Today, we treat ourselves to a bit of sagely insight from York and North Yorkshire ‘s BBC Introducing presenter, BBC Introducing. We talk about passion and interest, music, breaking into the industry, and much more.
S] There’s a lot of people who read our website and people that you’ll know. They might be using you as inspiration, what do you need to do to build your portfolio to get that first step?
J] “Don’t take no for an answer, first and foremost. You got to do lots for nothing, and shadow people who know what they’re doing and show your face, and you’ve gotta show willing, you really have. If you want something enough you gotta go and get it, it’s not gonna come for you at this point in time.”
S] You’ve been in bands. You know the good music. What about bands? How do they get your attention?
J] “You’ve gotta have good songs. Bands will write sixty rubbish songs but then that good one comes along and you’re there. You’ve got the attention. There’s no point saying you’re the best band in your town if you’re not showing it. You’ve gotta connect to people, I get back to everyone who e-mails me, because I know what it’s like. People are just people, just go up to people and ask them ‘Will you listen to these songs?’ and I’m always like ‘Of course I will, that’s my job.’ If I didn’t I’d be doing you an injustice.”
S] What is it that’s kept you passionate over the years? In those down moments what’s kept you going and what’s kept you motivated?
J] “Not wanting to fail. Not wanting to feel beaten. I couldn’t be on a building site chucking bricks about. Music is ever evolving, it’s something different, every exchange is exciting. People who love music know you get moved by it and if you don’t feel a single emotion when listening to a song you haven’t done a very good job. It can make me cry sometimes, and that’s the sign of a good song.”
S] In terms of your career, what’s been your highlight so far?
J] “It’s a very new career, I’ve only been doing this for six months, but there’s been a lot of highlights so far. Bands send you CDs, I think it’s brilliant. I just love that the value of your opinion is enough that they send you something, and I’m just a music lover like everybody else. Just little things too, like bands coming in and giving you a T-shirt and stuff like that, and meeting your heroes.”
S] What are your goals and aims in the future?
K] “I wanna get York more on the map and give bands the exposure they deserve because there’s so many good bands out there. People need to hear them.”
S] Is there a defining Jericho Keys track, something that really means a lot to you? Maybe there’s a few.
J] “If I’m feeling a bit ‘radgy’, it is and always has been Buzzcocks ‘Ever Fallen In Love’, I dunno why but it just defines something. When you’re fifteen – it’s a weird age. When I listen to that song it takes me back to that pub we all used to go to, all underage, all at college. There’s Stephen Fretwell, he’s a guy that doesn’t get much acclaim, but his albums move me. Same with Elbow. Couldn’t pick a tune now, but right here right now, Buzzcocks, that’s the one.”
S] We get a lot of readers from places where there’s not much media exposure for bands and aspiring journalists, and they always say “What if we can’t afford an internship, I can’t afford to go to London?” Can you succeed in the media in broadcasting outside of London? For instance, can you succeed in somewhere like York?
J] “I don’t think London is the be all end all, I mean I’m from Whitby and I’m doing it in York [laughs]. Never quit. If you don’t believe in yourself nobody’s gonna believe in you.”
S] So what can people look forward to from you? What are your 2013 plans?
J] “Tomorrow I’m off to Glastonbury, so I’ve got six days of that to look forward to. I just can’t wait to get out there and promote some bands. Got a lot to look forward to, a lot of gigs, a lot of bands. I can’t predict what kind of music’s gonna come in, but I hope I’m gonna be blown away by it, and I think I will be.”
S] Sell it to me, why should people check out Jericho Keys BBC Introducing North Yorkshire on a Saturday. What can they expect?
J] “Great music, good reviews, good interviews with York and North Yorkshire bands and musicians, and bands who have made it. It’s good to hear their perspective and hear about their journey.”
S] Do you miss playing in bands?
J] “A lot. I do. Especially because I know how many opportunities are out there now. I still do play with my mates and stuff, like have a little jam and that. I’m the biggest rock ‘n’ roll star in town in my front room, but I don’t play anymore [laughs]. So I do miss it a lot, but I’ve gotta look past all that now.”