Jay Thackery is hoping to touch lives with his music

Jay Thackery is hoping to touch lives with his music

It's naive to think that one musician can make people forget that they feel inadequate, but it's kind of my aim.

Jay is a self-taught musician who has suffered from years of chronic depression and insomnia, and is left with a unique view of life, and a lust to help people in similar situations to those he has found himself in.

Jay, 18, strongly believes that music can have a direct impact on people's lives. He has a tattoo on his arm that reads "I wrote love on her arms", which is a nod to the charity To Write Love On Her Arms.

He said: "It's a charity about thinking that music can directly help people who suffer from depression or suicidal tendencies. Having been exactly there myself, and knowing just how dark it really is to be in that place, it's a charity I'd like to represent for the rest of my life. If you kind of think you've got nothing left, [music] sort of gives you a sense of direction, and that's always a good thing."

His music reflects the way he talks about life, the lyrics are quite deep, and an insight into how Jay has felt over the years.

The sound is described as acoustic with an emo edge, and this is exactly right. The simple strumming on the guitar brings thoughts of Ed Sheeran and James Blunt to mind, but the emotion within the lyrics and the tone has a definite My Chemical Romance feel to it.

His favourite band being My Chemical Romance, Jay was ecstatic at the thought his songs had a similar vibe to theirs. When asked who he would like to duet with out of anybody, he quickly answered: "I think the lead singer of My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way. If I could ever duet with him I think I'd die a happy man!"

Jay was born in Lossiemouth, Scotland, but moved to near Preston when he was 8. Speaking, he has a clear Lancashire accent, but on his songs there does seem to be a slight Scottish twang, reminiscent of Glasvegas.

Fresh from recording his album last year and having enjoyed a Christmas of playing gigs in homeless shelters and nursing homes, Jay is ready to kick start the new year.

However, he knows that now, with the current climate of pop-saturated music charts, isn't necessarily the best time to bring out his album. "I am kind of waiting for a platform to release it off. I don't want to just put a record out  
there and nobody wants to listen to it. I'd rather wait until there's people wanting to hear what I've got to say, and then going for it."

He finished recording the album last year, and is now putting the finishing touches to it. In the meantime, having released his EP last Easter he has busily made a music video for the lead track Better Than This, and in December added an extra track to the EP to keep his fans happy!

The music video for Better Than This has already had 4292 views on his YouTube, and on his Facebook he has over 2000 fans. Seeing as he only began his solo music career last year he is picking up fans and interest very quickly.

On his Facebook he often responds to fan comments, and started to sign off with a quirky "Stay smiley", which has almost become his catchphrase. Jay said: "It didn't start off that way [being a catch phrase]. But I suppose it has turned out that way yeah! I think when people listen to the album, it'll all make a bit more sense. Because the album is very much aimed at the people who don't necessarily look at themselves in the mirror and think 'I fit in'. I think if they don't feel good enough, it's naive to think that one musician can make people forget that they feel inadequate, but it's kind of my aim. It's all part of that."

Jay, having suffered from depression, stresses how much he wants to help other people who also suffer from it. When asked about what music inspired him, he paused for a long time before admitting that it's not other music that inspires him, but his past. It's a difficult thing for him to talk about, but in a weird way, his inability to talk about his past and the way it has affected him adds to his character.

Jay is your archetypal musician; tortured and somewhat broken, but being mended a fraction at a time by his self-taught ability to address his problems through his music.

"Without going in too deep about it all, I suffered from chronic depression and insomnia, bought on by various childhood factors, so that’s pretty much what everything is born out of. Kind of like, maybe an addressing of what's happened. But more of an addressing for me. It's kind of like a hope that maybe somebody will listen to it and think 'you know what, that's kind of how I feel' and maybe they'd take something from it - hopefully."

Jay is passionate about what he does. He has fronted bands since he was 14, but didn't like the constant compromise that came with not working alone. Not wanting to go down the X Factor, manufactured musician, route Jay said: "I'd rather do it the old fashioned way I think. I don't want to be looked at as a cover singer, whose trying to do their own material, I'd rather be just an original artist."

But living near Preston isn't the easiest place to try and make a success out of an acoustic music career. The music scene around the North West is quite heavily metal based, and Jay has done his fair share of shows with metal bands, but struggles to make his set work when performed to a room full of metal fans.

He commented on how living in the north brings a "pretty big disadvantage" compared to artists who are from near London or the south, so hopes to move away from Preston to either London or Cardiff where the music scenes will suit him better in the near future.

Jay has overcome a lot of demons from his past, and genuinely wants to help others where he can. Performing gigs to people around Christmas who have little else in the world was one of the things that show how much he cares about other people, and wants to do whatever he can to try and bring happiness to people.

Jay's songs are representative of who he is and the struggle he has faced. If you are a fan of acoustic music Jay's EP is definitely worth a listen, and keep your eyes peeled for any live gigs he does near you in the future, because this artist is definitely one to see live.

Jay Thackery's EP Ghosts is out now to download and includes the songs Better Than This, Devil's Poetry, Demon Dance and Time.

50p of every £2.49 download goes to the Salvation Army.

Ellen Smith