Extraordinarily talented young multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Jakeycakes has just dropped his new single, a sprightly blues rock belter by the name of ‘Free Spirited Baby’, which serves as a precursor to his upcoming debut self-titled EP, scheduled to come out in September.
At just eleven years of age it’s fair to say that he’s somewhat of a musical prodigy, proficient on 12 different instruments (including piano, drums, harmonica and many forms of guitar) as well as creating and producing his music (both originals and a swag of covers) in his own home studio.
We recently chatted with Jakeycakes to find out more about the creative process behind ‘Free Spirited Baby’, how he got into music, what he has in store for the rest of the year and what he gets up to when he’s not immersed in his muse.
Congratulations on your new single, ‘Free Spirited Baby’. Can you put us in the picture on what inspired the track and how it came together?
I wanted to write a song that people could dance to. My last song was slow. In fact, it was called ‘Going Slow’. I had also been taking slide guitar lessons with Nashville guitarist and renowned producer Michael Flanders. I initially met Michael after my amazing and beautiful publicist Sammie introduced us at Ian ‘Dicko’ Dicken’s Country Spit Roast, where I was the resident busker.
Back to the story, ‘Free Spirited Baby’ is influenced by a 60’s – 80’s musical style and in particular the Supergroup the Travelling Wilburys song ‘Dirty World’. One day I just started the riff, then developed the melody and thought about how I wanted it to sound. The lyrics are basically about a girl who is a free spirit and has left me.
For the recording Michael thought his son Caleb and I would be good together for this blues rock song. I recorded some guitar and vocals and within days a drummer in the USA, Dango Cellan, delivered our drums. The song really came together then. Caleb, also being a bass guitarist, slapped out some bass then we added a few guitars, Caleb did the organ and I did some percussion. Michael’s wife Chaise Flanders recorded harmonies. I then learnt them and Caleb recorded my lead vocals and harmonies.
My favourite artist is Buddy Holly and I was thrilled when Scott Whatman provided a vintage mic for me for the music video.
The track is part of your upcoming self-titled debut EP – how is the recording going and who have you been working with to pull it together?
The upcoming EP has three of my released originals on it. The other will be a song I wrote in 2020, a real country song and a blues song. I am going into the Recording Studio with Scott Whatman at The Recording Room in Burleigh the week after I finish the School Of Rock stage musical (where I play Zack Mooneyham). Scott has been with me from the start and has also filmed all three of my music videos. He is so supportive of me and my vision and is such a gentle and humble man, as well as being a brilliant musician and producer himself.
How did you get so proficient at all of these aspects of the musical process and who are a few of your primary influences?
I play 12 instruments all up and always do the lead vocals and my own harmonies. My favourite instrument is guitar.
My mum is right into music (mostly 80’s) and she is also a line dance and ballroom dance teacher. She always had music videos playing in the house as well. I think that influenced me a lot.
Dire Straits is another big influence. I wear my trade mark wrist bands (Mark Knopfler style) most places I go and tend to stress if I haven’t got something around my wrists. Heck I even wear wrist bands at night. Must be a comfort thing!
Do you have a favourite aspect out of writing, producing or performing?
I love expressing myself and get a buzz from performing. The artist Prince is a legend to me as he was not only a multi-instrumentalist but also wrote songs for other artists. I would like to do that. I love producing too, as I like using my creative skills for my vision in mind.
What was your background for getting into music?
I started out playing for fun in a band called Fresh OJ with my older brother Oliver. I went from being a guitarist doing some backing vocals to front man and guitarist for an hour livestream.
I joined many online streams during Covid, from Rob Rhode’s ‘The Musician’s Inn’ and Doug De Jong’s ‘Make Some Noise LIVE’. Doug also taught me the 12-bar blues.
From there I started busking as Jakeycakes and started gaining confidence. Occasionally Ollie will have a sing. He is a damn fine front man (think Michael Hutchence/Jim Morrison) but he is more into his art these days. Ollie and I first learnt piano, guitar and singing with Vicky O’Keefe, daughter of Johnny O’Keefe.
You clearly have a very busy schedule – do you have time for anything outside of music?
I have really enjoyed the last four months of doing School Of Rock, the stage musical. I have made some beautiful friends who I will have for life and have so much fun doing what I love. Outside of music I like tennis, soccer and bike riding and I also love going to a movie or theme park. I also love watching American sitcoms and using my flight simulator.
What else is happening for you, musically speaking, for the rest of the year? And where would you like to take your music over the next five years?
Some big events are happening for the rest of 2021. The School Of Rock has been a fantastic journey. I’ve loved playing the role of the lead guitatist Zack, doing an American accent and some dance moves. The Ekka Country Music Showdown is coming up. I’ve been selected as a finalist for the Gympie Music Muster in August and a finalist for the VDM Country Music Festival and I’m also going down to Tamworth next year.
In September my self-titled EP will be out and I will work on my album next year. I am a very relaxed person and am happy with whatever the universe has in store with me. I want to keep writing and doing originals. I would love to play Wembley, but wouldn’t mind being an airline pilot either.
‘Free Spirited Baby’, the new single from Jakeycakes, is out now.