How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
I come up what I would like to write about and start playing around with ideas musically first. Once I have set chords and an idea of where I want it to go, then I start playing around with a melody and lyrics follow. The hardest bit for me is writing the lyrics, it takes the most time.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
Conveying a true and real message.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
I’m not, I’m very open about my experiences and don’t mind getting personal when writing music.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
‘I guess angels can walk on the dark side’ – I wrote this in my new song ‘Better Day’. It was when I was hugely heartbroken writing about my ex. It cut deep but it’s truly how I felt.
What inspired “Better Day”, your latest release?
My last relationship and being victim to awful disloyalty. I hope others can relate and use this song as therapy and remember that however bad you’ve been let down, there will always be a ‘Better Day’.
And “Russian Roulette”?
‘Russian Roulette‘ – I wrote it last year. It’s hard being in a relationship when someone doesn’t trust you and if this continues to happen then more than likely the relationship is doomed, I went through this….I use the term ‘Russian Roulette’ because every time she lacked trust in me she was putting ‘one more in the chamber’ and eventually she was going to put a bullet through us.
Do you remember the day you wrote “If This Is Love Then I Must Hate You”?
I do… God I was angry. I wrote it about a moment I was let down massively by someone I trusted in the music industry. I just wanted to write about this and nothing else. Luckily I had a seriously talented writer in Jack Hawitt & producer in Benjamin Totten who reigned me in and got the most out of this real and tough situation. I remember this session was real therapy for me.
What is the best suggestion your producer gave you?
Sometimes less is more, musically & lyrically… it is easy to overcomplicate.
What are your plans for 2019?
To release more music, get ready!
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your song “If This Is Love Then I Must Hate You”: Healing.
- The best show you ever played: My Single release show last month at The Notting Hill Arts Club. It was sold out and the crowd was amazing! There’s a video on my Instagram if people want to check it out. (@jlcowdrey)
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: Whiskey. I like one before I sing.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered… My Mum’s favourite song that she always sang to me.
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: Lyrically… Ben Platt’s song: ‘In Case You Don’t Live Forever’.
- Last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: You’re asking someone with a fairly bad track record! haha… I would say follow your gut every time and don’t ignore it. Be open about how you feel and never bottle anything up. Trust is everything…