Following the release of their single 'Every Time We Talk' and a headline show at Birthdays in April, we caught up with Jakil ahead of their next release, 'Fool Without U' out on May 31st, to talk haggis, heartbreak and how the band got their start on the cobbled streets of Edinburgh.
Give us a bit of background - how did the band get together?
So three of us go all the way back to school time, playing music together in the music classrooms way after the bell had gone at the end of the school day - writing songs badly on crappy nylon acoustic guitars that were hanging around.
Before we moved to down to London from Scotland we got ourselves a bass player and a drummer and that’s when we started taking this a lot more seriously.
How did the name Jakil come about?
The initials of our names morphing into a made up word. Classic eh!
Which single should new listeners listen to?
We'd probably say, 'Tongue Tied' to get you kicked off. Very singalongable and seems to be the most popular with our friends and fans.
Tell us about your latest single 'Every Time We Talk'.
'Every Time We Talk' is a huge nod to the 80s music that we love. It was a jam we made in our studio ages ago and let it sit in the vault for a while.
We eventually revisited it to write and it all just fell into place. The song is about falling for someone who’s a little bit mean but keeping you keen – we’ve all been there before, right? I guess that’s what makes it quite a sad song really, but the uplifting production of the track gives it a fun, colourful backdrop. We’re into that blend and we’re most definitely into the throwback feels.
Talk us through the creative process for the music video for 'Every Time We Talk'.
The creative process was actually a combination of being really rubbish at Final Cut Pro and having a song that had such a strong 80’s vibe that it actually suited having visuals that looked 20 years out of date!
We make our videos ourselves which we enjoy. We just took a bunch of throwback things from our time growing up as kids like Blind Date and Heather the Scottish weather lady and threw them in at appropriate times. We wanted to have a karaoke vibe also because who doesn't like karaoke. Thank god for YouTube tutorials though or it wouldn't have been possible.
You have new music coming out soon, what can we expect?
So 'Every Time We Talk' is one of four tracks we have planned for release, with #2 "Fool Without U" dropping very soon!
Expect more bright, fun pop for the summer time but we're definitely looking to explore the different sides of Jakil. Who knows maybe we'll chuck out a wee ballad. One thing is guaranteed, more tunes for sure.
Who inspires you musically?
One we can all agree on for sure is Michael Jackson. Next time you have a day to yourself, have a listen to 'Off The Wall' all the way down to HIStory and you'll see why. We've had many a road trip with these albums in the van. He took what was around and carved a totally different path for pop music in terms of songwriting, production and performance.
We also draw a lot of inspiration from classic pop records from the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Prince too, but current acts like Shura, LANY and The 1975 are all bringing that pop thing back to 2017, which we love. Individually, we're a right broad mix though.
What's the music scene in Edinburgh like?
We spent a good while on the Edinburgh scene and had an awesome time; it’s such a shame and breaks our wee hearts to see the majority of those old venues closed down now.
We make a point of going back to perform every so often which is always rad. It was the Scottish crowds that inspired us to crack the London scene and every time we're back we're introduced to new bands who seem to be smashing what's left of it.
We'd encourage any band outside London to come dip their toes down here and see if you get the fever too. You can literally spend your evenings gig-crawling every night of the week.
Would you say it is easier to make it as a musician in London?
You can make music anywhere, you hear all these stories of people making incredible music straight from their laptops in the strangest, most remote places who still can go on to do incredibly well. But to be involved in a city where the industry is centred and full of incredibly talented people, London certainly has that moth to a flame vibe to it.
Everywhere you turn there is a songwriter, a producer, a manager and we’ve certainly benefitted from that in terms of our own development. Being able to learn from all these creatives is invaluable. And yeah, London can get a bit much sometimes but we really feel there really is no better city to be living while in your 20’s too.
You got your start posting covers on YouTube - do you think it's still a good place for musicians to get noticed or have the bigger YouTube stars made it more difficult?
YouTube is a great platform for musicians, as much as the staple vloggers and YouTube stars will always get views, good content from less known artists can get a lot of traction too. We never set out to be a YouTube band, we live together and we're always jamming, we just managed to catch some of those cover jams as a spur of the moment type thing and some ended up being pretty popular online which is cool. It's nice to see the love coming in from all parts of the world too!
What do you bring that's special?
Gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
What would you do to make the world a better place?
There's a place in your heart and I know that it is love. And this place could be so much brighter than tomorrow. There are ways to get there, if you care enough for the living - make it a better place for you and for me.
If you could fill a swimming pool with anything what would it be?
So what's next for Jakil?
A summer full of new tunes! We've been writing with the summer months in mind so we're itching to get it all out while it’s still nice and hot. We'll be gigging around London a fair bit so come down and let loose with us. We're loud and fun. It's always a hoot.