Personal problems are always hard to go through, but when you’re an artist you at least have the ability to be able to channel your feelings at the hardest of times into your craft. Making sure whatever you’ve created isn’t overly self-indulgent is the hard part. Luckily, this is a trap Londoner Jack Ridley – better known as JW Ridley – doesn’t fall into.

After a year of difficulties, he used his music as a form of catharsis, and ended up blowing the folks at label Speedy Wunderground away in the process.

A few demos he mixed found their way to label boss Pierre Hall, who was “blown away” by what he heard. “I hadn’t been so excited about a new artist since I first heard Loyle [Carner] and our release with him,” he said. High praise indeed.

JW doesn’t rap or use jazzy hip hop production, but like Loyle he does tell a captivating story with a special kind of earnestness. That’s demonstrated on his debut single ‘Everything (Deathless),’ where his washed-out but emotive vocals are set against an atmospheric backdrop of New Wave synths and guitar licks that bring to mind The Cure. It’s a track that’s somewhat nostalgic, but JW gives it a contemporary twist. In doing so, he’s created a sound that’s ultimately deathless.

Words by Eugenie Johnson

Tipped by  Rob Platts from Junk City


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