Knead To Know: Jacob Reddy 🥪

we’ve got our next Knead To Know interview for you all, this time with the fantastic singer-songwriter Jacob Reddy! 🌾

Jacob’s a singer-songwriter based in Blackburn, whose been performing across the North West over the past few years playing to crowds at pubs, bars and even bigger venues – he performs a lovely range of covers and has been releasing his own music for a few years now, produced and recorded over at Esche Haus Audio who have been continuously putting out fantastic releases, a real cornerstone of the music scene 🤘

His music is a range of indie and singer-songwriter influenced music, being inspired by artists like Frank Turner and other singer-songwriters and he’s got a real ear for writing fantastic choruses and melodies, some real lovely tunes under his belt now! We’ll pop a link to them down at the bottom of the post. He’s even gone on a busking tour of every English city over 22 days last summer in aid of Derian House over in Chorley who provide a really special service, giving children and young people quality end-of-life care which absolutely blew us away for us to know he’s done that – what a star! 👊

We’re really glad to be able to chat with Jacob about his music his journey, a real inspiration – check out the interview below! 🥪

Hey mate, fantastic to be able to get you on this and have a little chat about your music! Tell us a bit about yourself, your music and that!

Hi!  I’m Jacob Reddy and I’m a 17 year old indie pop artist.  I’m currently studying songwriting and the music industry at BIMM in Manchester, and am gigging all over the North West whenever I get the chance!  I’m full of energy and love being on stage.  I always try to get the crowd on their feet and joining in.  I’ve released 5 singles so far, and I always try to make them as catchy and anthemic as possible so that people go away with the song still playing in their head!

How long have you been doing music, and what drove you to start?

I had my first electric guitar lesson on my 7th birthday! The previous year I’d been at my Uncle & Auntie’s wedding and there was an amazing covers band playing called The Indie Killers.  I stayed up all night listening to them and at the end of the evening they came over to talk to me.  The lead singer, Damian Keyes (who now runs his own massive social media business – DKMBA), told me I should get myself a guitar and start playing as soon as I can… so I did!  I got the guitar for Christmas, had my first lesson in January, and I’ve been playing ever since

We saw you did the busking marathon throughout last Summer – how was it? Are there any highlight moments from it for you? 

The busking tour, where I played in all 51 English Cities in 22 Consecutive Days, was such an incredible (and very tiring!) experience!  There are so many highlights it’s hard to pick out one or two but I’ll do my best.  

  • Firstly, I’ve got to mention the amount raised.  Both the general public in each of the cities, and the followers online, were so generous that we made just over £10,000 for Derian House Children’s Hospice, which was 4 times more than we’d originally set as a target!
  • On tour itself it was great when some of my friends (Miles Berry – Preston & Liverpool, Ray Morris – Hull, and Charlotte Bettson – Derby) turned up to busk with me in different cities.
  • I had a massive stag party join me for ‘Wonderwall’ in Liverpool and another fancy dress wedding party (Thor, Woody from Toy Story, Leatherface etc) in Portsmouth for ‘Sweet Caroline’
  • Finally, I’ve got to mention the last day of the tour, where I finished in Manchester & Salford then went to watch my music hero Frank Turner in Concert at the O2 Apollo.  During the encore he gave the busking tour a massive shout out and I then had the very surreal experience of 3500 people chanting my name!  That was just unbelievable!
  • Oh – nearly forgot!  2 days after the tour finished I was interviewed by ITV News which was definitely a first.  The interview was played on Granada Reports and I got to play one of my own songs, ‘Outside The Box’, live on air!

What inspired you to do the marathon?

2 things really.  The idea behind the tour came from my favourite YouTuber Jaackmaate. In June last year he did a feature where he hid a golden ticket in every city in England, each of which would lead to a prize of up to £5000.  I turned up in Preston with loads of other Jaackmaate fans to search around the Deepdale stadium.  I didn’t find the ticket but it did give me the idea for the busking tour.  What made it even better was that Jack himself, along with co-host Stevie White, actually turned up to see me in Norwich!  That was just amazing!  We chatted for about half an hour then they filmed me busking and put it onto their social media channels!

The other inspiration for the tour was the fundraising.  Derian House looked after my brother Joseph many years ago, and gave both Joseph and my family such wonderful care and support.  He would have turned 21 this year so it seemed like the perfect reason not only to do the tour in his memory, but also to help Derian House, whose fundraising had been so badly affected by Lockdown.

When it comes to your music, what would you say are your main inspirations for creating and writing?

Well… I think that at the moment there are a lot of songs out there, understandably, with fairly downbeat lyrics and messages.  I generally try to write songs, instead, that are uplifting and optimistic.  I aim to write instantly accessible melodies, with lyrics that encourage people to find their inner strength and to work together.  Mental health is such a big issue at the moment, especially after Lockdown, and I hope that my songs can give people a feeling of belonging and positivity.

When you’re writing songs, do you have any processes or ways of getting into the right mindset for it?

Not particularly.  Most of my songs begin in different ways. Sometimes it’s just a simple guitar melody, which I then develop and build up.  Other times a certain phrase or conversation sparks a lyric or a tune.  More often than not, once I’ve started on a song the first verse and chorus follow relatively quickly, and I then have the structure for working on the rest of the song.  I’ve even done a few social media challenges where I’ve written a song in 15 minutes or half an hour based on random words sent in by followers or chosen from a dictionary!  

How did the lockdowns impact you as a musician? What did you do throughout them?

Lockdown was both a good and bad time for me as a musician.  At the start of Lockdown, I had my first ever single, ‘Kings’, ready to be released on 26th March 2020.  I had gigs lined up to promote it and loads of ideas for follow-up activities etc.  That was the week that we actually went into Lockdown so I had to just release the single without being able to promote it via any of my normal means!  It still did fairly well, but I always wished I’d been able to really get it out there so… two years to the week that it came out I’ve now re-recorded a completely new version of the song, ‘Kings (Reloaded)’.  It’s shorter, more uptempo, rockier, catchier, and hopefully people will really liked the new version.  It’s a song that I’m really proud of and this time I’ll be able to launch it properly!

There were two fairly positive aspects of Lockdown for me. Firstly, it was great having so much more time to write songs.  I think I had about 8 songs written before Lockdown and 28 afterwards!  

Secondly, I got lots of practice in Livestreaming.  I began by joining in with Open Mic Livestream sessions, hosted by local promoters, and by the end of Lockdown was hosting my own.  I performed for 2 promoters in Scotland, one in Manchester, and a ‘Rockdown’ session for GMC Management in Clitheroe.  Then, with help from my sister Lydia and my mate Miles, I put together a 2 hour Livestream to raise money for Derian House.  I arranged for lots of my musician friends to perform on the night, and I hosted the whole event, which raised £1500 in 24 hours.  It was really good fun and one of the highlights of Lockdown.

When you’re performing live, what’s your favourite part about it?

I pretty much love everything about performing live!  That’s why I do so much busking as there’s always different people listening to me playing.  When I’m doing gigs the best bit is definitely the audience participation.  I have one song, in particular, called ‘Happy’, where I usually get everyone joining in with the chorus, waving their phones if possible!

How have your releases been going lately – what response have you got from audiences and fans?

My releases have been going really well.  My latest single, ‘Nothing is Impossible’, has been streamed over 8k times on Spotify, which I’m really happy about.  People seem to enjoy the music video too (based around the busking tour), which is great!  My most popular single, ‘Outside the Box’, has had 11.5k streams so far, and featured on Frank Turners official playlist (I still can’t believe that happened)!!

Where do you record your songs and videos? Do you think that studio choices play a big part in how you record and the final masters of the tracks?

I record all my songs and videos at Esche Haus Audio in Blackburn. I honestly can’t thank Imogen and James (the producers / engineers) enough for all the time and effort that they spend on my tracks.  They pretty much know exactly what I’m looking for every time!  They do refer to me as ‘The Studio Pest’ as I can sometimes be a bit annoying (I call it being funny!) but they’re honestly the perfect production team and I couldn’t imagine working with anyone else!  The final masters of my tracks are all done by Jasper Ward at Air Studios, who again knows exactly how I’d like the song to sound, and manages to give every track that extra polish before it’s released!

Have you got anything coming up in 2022 we should know about? 

Absolutely! ‘Kings (Reloaded)’ comes out on 1st April and then I’ve got my first physical EP of all 6 singles (+ a bonus track!) landing mid April.  I’ve also got 3 or 4 more singles coming out later in the year, which I’m so excited about!  

I’m even more chuffed that the brilliant punk band ‘Pet Needs’ (who are about to join Frank Turner on his European & US Tour) have asked me to open for them at their gig in Manchester on 31st March.  Bread Records are very welcome to come along!!! It’ll be a fantastic night.

Two other quick things to tell you about.  ‘Nothing Is Impossible’ has been chosen as one of the theme songs for National Careers Week on 7th – 11th March.  It’s happening online and will hopefully be accessed by hundreds of secondary schools.  I’ve also been asked to put together a selection of short videos with my ‘5 Top Tips’ to succeed in your chosen career.  They’ll be part of a virtual Fair and also will be shared nationally on Twitter.

Finally, in June, on the longest day of the year, Chatbox Productions, an award winning online business show, are hosting a 24 hour ‘Stream Aid’ to raise global awareness of how business can be more sustainable.  They’ve asked me to write them a theme song which they’ll then play throughout the whole 24 hours of streaming.  I’ve not written it yet but I’ve got loads of ideas and am really looking forward to it!

Thanks so much for the interview and I hope to speak to you many more times in the future!

it’s such an honour to be able to sort these interviews with up-and-coming talented creatives here in the North West – it can be so interesting to see everyone’s different journeys and takes on music, showing that such a range of experiences can induce creativity and passion for their work. Jacob’s story here is superb in that he’s obviously so passionate about his music, and his love for it also reflects in his own actions of compassion, and raising £10,000 for charity is no small feat. as we said before, what an inspiration – we expect huge things for this lad in the future and can’t wait to see what he’s up to next! 🤘

it was so fantastic to chat with Jacob here, a big shout out to him for letting us sort this interview. it’s well worth heading over and checking out his music, he’s a real talented chap with some incredible tunes under his belt and we can’t wait to hear more songs from him in the future! ☀️ we hope that you all enjoyed this interview as much as we did, and we’ll keep you posted on our next features! 🍞

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