kate Nash. Yeah, I love her. I love her so much. I remember being like 15 and being like, ‘Oh my god, she’s talking but singing about boys and I get it.’ And, ‘Oh my god, why am I so confused about boys but she makes sense about it.’ She was just… she’s everything. Even her latest albums where she’s kinda more rock, that’s the vibe.”
D: “Who’s this?”
J: “Kate Nash!”
D: “Oh she retweeted you recently. She quote tweeted you.”
J: “Yeah she did! I love her. I just love the delivery. Her music is so conversational and that’s what my music is, it’s conversational. I can answer you, I can talk to you in my music. If you ask me a question my music will answer you and tell you wagwan. I’d actually die if Kate Nash was like ‘Ah Jaydon, c’mon let’s do something’. I love her. As well as Eliza Doolittle (ELIZA all caps) and Lily Allen. I’m just inspired by the English-speaking pop/R&B/alternative women in the UK scene. I fucking love them.”
You’re killing it for them. And more.
J: “To be fair, out of Lily Allen, Kate Nash, ELIZA, I’m black. I’m black, and I don’t wanna say I sound like a white woman, but I just make music for everybody. So it’s not necessarily oh, ‘Black music’, but it’s music for everyone. Whether you’re a guy, whether you’re a girl, whether you’re sad, whether you’re happy, my music is for you.”
What pockets are you looking to move into next?
J: “You know what, when I did Recovering Lover I was a lot younger than I am now. Life has lifed the fuck out of me and I just feel like I’m in a new chapter. It’s now for me to navigate and understand what my next move is and who I’m tryna be and what I wanna say. I kinda know but I kinda don’t, but I understand that as a woman, right now, I know that I should focus on ensuring that I’m treated better. And that’s in all terms of relationships – whether that’s romantic, whether that’s friendships, whether that’s family, business; I understand that I deserve to be treated better. So, yeah, I’m just tryna translate that into music. Don’t know when, don’t know how, don’t know where, but it’ll happen.”
What is literally next for Jaydonclover?
J: “Oo! What is next for Jaydonclover is a very big collab. I have a collaboration that’s dropping on the 7th of December. That’s all I’m saying. I can tell you off the record…”
Listen to happier, but still sad now
Peep our playlist compiling all the songs and artists mentioned above:
Interviewed by: James Wijesinghe