Off the back of the new single, ‘Kisses on the Mirror’, and in the build-up to a soon-to-be-released debut EP dropping towards the end of the month, I was fortunate enough to quiz up-and-coming neo soul outfit J & The Rest on their history, their recent happenings and what fans can expect from them in the near future.
Having formed following a chance jamming session, what was it about your first meet-up that made it seem like you could have something special?
I think it was how instantly we became good friends, which helped a lot. There were a lot of laughs before we even started making any music at all.
With your sound bringing together contemporary and retro R&B and soul stylings, which artists would you cite as influences from both of these eras?
Well, from those eras it would have to be D’Angelo and James Brown, who I see as general influences on our whole sound.
Name one song in existence that you really wish you had written and explain why.
It would have to be “Untitled” by D’Angelo. It’s one of my all time favourite songs. It’s absolutely timeless.
How long did it take for your current sound to evolve, or was it there right from the start?
To be honest, I’d say the sound hasn’t finished evolving yet. It really is a never ending process, but I prefer it that way.
Can you see yourselves exploring new sounds and styles in the future?
Absolutely! As we work with more and more other amazing artists I think that’s just inevitable, and we welcome it!
What went into the making of your two recent singles, ‘4am Again’ and ‘Kisses on the Mirror’?
A lot of love, a pinch of mischief, a bit of swagger and some late nights!
Having performed with some big names from across the popular music map, is there any one experience or encounter that stands out as being particularly inspiring or eye-opening?
I think the most amazing experience was definitely playing just before Robin Thicke during the Cannes Film festival! That was crazy for us, not only because of him, but also just being surround by so many A-list celebrities was wild. Literally every big name in Hollywood.
Lastly, what are your plans for both the near and distant future, and what are you looking forward to the most?
Well imminently, we’re getting ready to release our EP at the end of this month, and for the long term we’re just trying to pack our schedule with as many shows and studio sessions as possible. We all love gigging so much, so that’s what we cant wait for – all the amazing shows to come!