Rapper-turned-pop-country artist & multiple-award-winning musician, Jake Aldridge, recently released his latest single, “Down”. Co-written by multi-instrumentalist David Edward Booth and produced by Nashville’s Simon Reid, Down is a true ode to the underdog.
This past month, I spoke with Aldridge about being an underdog himself, making the switch to pop country and his latest single.
Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing music? What made you want to become an artist?
Jake Aldridge: My Father passed away when I was 11 years old and I believe that the years after his death, I was always looking for a way to express my emotions, my sadness and my frustrations. Eventually, I began writing lyrics. It was quite therapeutic for me and very much still is.
Kyla Pearson: Formerly a rapper, you decided to pursue a new genre in recent years: pop-country. What inspired this genre switch? How has your experience as a country artist been thus far?
Jake Aldridge: Well, my rap music was always very melodic, it was very pop-orientated. I enjoyed listening to Nelly a lot when he did his R&B infused songs and I was very inspired when he collaborated with Florida Georgia Line, on a remix for their song ‘Cruise’. From there, I started to explore country music. It’s obviously a very big change and unfortunately, singing does not come naturally to me, so it’s something I’ve really had to work at.
Kyla Pearson: Recently, you released your pop-country single, “Down”. Written by David Edward Booth and yourself, the song speaks directly to the “underdogs” amongst us. Do you consider yourself an underdog? Can you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind the song?
Jake Aldridge: I certainly used to. For a few reasons really. When I was at school, I wasn’t the most academic kid so as a result, I struggled career-wise when I left school. My father’s passing when I was 11 years old obviously made life tougher for me as well. Musically, when I first began writing songs, I literally had zero rhythm! I couldn’t even nod my head in time with a drum beat, so I definitely felt like ‘the underdog’. Thankfully, things have improved considerably in my life recently and I now find myself in a very happy place. With this new song, I wanted to reach out to those who are still finding their way in life. I wanted to show my support and hopefully inspire others to never give up on chasing their dreams.
Kyla Pearson: What is one piece of advice you would give someone who feels the odds are against them and out of reach?
Jake Aldridge: It’s important to always believe in yourself, never forgetting that with good health on our side, anything is possible. We must remain thick-skinned, resilient and ridiculously dedicated when it comes to achieving our goals and bettering ourselves.
Kyla Pearson: You also released the official music video for the song. Can you tell us a bit about the creative direction behind the video? What was the filming process like?
Jake Aldridge: The music video was filmed by BH Scenes, who were amazing to work with. It was filmed in Bournemouth and the main actor involved was a guy named ‘Paul Hellard’. I thought he played the role perfectly. I very much wanted to have an older actor who looked like he had lived a tough life, yet still had that warrior-like spirit. I wanted the video to have a cinematic feel to it and I think the guys captured that perfectly. Artistically, it’s the best feeling ever when your vision comes to fruition.
Kyla Pearson: What is one venue or show you’re looking to perform at and share “Down” with your fans? What live shows do you have coming up that fans can catch?
Jake Aldridge: Since I am still quite early in my transition from Rapping to Singing, I haven’t been performing as much as I probably should be! I guess this is the next phase of my journey and my transition. I like performing at music events where the audience is there to listen to the artists who are performing, rather than just feeling you’re background music. That never did appeal to me much.
Kyla Pearson: What is one goal you hope to achieve with your music this year? Do you plan on releasing new music other than “Down”?
Jake Aldridge: I am always thinking about the next song! Right now though, my hopes for ‘Down’ are to get it heard by as many people as possible! It would be great to get it onto some more Pop-Country playlists!
Kyla Pearson: Lastly, what is one thing fans may not know about you?
Jake Aldridge: I wear odd socks! Every day! I’ll even go out of my way to make sure they absolutely do not match! I like to be different and always enjoy it when I see others embracing their individuality.
Apple Music: Jake Aldridge
Spotify: Jake Aldridge
Amazon Music: Jake Aldridge
Aldridge, Jake. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Sept. 18 2021.
Unknown.“Featured: Award-winning musician & country artist, Jake Aldridge”. Photo courtesy of Jake Aldridge. Accessed Sept. 18 2021.
Unknown.“Official cover art for Jake Aldridge’s latest single, ‘Down’ ”. Photo courtesy of Jake Aldridge. Accessed Sept. 18 2021.