Meet Jake Howden, who proves he's a spark with It's My Birthday
Released on his 24th birthday, his new single is celebratory - but also quite the opposite.
The ever-lasting stream of Australian pop music coming through at the moment seems almost unbeatable, and while it's definitely a good thing - Australian pop is a criminally under-rated genre often left ignored aside from a few cult-adored musicians (Ruel, Troye) - it also means that everything is starting to sound a little too... similar. It's a natural consequence of a genre's over-saturation and it can perhaps lead to people feeling bored or inspired. Simultaneously, however, it also offers room for unique musicians to shine through in unique avenues of the genre which is often how 'the next big thing' is found; their forward-thinking approach to a sound being the thing that typically ushers in that sound's next generation.
In the AU/NZ pop music market, it feels like that's starting to happen, and new stars are blossoming at an almost-weekly pace. Take Jake Howden, for example. The musician from Sydney's Northern Beaches has been a dark horse of our pop scene for a few years now, but his distinctly unique and somewhat left-field sound now means he's shining through the heap, something that feels really evident on it's my birthday. Arriving on his 24th birthday, Jake Howden crafts almost an anti-pop pop song with it's my birthday, taking accessible R&B-toned hooks and clanging keys but interpreting them in a way that feels more like a gaze in the future than anything else. It's something he's seemingly aware of too - "This isn’t a bop. This isn’t pop. this isn’t what a blog, or what the radio people want," he sings in its very first verse - but as long as he keeps doing what he's doing and continues to think outside of the box, he'll be just alright.
Dive into it's my birthday below, and further introduce yourself to the musician-on-the-rise underneath that:
Tell us about yourself?
Hey! My name’s Jake and I’m a singer/songwriter/wannabe rookie producer currently based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
I’d love to think that the vibe is just straight-up enjoyable and fun.. Or straight-up depressing and intimate. Very singer/songwriter at its roots, but there’s also a shitload of samples, soundbites, 808s inspired by my love of hip-hop & R&B. My goal is to create music that can make people either smile, cry or think.
What are your production and writing processes like?
The writing process is always different dude. But for the most part, I’ll come up with a concept in the kitchen, or on the toilet and jot it down. Then bring an instrument into the mix to try and give it some sort of heartbeat. Then it’s a go from there!
All of my tunes are produced by the one and only Lovemedo. He’s a huge part of my story and if it wasn’t for him my music wouldn’t even exist. Whenever I come up with a concept I record a rough idea and send it straight to him to see where we should go from there... Then once he says it’s not complete shit, we move forward.
Can you tell us about your new single, It’s My Birthday?
Bloody oath. It’s My Birthday is a track that encapsulates what I’ve been thinking and feeling for the last 18 months since I last released music.
I really wanted to use this opportunity to touch on topics that I feel like I hadn’t in the past. Topics like the expectations put onto us by our peers or even ourselves. How I feel that mainstream news outlets shove fear and negative stories in our faces and how I think the current social media culture isn’t too crash hot for younger people, or even people my age…
It’s My Birthday is just a blurted-out version of my 2012 Facebook status’ one after the other.
Any tour dates coming up?
What does the rest of 2019 have in store for you?
I’m going to be dropping tunes left, right and centre after this. I’ve been hiding away in my cave for a while, so I feel like it’s time to get out and let the tunes run their course.
Where can we find more of your music?
You can hear any of my tunes at all good streaming platforms. Or iTunes. Or wherever music is available online. And YouTube! But if you have the choice, maybe Spotify, because they’re the nicest to me.
Follow Jake Howden: FACEBOOK