Telling the creation story behind each song in the Jem Kid Catalogue
Written: November 2017, Oxford.
EP: Nearly Live, Jem Kid & Company.
Best line: ‘I’m quite the lover, on my day / I’m quite the poet, in my way /What I see is what I say.’
Influences: Country rhythm, acoustic-pop chords, bossa nova finish. References Santa Fe (RENT the musical), Candidate/Sweet Thing (David Bowie, Diamond Dogs)
If I had done a single release, this would have been it. It’s my portrait in song, the picture of an assured yet modest artist starting out, finding his place: ‘Not quite a boy, not quite a man’.
I was playing with ideas, working out what I stand for and what I don’t – ‘Don’t have a castle in the sky/don’t have a castle in the sand.‘ All you need in life are the bare necessities, or as the French say, ‘de l’amour et de l’eau fraiche’; love and water, water and love. That line refers to the person the song is dedicated to: who else but to Louise Fischer, my girlfriend.
The tune and chords were developed by playing around with the D-D7-Dm sequence, then at some stage incorporating the switch to F major, keeping that edgy A major as a pivot to switch back to D.
The pre-chorus honours a riff from ‘Santa Fe’ from RENT (the iconic bassline features that major-minor progression) The trumpet outro honours a guitar solo in Candidate/Sweet Thing by David Bowie (3:04). Don’t ask me why I made it into bossa nova. Dextrous or disastrous? Who knows?
As an independent artist in the time we’re in, Jem Kid depends on people deciding that his music worth paying for, even though it’s available for free. You can buy this track and many others on his Bandcamp page: https://thatjemkid.bandcamp.com/track/water-you