Jaron Jay: ‘I wanted to write something that James Brown might look upon and say ‘Yeah!’
27.09.2021

Jaron Jay: ‘I wanted to write something that James Brown might look upon and say ‘Yeah!’

Jaron Jay James Brown

The renowned genre-crossing producer is another exciting name emerging from Geelong, and his two debut singles are just the start.

Since making his first steps into the music industry more than 15 years ago, Jaron Mulholland, or Jaron Jay as he is known, has honed in on his skills in the studio, becoming one of the most in-demand multi-instrumentalists, composers, audio engineers and producers in the state.  

Now he’s poised to join the list of talented artists at the top with the release of his otherworldly funk debut singles, ‘Hour After Drop’ and ‘Stitch Up’, that will get you off the wall and on the floor.

Keep up with the latest music interviews, news and reviews here.

Released exclusively via Apple Music, the first single ‘Hour After Drop’ is a staunch three-minute soulful jazz-pop gem and is a very clear demonstration of his abundance of talent and passion for the music he creates.

Vocally, ‘Hour After Drop’ is iconic, driving and undeniable. Jaron’s punctuated, energetic, rhythmically percussive tone is his secret weapon, seamlessly shifting gears from rasping soul to sweet breathless falsetto throughout the track. Then you’ve got lethal melodic riffs, strong bass lines and the driving beats that provide an infectiously funky pocket that melds everything together while Jaron’s production makes every layer so discernible.

Written during 2020, ‘Hour After Drop’ effortlessly leaves an impression, and is a reflection of Jaron’s ability to rework and fuse the pillars of jazz, soul and pop music within the bounds of his own creations.

While the track was the work of a musician of unparalleled gifts, the single was originally part of a short music video series Jaron worked on last year, where he set out to make a song/video each week and upload them to YouTube and Instagram.

“I ended up creating 12 songs/videos over 12 weeks, and the 11th was the inception of ‘Hour After Drop, albeit in short format,” Jaron explains.

“I recall that it was basically the 11th hour on Sunday — I had just finished mixing the song (which was written pretty frantically in a few hours), was just getting around to shooting the video and was stressing out about getting everything finished to post by 7:30pm (which was my self-imposed deadline).

“Safe to say that it received a great reception after posting — what’s that quote about diamonds and pressure?”

Bestowing not just one, but two potent tracks on the world, Jaron’s second single ‘Stitch Up’ takes the funk to an 11/10 right from the get-go. Highly groovy throughout its three minutes, this song makes feints toward disco, funk, and rock, but it has its own distinctive feel.

Never too high or too low, the track flows with a subtle but entirely infectious build-up that will have you craving more. With infectious harmonies, a funk-fuelled bassline, belt-worthy lyrics, driving beats, smooth synths and limitless energy, this track places Jaron’s skills for tight hooks and spacious melodies front and centre.

Undeniable catchy and infused with memorable riffs that are impossible not to dance to, the track pulls the listener in with the feeling that they’ve heard the track before. I assure you, you haven’t, but the reality is that the heartbeat rhythm provides a familiarity that every listener can relate to.

While ‘Hour After Drop’ came together within a couple of hours, ‘Stitch Up’ was born in a completely different way and under different circumstances, written over a couple of days during Jaron’s time in Berlin.

“I remember sitting in the room of my apartment in Reinickendorf (a gorgeous suburb on the near-outskirts of the city), with a cheap, old recording interface and a bunch of spare time between gigs, thinking that I wanted to write something that James Brown might look upon and say yeah!’.

“I don’t remember much else besides spending the most of two days in that chair, laying down guitar and bass tracks, programming MIDI drums and keys, and belting out vocal parts — the latter of which my housemate was actually SUPER cool and tolerant about, thankfully.

“What I ended up with was a pretty accurate demo of the track, which sat in my mind and on my hard drive until around mid-2020 when I was back in Australia, which is the time I decided that I’d start producing that thing for real,” he continues.

“I enlisted my Liverpudlian buddy David Ormsby to play (non-programmed, real) drums, which he recorded remotely from his studio in Liverpool, and sent to me (technology, right?!), after which, I laid down guitar, bass, Hammond organ, vocals, and a few synth sounds, courtesy of the Yamaha DX7. The mix was fairly painstaking, but we got there, and the rest is the rest!”

Having only released snippets of his music on YouTube and Instagram (which garnered a shoutout from none other than Brian May and Queen on their Instagram), it was the people Jaron met over the past 18 months who inspired him to release his music to the wider public.

“It took time to collect myself musically, and to find a way to funnel myself, as well as the influence of the music, people and things that I love, and have loved for years, into the format of 3–4-minute songs,” he says.

“I met so many people over 2020 (online! — please don’t hurt me Dan Andrews), through putting out my short songs/videos on socials, which is incredible, as a lot of them are hugely-talented people — people who I would now consider life-long friends, who showed support and inspired me to go hard and put stuff out.

“As kooky as 2020 and 2021 have been, it just felt like the time.”

For Jaron, collaboration has always been at the heart of making music. While the world reels with changes due to the current global pandemic, technology has proved to be a stepping stone in keeping him connected to other musicians, industry connections and friends; inspiring him to truly hone in on establishing himself as an artist and embrace new opportunities, including a record label.

“I was very surprised about what started out to be quite a random connection with somebody, made serendipitously through a Facebook audio/recording group, who evolved into a business partner and a dear friend: Torrey Hurlock,” he explains.

“Over the span of about a year, Torrey founded the label Antihero Records, that he signed me to, which is based out of Los Angeles, California. Torrey has been a cornerstone in connecting me with important industry folk in LA (Reuben Cohen/Lurssen Mastering being one of those), and more importantly, has poured so much time, energy, effort and love into the project that is ‘Jaron Jay’, and asked for absolutely nothing in return. Big shoutout and much love to Torrey, and all of his family and friends who have always shown love and support for what we’re building together.

Lifted from Jaron’s eventual forthcoming album, which will only be realised after almost all of the tracks will be released as singles, ‘Hour After Drop’ and ‘Stitch Up’ was produced, engineered, recorded and mixed by Jaron himself, and mastered by the great Reuben Cohen (Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams, Incubus, Ledisi, Kid Cudi).

Inspired by a melting pot of influences, from The Beatles, Rufus Wainwright, Eminem, Theo Katzman and Michael Jackson, to Yellowjackets, Prince, Flyte, Usher, Vulfpeck, Jacob Collier, Mark Ronson, Stevie Wonder and System Of A Down, Jaron’s debut singles highlight his astonishing grasp of musical styles, spanning rock, soul, jazz, funk, and pop, blending them all into something uniquely his own.

An innovative producer, a masterful vocalist and an audacious songwriter, Jaron is a one-man phenomenon, channelling music through his very being. He fuses together several genres to create a euphoric feel-good moment in time, and we just can’t get enough.

Check out his singles via Apple Music