Following our interview earlier this year here, we catch up with T8PES, aka Jimmy Davis, to find out more about his debut album «.
The record is a nostalgic homage to rave culture, fusing elements of that music with more modern influences of hip hop and grime.
When we last spoke, you were about to release ‘Hope & Pray’. What response did it get?
It was received really well, played on BBC 6 Music and got some good feedback. The video did well too - filmed and edited by Global Faction who has a worldwide audience on his youtube channel, it got some great responses from people around the world.
Ed Sheeran said you were one of the people who has ‘inspired and influenced’ him as an artist. What did that mean to you?
It was a really humbling thing. I didn’t quite realise the influence I’d had on him as a young artist until I was backstage at one his New York shows in 2017 and hid Dad was introducing me to people as someone who’d had a ‘massive influence on Ed when he was growing up’. That felt pretty surreal!
Your album, « is out now. What’s it about? What are it’s themes?
The record is a nostalgic homage to rave culture, fusing elements of that music with more modern influences of hip hop and grime. It’s very autobiographical with themes of childhood misdemeanours and love & heartbreak, alongside songs about positivity and courage, as well as social commentary and ‘human issues’.
When did you write it and where did you record it?
I wrote the whole thing over the course of two years pretty much all in my home studio in Birmingham where I produced all the music too. It was recorded at a studio called The Songlab in Birmingham with my good friend Jonny Amos taking care of engineering duties.
How does « represent your style?
Production-wise it’s a blend of all the various forms of electronic music that have influenced me over the years. I wanted to use the sound of rave music as the foundation because I was obsessed with that sound for a long time and it completely blew my mind when I discovered it. Everything else was shaped around that - the lyrics and flows give it a more modern edge but it definitely represents the T8PES brand going forward, that idea of bringing the sound of the rave back to life.
Can you talk us through each song?
I’m gonna cheat here and direct anyone reading this to my YouTube channel because I break down the album in one minute videos on there which is much more interesting than reading anything I could write on here - head to youtube.com/t8pes.
What are your hopes for «?
I’d love for this record to be looked back at in years to come as the equivalent of a cult classic in the film world. I’d be made up if it slowly and organically gained a reputation for being a great record as people begin to discover T8PES.
What plans do you have for the rest of the year? Can we see you on tour?
The remainder of 2019 is about getting out and playing live as much as possible, working on the second record, and just enjoying the journey. I think it’s a little early for T8PES to be taking it out on tour just yet; there’s lots of building to be done and refining of the live show, but it’s exciting and I’m confident of where this whole thing could go.
Finally, if you could go back in time and tell yourself something, when would you go back to and what would you say?
I’d go back to when I was doing this all first time round as Jimmy Davis and just encourage myself to be wilder and freer, take more risks, and not to take it so seriously or chain my happiness to some kind of outcome that I wanted.
Listen to « on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates go to the T8PES Facebook page.
Image by Matt Wilson Photography.