After first introducing himself with his dynamic debut single 'Haunted' in recent months, emerging New York-based artist JShell has now unveiled his vibrant audio-visual LP 'In My Head', alongside the soaring lead single 'Delusions'.
Capturing more of that broad and inventive pop-rock aesthetic he has developed for himself, 'Delusions' makes for a wonderfully rich and driven release. Filled with fresh and enticing hooks, an explosive atmosphere, and his own compelling voice at the helm, this new one will certainly get you up and out of your seat in no time.
So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and what has been inspiring him of late.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Drums, without a doubt. I’ve been a huge fan of Genesis since I was a kid and I was always fascinated with the drumming skills of Phil Collins, especially when he would play them live together with Chester Thompson. I spent hours playing air drums along to Genesis live tracks and to this day Phil is my biggest drummer influence followed by Neal Peart of Rush, who is probably the greatest drummer in the history of rock.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
The first bands I gravitated to were The Beatles and The Jackson 5. Listening to The Beatles, especially their later stuff when they became experimental and weird, made me want to be a musician and opened the door to my love of classic rock. The Jackson 5, on the other hand, made me want to just dance and groove. Those records like “I Want You Back” and “ABC” are just timeless.
What was the first album you remember owning?
I remember that the first singles I owned were “Rock The Boat” by The Hues Corporation and “Fly Like An Eagle” by The Steve Miller Band which my parents bought me after singing along to them on the radio in their car. The Beatles Greatest Hits (the Red and Blue albums), Tommy by The Who and Three Sides Live by Genesis were very early albums I had in my collection, all of which continue to inform me as a musician and songwriter.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen which is probably the greatest sounding song ever written.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
Whenever I get a musical idea, I immediately stop what I’m doing, open the voice recorder app on my phone and sing whatever riff popped into my head. Then I try to improvise another riff on the spot that may go with the original riff, or another riff might come into my head shortly after the first recording and then I’ll do another recording. I try not to let any idea get away because you never know which ones will work.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
I’m actually going to see Muse at Madison Square Garden shortly and I’m really digging their new album. I’m also really into new and recent stuff released by Maneskin, Corey Taylor, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, Metallica and blink-182 just to name a few. And I’m not ashamed to say that I’m into Lizzo. She’s awesome.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Probably Foo Fighters. I’m a huge fan and I think we’d all get along and have a blast backstage. I’m also a big fan of jam bands so if Phish ever needed an opening act I’d be there in a heartbeat.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
Right now it’s a combination of having recorded a full 15 track album where I’m doing most of the playing and singing and which came out exactly how I wanted it to and having been able to share the experience with close friends and family members who made amazing contributions to the album and who I hope can get exposure as a result.
And what is the most frustrating part?
The music business is a very tough industry. You need to put as much if not more time in promoting your product as you do in creating it. While this is true of most industries, there are tens of thousands of songs released on Spotify on a daily basis, so it’s an almost impossible challenge to be heard and recognized. But I don’t back down from challenges.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
To be honest, nobody has really given me any advice, which, in a way, is the best piece of advice, which is in order to make it as a musician, you have to be prepared to do it yourself. Nobody is going to hand you anything so you better be persistent, consistent and relentless.
JShell's new single 'Delusions' is available to stream now. Check out the new video for it in the player below.