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Interview: Jerry Williams

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The New Year is a funny time. You’re surrounded by vows of ‘new year, new me’, you somehow feel a little threatened at all the social media ultimatums and you start think what should I be changing.

Jerry WilliamsLast year, Jerry Williams was feeling “a little bit lost” over the supposedly festive period. Confessing I was also falling out of love with someone…” the foundations of the 20-year-old’s latest EP ‘Let’s Just Forget It’ start to come to light.

“I always write from a personal experience or an experience of someone I know.” says the Portsmouth songstress.

Her honey sweet vocals are tinged with sharp, quick witted lyricism; a true story-teller Jerry captures the essence of teenage-hood in her silk-woven tones.

The title track, and latest single, threads thrill in dramatic, repetitive acoustics that wrap around divulged whispers, ‘there was a hurricane, and I named it after you’, that explode into soaring harmonics.

“'Let's Just Forget It' was written after a massive writing block! I was feeling uninspired for ages and then all of a sudden Dan Brown (co-writer and producer) and I, had a conversation about how cruel the world can be sometimes.” Her home-spun stories, ‘just like the poetry in my favourite book you call to me’ and innocent comparisons, ‘and I see your smile like you’ve woken up to snow’, craft a wonderful bond between listener and narrator.

The melancholy gives a tight embrace, and for Jerry the track is “a more serious side to me which I wanted people to hear and relate to.”

Not one to glamourise young love, but more capture the moment, ‘I’m Not In Love With You’ bounces almost in satire. Declaring, ‘I want the love you see on TV screens’ in bubble-gum pop vocals, the candy is cracked with razor sharp lyricism ‘I’m not in love with you, are you with me?’

“You just have to capture the story right!” says Jerry, “I felt those feelings and I know how I want to tell the story. Hopefully this is more relatable.”

Pointing the finger at social media and texting for the reason this generation are so bad at dating, she exclaims “Sometimes you can be texting people for weeks and never meet up! It's so annoying. I just want someone to go 'hey, let's go out and actually talk face to face'.

"Texting gets boring quickly for me.”

Early single, ‘Mother’, is a cry out to her own in a time of need. Not quite feeling herself, there’s relief in the sound as the eccentric track zaps with synths and moves with a groovy rhythm. Whilst ‘Velcro’ showcases bluesy undertones and velvet soul in the fast flowing RnB vocal.

“I remember singing some little songs I'd written to my mum when I was about 12 and she was like 'I think you're more of a songwriter than a singer'.” Early Jerry Williams tracks started out as poems, and guitar was added afterwards.

Though, her mum’s comments only steered the passion further, “I had a really weak voice but I guess I just kept going and practising and my voice grew naturally into what it is now! I've never had singing lessons so it happened pretty organically.”

“I work better now with more of a vibe going first and then lyrics. Before it was just me and a guitar in my bedroom, and now it's studios and instruments everywhere.”

The EP, which includes a soothingly soft cover of The Cure’s ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, is nominated for Best Album/EP at the Unsigned Music Awards, a “pat on the back” for the singer who’s documented her teenage years through her releases.

Talking about her back catalogue, ‘Cold Beer’ and ‘A Hairdressers Called Sids’, she says, “I guess they do literally just show me growing up and my changing opinion on how I see things. I feel like I've gotten sassier over them…”

Where “not being afraid to be yourself and not care what anyone thinks” is the hardest thing of coming-of-age today, Jerry Williams’ tracks are fluffy and sweet on the outside. Delicately stirring in her favourite phrases and secret memories, there’s a splashing of euphoric intoxication with an edge of ‘girl-next-door’ attitude. An irresistible mix.

'Let's Just Forget It' is out now.

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