The strength of a teenager’s commitment to their dreams can usually be found in a room at home. When I first laid eyes on Jack Taylor’s (real name Jacob) underground studio his dreams and goals were very clear, from the vinyl record wall clock to the 80’s disco mirror ball hanging from the ceiling, your eyes are drawn to the wall of guitars, mics and recording equipment along with amps, keyboards and a computer desktop with Cubase sitting open. Jacob is perhaps Norway’s best kept secret since Kygo exploded but after hearing his music and talking to him I have no doubt that the world is about to know a lot more about this guy! With his parents 100% support behind him listen below to how it all started for this 18 year old and the road to letting the secret out.
Where did it all begin?
I was 13 yrs old and formed a rock band with some friends, we were together about 4 yrs and we auditioned for a Norwegian Talent program on TV and made the top 10. We got to play at Norway’s biggest venue to an audience on TV of a million people. It was crazy but the minute we hit the stage it felt right, there were no nerves at all. We didn’t win but I think that was possibly a good thing because I didn’t want to be remembered as just that kid talent star.
Do you still have those friends?
Yes, I released some free stuff and that’s when Universal came calling after me and they allowed me my own team and these are people I trust and feel comfortable with which is important. Friends that I’ve worked with and work with now understand me and my music.
Was it a surprise when Universal showed interest?
As I said they came to find me when I released some originals and stuff and I feel that it’s how it should work. Labels find their talent that way so I was ok with how it panned out, it was more pop orientated but EDM is not a huge thing in Norway.
As you said EDM isn’t huge apart from Kygo and perhaps Da Tweekaz so why your move to electronic?
I love production, I’m in high school but not doing that well (laughs) it finishes in a couple of months and then I want to concentrate on music and my parents totally support this as I’ve been also attending one of Norway’s music schools and working with technicians to learn all I can about production. I use Cubase and enjoy it that when Norway’s winter is too cold to go outside I spend all my time in my studio making music. I have the advantage to use a professional studio also and I play keyboards and guitar so I can record my own live music to use in the productions which I feel is important to me as a musician. I’ve always been a fan of melody, to me, the melody of a song determines how a person feels when they listen and Dirty South is one producer that I’d love to work with, his stuff is insanely emotional, you only have to listen to his film score to know this. Avicii and Alesso are also producers that care about the melody. I’ve always been a fan and they are inspirations for me.
Kygo is huge now has there been inspiration there too?
Kygo is a musician like myself and although I’m not a tropical house producer there are the similarities that to him and to me we are musicians who play live instruments and that as I said is important.
I see in your studio which is below ground in your house quite a few instruments?
(Laughs again) yes guitars, recording equipment, keyboards and I love to record in here, I sing and record as well as write music and lyrics. I have my wall clock which keeps bad time but it’s a vinyl record and it’s cool plus my mirror ball which is in keeping with the vibe of all things music! It’s a great space and I love being in here sometimes never knowing what time it is at all.
It’s important at your age to have parents who support you?
They’ve been great, I just got my licence so I can drive now but they spent years taking me all over the place to play and to events and stuff that without them I would have missed out on doing, I can’t thank them enough for the support they’ve given me and still give me now.
I notice in video’s you not only work the decks but have the band on stage, is this something you want to continue with like Rudimental do?
Yes, I love having a live aspect on stage along with the decks. My guitar is hooked up to a box that gives me hundreds of sounds that I can pre-work into a set. I also love getting original songs and bringing a new vocalist to do a cover of it on stage with us, it gives it a new edge. I have been to Ultra Europe in Croatia and I have seen many amazing DJ’s but apart from the set being solid there was nothing memorable that made it stand out from the next DJ and I want my show to have those extra elements that make people remember it for other reasons than just me DJing up there.
I have heard the new music you’re making and I think it’s amazing, when will we expect releases on these songs, Under The Stars is one I love and am excited to hear the release?
Thank you so much, I’m glad you like it, I hope to release them soon, they are 90% finished but we have new vocals to record on it and of course it is dependent on labels but I wish to release at least one song a month, I have over 10 that are in ID at the moment and I want to have some free downloads for fans as well. I spent the past week at Dancefair in NL and did get some great connections there with my demo’s and look like going back to work with some artists who have some upcoming stuff with Revealed Records. To record some vocals for them and I also had some great talks with Armada and Cloud Nine so we’ll see what happens there. I learned so much from the sessions with Hardwell and Dannic to name a few plus there were a lot of demo workshops where I could give my music to them to listen. I’m looking forward to returning to NL in a couple of weeks.
Yes Holland is the place and I suspect you need to move out of Norway with your music to have it heard more?
Norway is a small country and the EDM scene here is not huge so yes moving the music outside of my local area is the plan to Sweden, that is a paradise for electronic music and also to The Netherlands is my goal and dream. I am playing at one of Norway’s biggest festivals so that will help also.
Jacob is a guy driven with the music and the melody, his speaking is slow and measured with his goals and dreams and he firmly has his feet planted on the ground with what he needs to achieve to reach those ambitions. Although his name is quite well known inside Norway, this young man is headed for outside the boundaries of his native land and I think this is just the beginning for this talented teen. Check his soundcloud below with remix and an original, keep an eye and ear out for him and his new music to come, he is a secret no longer.