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Interview: Jerry Williams

WE CATCH UP WITH SINGER SONGWRITER JERRY WILLIAMS WHILE SHE PREPARES TO BEGIN HER UPCOMING TOUR.

Anyone who has any interest in the local music scene or has been a regular follower of Strong Island will be well aware of Jerry Williams. The local singer-songwriter has been on my radar since she was a contestant in the 2013 Road To Blissfields event at The Wedgewood Rooms. Her voice was instantly captivating and her songwriting showed that even back then she was mature beyond her years.

Could you tell me about how you initially got involved with music and who influenced you most?
I’ve always loved music and it’s always been on in the house whilst growing up. I wanted to be like Avril Lavigne and Busted but I started learning classical guitar at the age of 12. Throughout that time, I was writing a lot. I started on the subject of boys, fancying boys and then just started writing about my observations in life, Portsmouth and growing up.

For those who are new to your music which three tracks would you encourage them to check out first and why?
Out of the tracks that are released now, I would say check my song ‘I’m Not In Love With You‘ out as it’s quite sassy and has a story running through it, which is a true one about a night out I had where I totally fell out of ‘love’ with someone. Then I would say ‘Let’s Just Forget It‘ as it shows a more mature and emotional side to my songwriting. I’m really proud of that song. And then finally, an oldie called ‘A Hairdressers Called Sids.’ I sound really young in it, but again, it’s another narrative story and shows off my acoustic still and older influences.

You have been playing a lot of shows up in London recently. How have you found playing to the crowds outside of Portsmouth and does it present a different challenge to you? 
I’ve enjoyed it! Sometimes London crowds are quite tough, just like ‘impress me’ but I’ve always had a great reaction. It was hard at first, but I’ve settled into myself as a performer and I’m confident in my songs and stories so I just play like I’m playing to my family. Portsmouth’s crowds are always so lovely and lively, I love bouncing off the audience vibe.

Your songs are easy for the listener to relate to, do you always draw from personal experience when writing songs?
Thank you! Yes, there’s always a personal element. Whether it’s about my life, someone else’s life or just a general observation, it’s always linked to experience.

Portsmouth’s crowds are always so lovely and lively, I love bouncing off the audience vibe.

Photo by Tony Palmer

I’ve always loved music and it’s always been on in the house whilst growing up. I wanted to be like Avril Lavigne and Busted but I started learning classical guitar at the age of 12.

What bands and artists are you currently listening to and how are they inspiring you to explore and implement new ideas with your music?
A band called Get Inuit. They’ve really drawn me into the more dirtier side of pop. A lot of the songs I’ve been writing in the past year have had a lot more of an edge and since discovering this band, it’s made me experiment with this even more. I love a band called Marsicans too, their melodies are great.

What can those fortunate enough to have tickets expect from your live show?
Some crazy arm and leg dancing, a mixture of emotions – Happy songs and sad songs and a lot of new songs with new stories behind them.

Photo by Tony Palmer

Photo by Charlie Coleman

How do you feel when you share your music for the first time? Do you prefer to share new music live where you can see the crowd’s reaction first hand or online perhaps? 
That’s a hard one because each version shows a different energy. I love showcasing things live because you feel a reaction in the room and I love that. But when you release something for the first time online, it’s all presented exactly how you want it and it’s exactly how you’ve written it. I get excited to share new music, I never really feel nervous. I love the song and can stand behind it so if anyone else is enjoying it, then great!!

I love showcasing things live because you feel a reaction in the room and I love that.

Earlier this summer we saw you take to the stage with Kassassin Street at Victorious Festival. What are the chances of the pair of you getting together in the recording studio?
That was amazing, the best fun ever. I’ve already recorded with Kassassin Street on their track ‘Do or Die’ where I sang backing vocals in the chorus. That was so great and I felt honoured to be asked to feature. I would love to work with those guys again, I think they’re so so amazing and such lovely, funny guys too.

What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you?
Recording for an album! It’s been busy but I’m so excited to share the new music!! I’m bursting to get it out there. I’ll be looking to do more music videos and I have a tour coming up in October all around the UK and Ireland and possibly some European dates as well which is exciting!

If you would like to be there to see Jerry play the Wedgewood Rooms later this month then there is still a very limited number of tickets available. Pick them up for £8 at the box office or online www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk. If you like what you hear then you can find Jerry’s music available to download on iTunes and to stream on Spotify.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Jerrywilliamsmusic
Twitter: www.twitter.com/JerryWmusic
Instagram: www.instagram.com/jerrywilliamsmusic
YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/jerrywilliamsmusic
SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com/jerrywilliamsmusic


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