When did you realise that you had a passion for singing and music?
My dad is a musician too and a music lover in general so it's always been something that has been instilled into me, my parents record collection helped my love for music grow for sure. I suppose we really realised I could sing when I was 9 because I begged to get up and do karaoke in Spain. Reach for the Stars was obviously my song of choice.
What is it about music that you love so much?
The thing I love about music is it's ability to speak to everyone no matter where they come from, everyone understands and can relate to music regardless of language. Also I'm quite a goofy person and I rarely take myself seriously so music is my way of saying and expressing things that I wouldn't necessarily say out loud on a day to day basis. I guess my love for old soul and blues is where my love for that kind of emotion and realness in music came from.
You're a graduate of the BRIT School - how was that whole experience?
BRIT school was a great time in my life and I learnt a lot about music, it really took me out of my comfort zone and opened my eyes to a lot of things both personally and professionally. The education there is second to none, a really nurturing environment that I am grateful to be apart of. It's not just jazz hands and chorus numbers like how it's portrayed in the media, the people there are great.
This March will see you release your debut EP 'Phoenix', what should new listeners expect from you?
The EP will be out on the 23rd of March with a launch show being held on the 24th at The Queen of Hoxton. Although I use the mythology of the phoenix to symbolise the chaos within my previous relationships and how they ended, there is also a positive message I want people to take away with them too and that is that no matter how many times you fall down you have to pick yourself back up again and keep going just like how a phoenix used it's ashes to be reborn again. This record really means a lot to me, the subject is really close to my heart and I really put everything into it so I guess what I really want people to take away from this EP is the heart and the passion and hopefully they can relate to what I saying in one way or the other.
Where or who do you draw inspiration and influence from for your work?
It took me a while to find what inspires me when writing songs because when it comes to soul music its all about love and social comment and I've never been in love, so I've had to really find my own way of writing about it that can still relate to someone who has been in love whilst staying true to my own experiences. Musically I have been obsessed with artists like Etta James, Donny Hathaway and Nina Simone since I was a kid because they had something real to say and that really stuck with me. I believe soul can be found in every genre, to me soul is just honesty and raw emotion.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
It's so important to me that I have creative control over my work because at the end of the day it will be me who has to stand on stage and sell it to people and make them believe in what I'm saying. I've been very fortunate to have worked with some amazingly talented people on this record who know exactly how to collaborate with and artist. It's all about knowing each persons value within the room and understanding that you are all equal and you are all in that room together for a reason, if everyone understand that then the outcomes tend to be great and effortless.
Can you tell us a little bit about the writing and creative process you go through?
A typical day in the studio would consist of me, another songwriter and a producer, If it's people I've never worked with before we would sit down and talk about musical direction and establish a sound and topic for the song, but ultimately the best songs happen usually when you don't think about it so much finally at the end of the session I record down a rough vocal just to document the song and that tends to be it, until it comes to polishing it up and putting it on a record were you would typically record the vocals properly and get the track sounding funky fresh.
You've travelled to LA and worked with writers and producers as well as in London this year, what's that experience been like?
Being in LA is amazing, the vibe there is just insane there. I don't know what it is but everyone is so up beat and ready go like all the time it must be the weather because when I'm there I will typically be in the studio until like 4am every day, the inspiration is constant and I get so much done when I'm there. It's crazy who you run into too, LA is so big but the amount of famous people you see on a day to day basis is ridiculous. Amazing place, I'm at my happiest when I'm there.
If you could work with anybody on your music going forward, who would you choose and why?
I love to experiment with different sounds, soul music merges so well with other genres making the possibilities endless. I want to write a love song with Sia, I want to make a throwback album with Mark Bronson and I'd love collaborate with artists like Jay Z and Kanye West and put my vocals on some hip hop tracks.
How difficult would you say it is to carve out a career and make a name for yourself in this business?
It's one of those things that if you think about it too much you just wouldn't do it, this industry is so unpredictable that it almost doesn't matter how hard you work because there are no guarantees. It can be very hard to make a name for yourself but what you always have to remember why you started making music in the first place, it wasn't for the fame or the money (although it makes life a lot easier) it's because you love it.
Do you have definitive aims and goals for your career?
I used overthink everything and try to plan everything in the finest detail but apart of the excitement is not knowing what is around the corner, and that used to terrify me but now it's my favourite part. I just want to be able to keep making music, play some amazing shows because I love to perform and just take everything as it comes. Music is my life and I'd love to make it my living.
Finally, what else should we expect from you going forward?
You should expect me to keep making music that I love and you should expect me to keep trying new things because I love to experiment. Say hi, don't be put off by the subjects of my songs I don't bite so get involved, I love hearing what people think about my music.
Jody Brock's debut EP 'Phoenix' is officially released on March 23.