A conversation between Will Andrews and the supremely gifted London R&B sensation Jaz Karis
Due to the current lockdown, and the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, this year the ‘summer story’ is set to be very different, how are you finding quarantine and what have you been doing during it?
I think I've had my ups and downs like the majority of us. Somedays I'm super inspired and others I literally force myself to do something creative. I am extremely blessed, that’s what I try to remember everyday.
I love the freedom that your music exerts, it is very reminiscent of artists like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott or more recently IAMDDB. These artists have often referred to their music resulting from feelings and a vibe. How would you describe your music?
Thank you! I actually love the idea of describing my music as being free with yourself. It’s what I try and emulate when singing and writing and a lot of that is not thinking about how it might be perceived when you release it & instead just enjoying the process.
The UK music scene at the moment has a flourishing collection of young female vocalists, with yourself, Jorja Smith, Mahalia and Shaé Universe amongst others achieving great success. What is your take on the development of women in UK music?
I definitely think we’re creating a lot of noise which is great! But I do think it’s a harder journey still & especially if you’re creating R&B or soul music. Saying this, it would be great to see a day where the music spoke louder than what our Instagram looks like.
Your performance of Petty Lover on COLORS has nearly 10 million views, which of your songs is your favorite to perform?
‘Petty’ is a great favourite I think because of its popularity and it has enabled me to travel the world with it, however I think a personal favourite of mine would be ‘Sugar Don’t be sweet’ as its just me and my guitarist.
On your track 'Unwritten Rules' from your 2019 EP Summer Stories, you refer to the unforgiving game that can be relationships and dating. What are some of your unwritten rules that you envisage a partner should respect and adhere to?
I think this generation makes romance and trust seem such a hard thing to accomplish/find when in a relationship, with someone which is really sad. I have grown up loving fairytales and romance so my love language will be different to someone who hasn’t. I think everyone is different but you should understand what you require from a relationship before expecting it from someone who has different views on affection.
One of my favorite songs by you is the glorious soul cut ‘Doubt My Love’. This single was released on NAO’s Little Tokyo Recordings’ label, how did this collaboration come about?
Me too! I have always been a massive fan of NAO so when I heard she liked my music I was so excited. NAO attended my first sold out headline show at ‘The Waiting Room’ and we spoke (nearly cried lol) about releasing one of my upcoming songs on her label, one in particular which was at the time called ‘missade’ with a producer called Family Time. I worked with Nao’s producers ‘MTJ & Loxe’ which was great and we evolved the track into what it is now ‘Doubt my Love’. Kaylum then shot a video with all my friends in it somewhere in North London that is on Vevo for anyone to watch now! (Ed: it fucking *slaps*)
You recently co-wrote “Secrets” on Justine Skye’s EP, Bare With Me. It is the first songwriting placement of your career. How did you find writing for someone else and do you want to co-write more songs in the future?
The amazing thing about this placement is that I actually was set to release it myself on my last EP, then Justine heard it and loved it which was great. I definitely want to dive deeper into the realms of song writing so letting her release it as apart of her EP was the better move going forward.
As well as your recent co-writing feature, you recently collaborated on the track 'Soweto Blues' with Juls and earlier in the year you featured on 169’s album. Who would be your dream collaboration and why?
My dream collaboration would be Frank Ocean and, if you don’t know why, I think any one of his albums will show you.
I am obsessed with your cover of Danial Caesar’s Get You. I was wondering what your go-to Karaoke song is?
Ahaha thank you, my go to Karaoke song has to be Etta James - ‘At Last’.
Since the theme of the series is ‘lockdown inspiration’ - we have been asking artists who inspires them -who inspires Jaz Karis? And if you could invite five famous people for a dinner party, dead or alive. Who do you choose and why?
My mum inspires me. She has done so much herself and still managed to put everything into her children. My famous five dinner party would be, Beyonce, Will Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Michelle Obama & Biggie.
Finally, what more can we expect from Jaz Karis in 2020?
I’m currently working on a quarantine tape which we are aiming to be out in June, fingers crossed! I also have so much unreleased music which will make an appearance this year ...stay tuned.
Thank you again to both Will Andrews and the phenomenal Jaz Karis for this interview. Want to read more of SMPM's artist interviews? Follow this link now to read more conversations with the UK underground, straight from the mouth of Slow Motion Panic Masters.
Will Andrews is a 21 year old student at King’s College, London. He’s the most southern man to ever come out of Yorkshire and spends his time procrastinating listening to music rather than studying.
Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based in South Wales.