Jethro Tait started playing guitar at the age of 13 and later forming a garage band with Matthew Mole, Jethro has a foundation in acoustic sounds but has dabbled in electronic music as well. Influenced by the likes of Jon Bellion and Ed Sheeran, Jethro has centered himself as a pop artist with original music that is catchy enough to have you singing a long in no time.
After signing a publishing deal with Universal Publishing in 2013, Jethro took his first step into the industry as a songwriter. He has since penned songs for The Voice season 2 winner, Craig Lucas (charting singles “I Said This” and “Smother,”) as well as Majozi, Mathew Gold and Richard Stirton (The Voice Season 1 winner.)
Having just signed a record deal with Universal Music South Africa and releasing his first offering (featuring on the smash hit “Running Wild” with Pascal and Pearce, which is close to Gold-certification) Jethro has his sights set on becoming one of the country’s top singer-songwriter talents.
JETHRO TAIT has just released his debut solo single called ‘ONE FOR THE BOOKS’ and we got to chat to him about the single, how he started out in music and some of his favourite moments thus far:
Interview: JETHRO TAIT
MA: Do you mind starting with a quick 101 on who JETHRO TAIT is? Where in SA are you from and how did you get started in the music scene?
Hey, I’m really good thanks! I’m originally from Cape Town but I’m currently staying in Johannesburg. I actually got into the music scene as a songwriter first. I was writing a lot and got put in contact with Universal Publishing. I had no idea what a publishing deal really was at the time but I started sending through demos and eventually ended up getting a contract. My first placement was with Majozi for his EP “Mountains.” I wrote a track called “Stay with me.” Since then I’ve been lucky enough to work with the likes of Mathew Gold, Richard Stirton, Pascal & Pearce and most recently I wrote quite a bit with Craig Lucas for his debut album including tracks like “I Said This” and “Smother” which were his first two singles. I’ve always wanted to be an artist myself though and release my own music. I joined a boyband called FOUR in 2014 and we went on to win The X Factor South Africa. That was my first step into the industry as a recording artist. We split in August last year (2017) and decided to pursue solo careers which lead to me signing a record deal with Universal Music.
MA: What are some of your musical influences?
My influences change quite regularly as I’m always looking for new music, but I’ve always been inspired by singer songwriters. Consistent influences for me are Ed Sheeran and Jon Bellion. More recently I’ve been enjoying Bazzi’s album and I’ve also been listening to a lot of G Eazy.
MA: You have just released debut solo single called ‘ONE FOR THE BOOKS’ , what can we expect from this single?
With “One For The Books” you can expect a song that you can either just chill and listen to while taking in the lyrics or you can dance to it and just enjoy the production. I wrote it as a pop song but we played around with some dance influences in the production as well. I feel like the song puts across what I’m influenced by and the style of music that inspires me.
MA: Are you planning an EP or Album release soon?
I am yes. We’re not sure if it will be an album or an EP yet but I’m really excited to be working on a body of work. There’s no release date as of yet. It’s really hard to put a time frame on a body of work but I’m hoping to have something done before the end of the year.
There are a few that come to mind. Winning X Factor with FOUR is definitely one. As a band we were also lucky enough to share the stage with international acts like One Direction and Nicki Minaj which were both incredible experiences! Last year I was also lucky enough to go over to L.A and spend some time with Liam Payne, which was really insightful. Signing with Universal at the end of last year was also a highlight and personal achievement for me as I’ve always wanted to release music my own music and be an artist.
MA: What are your thoughts of our local music scene at the moment?
I think it’s developing really nicely! A lot of SA artists are making waves internationally and it’s really exciting to see. I feel like people are taking more note of South African music these days. I do feel like there is still a lot of room for growth though.
MA: Any acts/bands/artists that you think need a special mention?
There are so many! Pascal & Pearce are such great guys and I had such a great time working on “Running Wild” with them. It was essentially my first feature as a solo artist and they were really welcoming and supportive! I couldn’t pick better guys to work with. Craig Lucas is someone I think is so talented and has a really exciting career ahead of him! Some other friends and all round great artists are Easy Freak, Armand Joubert, Richard Stirton, Janie Bay, Majozi and last but definitely not least, Matthew Mole.
MA: Anything else you currently working on that we may be interested in?
At the moment I’m mainly focused on getting my own music together so I’ve taken a bit of a step back from everything else. I’m also putting a lot of time into developing my live act and I hope to get out there and start playing at some of the great festivals around South Africa.
MA: Where can people follow you on Social Media?
MA: Thanks for your time!
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me!
*** Photo Credit Oxana Nacu ***