You may already be familiar with Jay Bovino – aka the lead guitarist, co-writer and co-founding member of Australian ARIA award winners Sheppard. However, what you might not be aware of is that Jay is a multi-instrumentalist that has been working on electronic music since before Sheppard were a band.
Not long ago, Jay dropped his first single “Get You Alone” which features singer-songerwriter Sahara Beck. Jay steps far away from the indie pop sounds of Sheppard, and enters a world of pop, electronic and electro-chill, creating the perfect dance-floor anthem.
We recently got the chance to chat to Jay Bovino about his beginnings in music, his new single “Get You Alone” and plans for the future of his side project.
Hi Jay, welcome to Outlet Magazine! How have you been?
Thanks for having me! I’ve been… every adjective of human emotion, but let’s go with “good”.
Could you quickly introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background in music?
I was born Jason Bovino in April of 1989 (like tay tay) to parents Antonio and Caterina. My father was musical, so there was always a piano and few guitars in my house growing up. When I was 12, my 15 year old brother started learning guitar and before long was playing and singing along to Foo Fighters and Matchbox 20. For some reason I was under the impression that it took years/decades to learn an instrument, so seeing my brother pick it up so fast inspired me to give it a go. First night I learnt 3 chords and how to read tablature and had the necessary building blocks to spend the next few months learning every rock song I loved. Then around 15 I got bored playing other people’s songs and starting writing my own, and that’s when I fell in love with songwriting/composing/producing. Everything I’d write, I’d then record, as basically as possible. But as the years went on, those productions got better and better and I realised a great song was great songwriting meeting a great production, so I wanted to hone my craft in both aspects.
When did you first start getting into electronic music and what do you enjoy most about creating it?
Since I started writing/producing I think I’ve tried my hand in every possible genre. It wasn’t until recent years that I started exploring electronic music and found so much more freedom and room for creativity. Electronic music is the future, as they say, and it’s beginning to be the only way to be innovative these days, as the possibilities are endless. I try to blend the world of live and electronic sound together, and I really want to explore this further in the future. It also gives me the opportunity to write and produce with anyone in mind for vocals, and I love seeking out young local talent, with different tastes and influences to bring something fresh and different to the mix.
Congratulations on the release of ‘Get You Alone’, it’s such a fun tune! – Could you tell us about the writing and creative process for the song?
Thank you! I began writing this song in Mexico, whilst on tour with Sheppard late last year. I tend to use my days off on tour working on other music to keep things fresh. The original production was a lot different and I sang it, but I had the idea of rewriting it from the female perspective, to show these thoughts/views are common with the younger generation, regardless of gender.
I finished writing it in Brisbane, in January of this year, and a few days later was invited to see Sahara Beck play locally. I had heard a lot about her but had never had the opportunity to see her play live so I jumped at it. 30 seconds into her set and I knew I had to get her on board. So I pitched her the idea and she was immediately on board, as it wasn’t anything she’d ever done before.
Was the production process different to the way music is created with Sheppard?
I guess so. In the sense that with my solo stuff I do everything myself. From the writing to the production, and Sheppard is a collaborative effort. I enjoy both processes. Collaborative writing is fun and exciting because you have different perspectives and influences in the mix, and you’re pushed to explore aspects of songwriting/producing you wouldn’t otherwise. But then I also love being in complete control, and getting to express and hear every thing that’s in your head, exactly as you imagined it.
Do you have any tips for young people who want to create music but are intimidated by the process?
Practice makes perfect, as the adage goes. If you’re young, just keep writing, keep producing, there’s no real trick but persistence and constituency. But I know with a lot of people that begin to create music later in their lives, they’re easily discouraged when they’re not achieving what they envisioned after a short amount of time. This is because they’re more aware of what it SHOULD sound like are so are more easily frustrated when can’t achieve it. When you start young, you look up to older artists, people who are at the level you eventually want to reach. You aren’t as easily discouraged when you don’t reach it right away, because you know, by the time you reach their age, with practice and persistence, you’ll get there. But when you start later, already at the age of the people you’re inspired by, you immediately compare your work to theirs and become discouraged when it’s not at their level. So, in summary, my advice is, if you’re young, just keep practising and perfecting, create, reflect, discard and repeat. If you’re someone who wants to get into it a little later in your life, don’t compare your work to anyone else. It’s all relative. You should only be concerned with your own progression. Just keep honing your craft and making sure you’re constantly improving on your last effort, and if you do this, you’ll improve and reach your goals at a much quicker rate.
What kind of stuff have you been listening to lately? Are there any artists you look to for inspiration?
The music I listen to is very different to the music I make. Lately I’ve been really into The National and Tom Odell. I think from a songwriting level, those sort of artists inspire me the most. Elliott Smith, Death Cab for Cutie, etc. But when I produce I’m inspired more so by the artists at the forefront of the EDM world. So my music is somewhat a mix of those inspirations.
Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
I’m excited by the idea of collaborating with unique and undiscovered vocalists. I think the possibilities are endless. So many fantastic singers that might not have the opportunity or platform to perform.
Lastly, what’s next for Jay? Can we expect more music from you soon?
We actually begin recording the next Sheppard record this week, so I’ll have to put my solo stuff on hold as I focus on that for the next few months. But the major benefit of this project is that I can work on it anywhere/anytime, so I can do it side by side with Sheppard. So you’ll definitely be hearing more from me in the near future!
Listen to ‘Get You Alone’ down below…