Jaymes Young is a connoisseur of love. Not just the cinematic, flashy sides of it — he’s well acquainted with telling pertinent stories of its subtleties and complexities. Young writes love songs of all respects, with a repertoire ranging from infatuation-bred professions to carefully composed confessions that lead the listener to do exactly what his newest album is titled: Feel Something. We talked to Young about his growth and inspirations as a songwriter and touring musician. You can check out his upcoming tour dates here.
Your songs focus heavily on the topic of love and all of the nuances within it. How do you go about approaching a subject so complex and personal?
JAYMES YOUNG — I think when it comes to songs about something that can really reveal a lot about yourself, you have to be open and not try to hide those personal aspects, because those details are what make things interesting. It’s better to be emotionally transparent with your art, than to conceal things about yourself.
From the time you released your first EP Habits of My Heart to your recent debut album, Feel Something, how has your outlook and perspective on love and life matured?
JY — I’d have to be pretty introspective right now to make an accurate assumption about how those perspectives have shifted. I can say that within the time since then, I’ve come much closer to understanding what I need and what I desire.
How has this maturation affected your writing process?
JY — It takes a long time for a life effect or life circumstances to affect my writing, because it always takes a moment to settle in and actually creep into the way that I write. I know that in the next 2-3 years a lot of things are going to come out of me that will reflect what my life is like now, and the writing process that I’m leaning towards now.
You’ve stated that you are a lyrics first songwriter. Do the words you write shape the sound the song takes on during production?
JY — In a lot of ways yes. I want an instrumental and style to support the language being used, and I hope to find either an interesting contrast between the feelings that lyrics and music separately invoke, or a marriage between the lyrics and music.
Having grown up in Seattle as well as lived in Los Angeles, have you noticed these places shape your identity as a musician and person?
JY — I think they do, of course. To me, two such places have quite a contrast so that’s easy to assume. I’m keen on finding the pros and cons of each environmental influence and hopefully sticking to the things that help me produce something that feels and sounds authentic to my roots.
You’ve just finished your first headlining tour. How have you found performing to enhance the experience of your music?
JY — Mostly, I’ve enjoyed the ability to play with the songs and change things up now and then in order to match the energy of the fans in the room. Recorded music is a beautiful way to save a feeling and a sound, to really nail what you’re going for. But the live performances can take on their own energy and be spontaneous in a way that is really exciting. You start noticing what lyrics and vibes mean more to some people, and it’s fun to embrace that.
Your work is extremely confessional in nature. To you, what is the importance of publicizing sincere, candid emotion through art?
JY — Through my art I like to expose who I am, and I like people to feel like I’m being real with them. It makes my life so much easier to just try and be the same person on stage, as I am off stage. And that includes what goes into the writing.
What message do you hope listeners take away from your music?
JY — I want listeners to know that I’m only getting started, and I have a lot more to say.