9 Songs, 25 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It can sometimes feel like the UK Rap world is contained exclusively within the M25. Not so. Artists like JAY1 are challenging the genre’s boundaries both musically and geographically. “I’m proud to rep Coventry,” he tells Apple Music. “I was born in Tottenham but have lived here a long time. I was always been told how hard it’d be for me to not be in London. But I wanted to build my own wave in Cov. It makes me different and I can inspire a lot of kids in Cov that want to do music now.” While his (adopted) hometown pride is admirable, the MC’s debut mixtape should explode his ambitions. It’s a confident collection of viral smashes and bold steps into places that prove a versatility and can’t-miss skillset. Let JAY1 guide you through One Wave, track by track.

”Intro”
“I wanted to tell my fans is what I've been going through. I want them to know more about me, and my struggles, and the people I care about. Because I haven’t released a song where I'm actually trying to explain that. A song not about girls, but about my journey. It also features a voicemail my mum left me before a show. This was a surprise for her—I didn’t tell her I was putting it on the track. At the start, she didn’t really want me to do music as a serious thing. I had a job at a bank which made her very happy. But then ‘Good Vibes’ hit a million views, which I guess was a big deal in Coventry. A colleague of hers came into work talking about it, not knowing I was her son. Suddenly, she was OK with my career choice. She’s buzzing now.”

”Mocking It”
“This was made by a wicked producer called Nostaglia. As soon as I walked into that studio, we vibed. It was the quickest song I’ve ever made—the whole thing was written and recorded in about three hours. And we just knew we’d made a banger.”

”Ay”
“A very short and jumpy track. The sort of song I’d want to start a mosh pit to.”

”Becky”
“This song opened a lot of doors for me. Before, I was releasing very summery tracks that girls seemed to be really into—like ‘Sweet One’, ‘Good Vibes’ and ‘That’s My Bae’. But then people heard this and realised I could go hard on a beat. It’s such a sick beat by my producer Coolie. He’s another Cov guy who literally came up to me in the street as a fan. He invited me to his studio around the corner. At this point I’m thinking: ‘This is another guy who just wants to talk and talk and talk. But I went round and his set-up was nice. Good speakers, and it was all calm. I was still iffy though—there’s got to be a connection with your producer. But then two weeks later I was in seeing him most days and realised he was sick. He passed the test and now we’re best mates. It helps when he comes up with beats like his ones here and ‘Your Mrs’.”

”Thousand Times”
“My friends all tell me this is their favourite song. They like how it’s really catchy and that there’s a real melody to it as well. It was a struggle to record, though. We were in the studio all week and nothing. Then, with two hours left on the Friday, we smashed it and I went home really happy with the song. I like it’s rawness. It’s dark, but I’m singing. It’s catchy but it’s sick.”

”Your Mrs”
“When I'm in the studio, and I know I've made a banger, I go crazy. I kick down chairs and go mad. No one knows this apart from my producer. When we made this track and I said that bar, ‘Cheeky vodka with Coco/ What's her name? I think Gogo’ I felt like that was the best thing I’d ever said in my life. I was so gassed I didn’t know what to do. That’s the feeling you get when you know the banger is about to go off.”

“Tropical Love”
“This is a completely different vibe to anything we’ve heard so far on the tape. I’m not even sure anyone on the UK urban scene has done anything like this. It’s a real love song. My producer [Coolie] sang the vocal and we made that song from scratch together. I feel like it will spin people—in a good way or a bad way. People might not like it because it’s not what they expect from a JAY1 track.”

”Comes First” (feat. Hakkz)
“The only collaboration on the album. It was important to me that my first ‘tape just really show people what I’m about and not get crowded with loads of features. But Hakkz is an artist I really rate and really respect. This song’s special: it has a real commercial sound to it and it can definitely be on the radio. I feel like girls will like this song, too.”

”Good Vibes”
“This is a song that’s very special to me. My first real big song and it’s a big summer sound. It’s only right that it made it onto the ‘tape. I want to end things with good vibes only.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

It can sometimes feel like the UK Rap world is contained exclusively within the M25. Not so. Artists like JAY1 are challenging the genre’s boundaries both musically and geographically. “I’m proud to rep Coventry,” he tells Apple Music. “I was born in Tottenham but have lived here a long time. I was always been told how hard it’d be for me to not be in London. But I wanted to build my own wave in Cov. It makes me different and I can inspire a lot of kids in Cov that want to do music now.” While his (adopted) hometown pride is admirable, the MC’s debut mixtape should explode his ambitions. It’s a confident collection of viral smashes and bold steps into places that prove a versatility and can’t-miss skillset. Let JAY1 guide you through One Wave, track by track.

”Intro”
“I wanted to tell my fans is what I've been going through. I want them to know more about me, and my struggles, and the people I care about. Because I haven’t released a song where I'm actually trying to explain that. A song not about girls, but about my journey. It also features a voicemail my mum left me before a show. This was a surprise for her—I didn’t tell her I was putting it on the track. At the start, she didn’t really want me to do music as a serious thing. I had a job at a bank which made her very happy. But then ‘Good Vibes’ hit a million views, which I guess was a big deal in Coventry. A colleague of hers came into work talking about it, not knowing I was her son. Suddenly, she was OK with my career choice. She’s buzzing now.”

”Mocking It”
“This was made by a wicked producer called Nostaglia. As soon as I walked into that studio, we vibed. It was the quickest song I’ve ever made—the whole thing was written and recorded in about three hours. And we just knew we’d made a banger.”

”Ay”
“A very short and jumpy track. The sort of song I’d want to start a mosh pit to.”

”Becky”
“This song opened a lot of doors for me. Before, I was releasing very summery tracks that girls seemed to be really into—like ‘Sweet One’, ‘Good Vibes’ and ‘That’s My Bae’. But then people heard this and realised I could go hard on a beat. It’s such a sick beat by my producer Coolie. He’s another Cov guy who literally came up to me in the street as a fan. He invited me to his studio around the corner. At this point I’m thinking: ‘This is another guy who just wants to talk and talk and talk. But I went round and his set-up was nice. Good speakers, and it was all calm. I was still iffy though—there’s got to be a connection with your producer. But then two weeks later I was in seeing him most days and realised he was sick. He passed the test and now we’re best mates. It helps when he comes up with beats like his ones here and ‘Your Mrs’.”

”Thousand Times”
“My friends all tell me this is their favourite song. They like how it’s really catchy and that there’s a real melody to it as well. It was a struggle to record, though. We were in the studio all week and nothing. Then, with two hours left on the Friday, we smashed it and I went home really happy with the song. I like it’s rawness. It’s dark, but I’m singing. It’s catchy but it’s sick.”

”Your Mrs”
“When I'm in the studio, and I know I've made a banger, I go crazy. I kick down chairs and go mad. No one knows this apart from my producer. When we made this track and I said that bar, ‘Cheeky vodka with Coco/ What's her name? I think Gogo’ I felt like that was the best thing I’d ever said in my life. I was so gassed I didn’t know what to do. That’s the feeling you get when you know the banger is about to go off.”

“Tropical Love”
“This is a completely different vibe to anything we’ve heard so far on the tape. I’m not even sure anyone on the UK urban scene has done anything like this. It’s a real love song. My producer [Coolie] sang the vocal and we made that song from scratch together. I feel like it will spin people—in a good way or a bad way. People might not like it because it’s not what they expect from a JAY1 track.”

”Comes First” (feat. Hakkz)
“The only collaboration on the album. It was important to me that my first ‘tape just really show people what I’m about and not get crowded with loads of features. But Hakkz is an artist I really rate and really respect. This song’s special: it has a real commercial sound to it and it can definitely be on the radio. I feel like girls will like this song, too.”

”Good Vibes”
“This is a song that’s very special to me. My first real big song and it’s a big summer sound. It’s only right that it made it onto the ‘tape. I want to end things with good vibes only.”

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