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Emerging Artist Of The Month: Jay Eatwell

Isle of Wight Radio's Emerging Artist of the Month for May will be a name familiar to thousands of people across the UK.

Rapper, pianist and songwriter Jay Eatwell was one of the stars of Channel 4's "The Piano", with the 24-year-old hailed as a star in the making by the likes of Mika and Lang Lang.

He sat down to speak to us about an exciting summer ahead and ambition to release his debut album.

Hi Jay, when did you first start making music?

My Dad was the lead singer in a band when I was really young and he bought me a piano which was a platform for me to start learning.

I was rapping with my brother Kes when we were kids, so I was always song-writing since I was really little.


Are you completely self-taught with the piano?

I went to Platform One and studied music there, and had a few piano lessons there which helped.

It was the amount of hours I put into it, I never had a TV in my room so I'd put eight hours in a day and YouTube also helped.

You've mentioned Kes there, is there any chance we’ll see a collab between you both?

I reckon we will, it's a weird one with us — sometimes we struggle to make music together, but we have been talking about collaborating.

There will be a song — if not more than one — coming out of me and my brother very soon I think.


Has it been difficult to break through in such a competitive industry?

It's hard for people to break through but since I've been on the show it's given me the confidence to think I've got something different to what everyone else is doing.

Apart from Dave (below) I don't see a lot of people playing the piano and rapping.

How did you get involved with Channel 4’s The Piano?

I was constantly posting videos on Instagram and I got approached by Love Productions. 

They asked me to come down for an audition in London, but I was told it was a documentary about street pianos, so had no idea it was a talent competition at first!


Has that opened the door for a lot of other things?

It's opened doors and also given me more focus to believe anything's achievable if I put my mind to it.

I've had a lot of people approach me and a lot of opportunities have come from this.


It feels like you could be on the verge of something really exciting...

Mika was saying that he thought life would change for a few of us after the show.

Channel 4 has stayed in touch, they've got duty of care for a while and are making sure I'm not slipping up!



Are you planning to release an album or any more singles in 2023?

I already have an hours' worth of material, most of which I think is really good.

Once I give a studio my music I'm not always happy with how it sounds though, so it's finding the right sound for the album.

I've got things lined up like recording some tracks in a church to get the acoustics from there.


Are there any other Isle of Wight musicians you’d recommend people check out?

I was thinking about doing a track with Levi Collins, collaboration is a good thing I think and I'll be doing a lot of that this year.


You’re a father – do you have any advice for young kids who want to become musicians?

Focus on your dreams and don't think they can't become a reality.

This whole thing has felt like a dream to me, and it shows anything is possible.

I've worked in the building trade but it isn't what I want to do long-term, so I'd tell any young musicians to use your time wisely.



A post shared by Jay Eatwell (@jay_eatwell)


Are there any immediate challenges you need to overcome?

My keyboard's packed up on me, so if anyone can help to fix it or lend me mics, PA systems etc then that would be amazing!


So, it's not all glamorous, even though people would think you're a Channel 4 star who's made it?

Not at all! It's not an overnight process, I've been at this for years and years.

The time will come when it's meant to come — there has to be a few obstacles in the road to prevent you from time-to-time.


Finally Jay, where can people catch a live performance or find links online?

I'll be on the Cirque de la Quirk stage at the Isle of Wight Festival, and also have a slot at Cowes Fringe lined up.

Most of the music I'm uploading is on my Instagram, but I'm hoping to get it onto Spotify down the line.


Take a look at the previous Emerging Artists of the Month

Luna Carina were named Emerging Artists for April

November 2022: Josh White

December 2022: Phoenix Lopes

January 2023: Meg Rasmussen

February 2023: Ben Stubbs

March 2023: Tink Beadle

April 2023: Luna Carina

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