EF’s Underdogs section is devoted to new music that I find exciting and has the potential of making it big at some point. This week I spoke to J and The Rest, who are a band born from a series of happy musical coincidences. Frontman Jamal was raised in a musical family, but had never fully considered a career as a vocalist. While he studied music tech at Leeds Met, he left the course feeling that the path was not what he expected. However, his friend invited him in to the studio one day to jam, where he met uni mates John and Louis. The three clicked musically, with their friend from the live circuit Ricky joining them on drums, J & The Rest were born and have been playing and making music ever since.
Hello, where does this q&a find you then?
At the moment I’m on my way to the airport in Athens on my way back to London!
Could you describe your music for our readers?
We make the kind of music that you turn up super loud in your car and sing along like your performing at Wembley!
Can you tell me the story behind Kisses on the Mirror?
We didn’t want to do the cliche man breaks woman’s heart type thing… So we did a role reversal.
How did the band come about?
We are all session musicians and had been doing corporate gigs for a few years together. After every gig people would ask where they could hear our original material- we eventually set up a session and a couple songs later here we are.
How does the writing process work?
Generally we’ll figure out what mood we are in- if we feel mellow or want to smash out a banger. Everyone will usually give their input on ideas- it really is a collaborative experience.
Where can people find your music?
We’re across the board on all streaming services! Spotify, itunes, Google play, you name it!
Where can people see you perform live?
We have a show at zigfrid Von underbelly in London on the 17th of July, then after that our next show will be fieldview festival on the 5th of August.
Does the band have any rituals it follows before gigs?
When will the single be out?
The single Kisses on the Mirror is out now.. But the full EP will be released on the 28th of July!
Kisses on the Mirror is available to stream on Spotify via this link.