Jay wears the Harriette skirt

Jay wears the Juliette blouse

I came across Jay's beautiful, almost haunting voice through Instagram and immediately wanted to share it. "Dreamy acoustic" is how she describes her music and that's exactly what it is with an ethereal folk sound. I spoke to Jay about her creative process and drawing inspiration from personal experience and heart ache.
There is something about Jay that you are drawn to, her authenticity, something that many artists don't often talk about is their struggle. Jay talks about working 4 day jobs to support her dream. This is the reality for many of us forging a creative path. Exhibiting work can also be beyond terrifying for artists, Jay talks about her nerves and doubting herself before performing. 
There's no doubt that this girl wears her heart on her sleeve, the raw emotions that are expressed through her songs are truly moving. Her first official solo song release "Home" by Jay Le Kat is now available on Spotify or via Triple J, please do yourself a favour and have a listen!

- Lucy


Tell us about your background - what has led you to here?


I grew up half in Perth and half down south in this beautiful little coastal town called Dunsborough. I basically lived on the beach when I wasn’t at school being a nerd or writing songs in my little bedroom. I have five little brothers and sisters and I absolutely love being a big big sister, I guess that's why all my day jobs revolve around looking after other peoples children! Now I’m living back on the beach but in Perth and loving it. Music has always been there, for my whole life it has been the one thing that has remained constant and the one thing that is always there for me no matter what, so I guess I am just still trying to make that dream work. Even if that means I have to work 4 day jobs to help with the rent!


 When and why did you start playing music?

 I picked up my first guitar when I was 11 years old, but I always knew I wanted to sing, Mum and I used to sing in the car on the way to school and it used to be my favourite part of the day! There's no other feeling like it and I think when I realised that, I knew that it is all I wanted to do and the only thing that could truly make me happy.


What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighbourhood or town?

 I had a little hiatus from acoustic music a few years back and was in an electro pop band called GRRL PAL for quite a while. We had the greatest time together! My best memory would have to be when we played at Groovin The Moo. It was our biggest crowd ever and I was having so much fun dancing around like such a dag on stage, I was so lost in the moment I danced into the speaker on the side of stage at one point and the crowd and I had the biggest laugh! It ended up being our last show together before the band broke up and I am just so happy I had that amazing 30 minutes in front of a crowd that was ACTUALLY singing along with our songs. I think the fondest memories are definitely those that are shared with others along the way.

At home with Jay and performing

Who or where do you draw your inspiration from?

 Mostly the ocean at any time of year. I honestly think just dunking yourself into the sea gets so many wonderful things happening in your mind and in your body. Inspiration always comes to me so sporadically, sometimes a song could come on the radio and the music behind it could start off a whole new song in my head, sometimes I just need to hang out with another creative girl or guy friend for the day and I get home and am inspired to write or record something new. But I am most inspired when I am feeling something HUGE, like falling in love, and of course, heartbreak. 


Can you give us an insight into your process? How do you get started? Do you have a plan?

 Everyone has a different process, when I was in GRRL PAL we would have structured writing days where we would definitely have a plan or a topic or a story to write about and we wouldn’t stop writing until the song was finished and that worked for us as a duo. But with my acoustic songs, all the music that I write comes from a very deep place in my heart and I find that kind of writing can’t be structured or planned. Some days I will plan to sit down and write a song and no magic happens, other days I can walk in from work exhausted but an entire song will unfold in 15 minutes. I just have to be feeling something strong enough. I honestly think songs are gifts from the universe, or somewhere. Its just about harnessing that creativity as soon as it hits you and getting it down on the page.

Jay performing

Do you get nervous before your play?

 Oh my gosh yes. Not all the time, especially if its a venue I am familiar with and have played at before, but definitely if its a bigger/louder/more “high profile” venue. Its just me up there at the moment and sometimes that can get quite daunting. I really miss sharing the stage and the experience with a band so I am working on that now. Its easy to lose faith in yourself if you’re alone up there (depending on that time of the month hahahaha) I love my live shows though, I LOVE telling the audience my stories and having a laugh with them, I honestly don’t know what I would do without them.


Describe your typical day.

 Every day is so different! But normally I will get up early and go for a walk along the coast, make myself a healthy, nourishing breakfast and head to one of my day jobs! My music days start the same way but involve a lot more beach, especially during Summer. I try to get to the beach at the end of the day as well and then most of my nights are either spent playing shows or having dinner with people that I love.


Is it difficult to share deep emotional journeys through song, with the world sometimes?

If the story or the feeling that I’m singing about is fresh, then yes, definitely. Just recently I played a new break up song in front of a crowd and I had to fight back tears because it was still so fresh and I wasn’t ready to share the story yet. But a lot of healing comes with sharing as well. It also depends on the audience, if people are listening deeply, I can sense that and I feel more strongly when I’m sharing the song with them because I know they are feeling it too. Its a really magical experience mostly.


Have you had anyone ask if a song is written about them?

 No! I’m way too obvious so people just know straight away if a song is about them! Especially if I’m in love, I always play the love songs I write about someone to them before I play them to anyone else. 


What are you working on at the moment?

 Myself hahaha, just going through a really heavy heartbreak but taking care of myself for once is really helping me get through it. I’ve always been a relationship girl so I’m finally focusing on myself for a while. And thats actually really helping with my EP! I recently went to London to play at a friend's wedding and her new husband recorded a few songs for me at his home studio in Kent and is producing them at the moment. One of my amazing girlfriends has done some beautiful artwork for the cover as well so the whole thing is a real labor of love. I am so excited to share it with everyone. Other than that, I am always writing something new.

Jay wears the Harriette skirt

How would you describe your style?

 Dreamy acoustic folk is how I would describe my music, but my style has just gone through a complete circle. I was always quite boho through high school and my very early 20s, then what I wore drastically changed when I was playing electronic music to fit with that image and now I am finally back to maxi skirts and floral dresses! 


Does it change when you're performing?

 On stage I try to dress it up a little more, but still flowing and floral will always be my vibe.


What would we find on your Spotify playlist?

 Oh my gosh, the crazy combination has made the most hilarious Top Songs of 2017 playlist for me. Ranges from songs like “You Sexy Thing” and “No Scrubs” to artists like Chance The Rapper and Christine and the Queens. I’m also really into Mallrat and Anderson Paak. Angus & Julia Stone, Jack Johnson and The Waifs will always be my favourites though. 


What is your favourite movie soundtrack?

 Oh my GOODNESS definitely the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Closely followed by Tarzan hahahaha. 


What is your mantra?

“You are enough and you are all that you need”


Where would we find you on weekends?

Live shows! Always going to see my favourite band around Perth. And if there isn’t anyone playing in my city and I have no work on I’d definitely be down south hanging out with my friends and family on the beach down there.


As much as I love my running ANKOA, some days I cannot find inspiration or I'm just not in the right frame of mind, where possible I will take some time out to do something I enjoy like cook, paint or get in the garden. What do you do if you're not feeling inspired?

I go straight to the beach, sit under my umbrella, read a great book or just write down my thoughts. 


Anything you wish you were better at?

Definitely guitar! I always get so distracted writing songs I have never focused on getting better at guitar. That is my number one goal for 2018.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to sing, I’ve knows since my first song. 

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