Jaysen Gold, a singer/songwriter from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, recently spoke with Emily Ann Wells of The CMBeat to discuss his career and his music.
Emily Ann Wells: What was it like making your new EP, About Time?
Jaysen Gold: It was a very surreal experience. I had worked with Brian Seligman, my producer, before-but never to create a full length EP. Brian was the first dude I met here in Music City, he was also the first dude in Music City that I ever cowrote with, so we kind of learned the ropes of cowriting together. He and I had demoed a couple of our cowrites, but this was a whole new experience. The importance of this EP in the studio was immense. This is my introduction to the music scene here in Nashville. We knew that each of the songs needed to convey who I have become as a person, as a writer, as an artist, and where this musical journey has taken me. I think we did that pretty well.
EAW: What is your favorite song off of your new EP and why?
JG: I really love Lost At Sea. When we were in the studio I told Brian that he really captured the ebb and flow of the waves with instruments. He didn’t realize that’s what he was doing, he just kind of felt it. Lost At Sea really takes me back to the day that I wrote it with my buddy Ian Daugherty, there on the patio of our condo at Fort Walton Beach. I think it also tells a pretty good story, and I love story songs.
EAW: You were a radio DJ – what was it like going from one side of the microphone to the other?
JG: It was a move that I have wanted to make for years. When I got into radio I had three goals: to interview or meet Randy Owen, Reba, and Sugarland. I was blessed enough to have had the chance to do all three within the first two years of my career. After that, I still enjoyed introducing songs and promoting other people’s albums, but when I turned off that microphone, what kept me going was that one day I would be the one being played. I wanted it so badly.
In 2011 I quit my job in radio, and moved down here to pursue music, which was a risky move. Full time radio is all I had known since about 2007, but I wasn’t getting any younger, and I needed to try. That’s part of the reason we named the EP “About Time.” The release of the EP has been like a big deep fresh breath of air, we felt like it was “about time” to be on the other side of the microphone.
EAW: As a songwriter, where do you get your inspiration and how do you keep your writing and music fresh?
JG: A lot of times I’ll get hook ideas from lines on TV shows, also a lot of times hooks will just come to me when I’m working out at the gym. I’m also a really big fan of twists of phrase and homonyms, so I’ll just drive home from work thinking about how I can twist a word. That’s really how Change Your Name came about: a name can be changed, and a person can change.
As far as keeping my music fresh, I keep an ear out for the way songs are being written right now. The really good ones right now seem to have a simple, sometimes syncopated chorus, with really deep meaningful lyrics in the verses; then the bridge is more of a breakdown than something else that needs to be said in the story of the song. That’s what I’m trying to mimic in my songwriting now.
EAW: You’re a fan of the country music group, Alabama. Who are some of your other musical influences and why?
JG: Alabama is my number one. Just the way that Randy Owen holds a crowd is awe inspiring to me. The way Alabama delivers a song is impeccable. Back in 1988-ish, they were promoting the album Southern Star on Nashville Now during a special Myrtle Beach episode; I was glued to the TV during that episode. Ever since that day, I knew this is what I wanted to pursue. One day I hope to write with Randy, I’ve written with him several times in my dreams…then I wake up… haha. Other writing influences I have are Matraca Berg, Aimee Mayo, Hilary Lindsey, Jennifer Nettles, Kristian Bush, Diane Warren, Ronnie Rogers, Wendell Mobley, Neil Thrasher, and there are others. I really love a writer who pens a song that has very poetic lyrics and makes me think. I just bought the new Jennifer Nettles album, it’s absolutely stunning lyrically AND vocally. There’s a song on there called “Salvation Works,” just beautifully written. The way Jennifer Nettles weaves a story is just stellar. I don’t look at albums like Jennifer Nettles new one as entertainment only, I look at it as a 12 track songwriting lesson. That goes for CDs from all of my influences.
EAW: CMA Fest is coming up. Are you doing anything for it or is there something particular you’re looking forward to about it?
JG: Yes! I’m very excited to be opening the Moore & Moore Fan Club party this year. It’s going to be over at the Nashville Palace if you want to check it out. $5 admission. Moore & Moore will be celebrating their fans and the release of their new album, which has three cuts on it that I helped to write. It’s going to be very exciting for me, a full circle moment for sure. Moore & Moore have given me my first cuts in town. They both also have been mentors in this business for me, I love and respect them very much. I also hope to check out some of the Riverfront shows. I’m a child of 90s country music, and they have a ton of great 90s acts that play on that stage.
EAW: What are some of your favorite cover songs to perform live?
JG: I really like to perform this Alone/What About Love mashup that I put together. It’s just a rocking tune that works well on acoustic surprisingly. Heart also made those songs so recognizable that the crowd can easily sing along to it. Every time I do Alone/What About Love, people’s ears perk up and I get to have a really great artist/audience moment with them.
I also recently added Jesus and Jones by Trace Adkins into my set. Trace always puts out great music with deep lyrics, and they’re all in my range as a baritone; so I can do some vocal acrobatics with his songs. Wild Angels is a really fun one to do too. I did it the other week at The Goat in Murfreesboro, with my wife and Brent Harrison doing background vocals for it. We did the last chorus acapella, and it sounded so cool.
EAW: What do you think makes you different or unique as an artist?
JG: Well, as far as my live show, I do a ton of songs originally recorded by female artists. I think it’s cool to breathe new life into those songs from a different perspective. As far as my original music, I don’t perform or write too many party songs, which is different than most male artists you hear on the radio. Also, after doing radio for 4 years, sometimes my stage show sounds like a radio show, so that’s kind of unique.
What did you think of our interview with Jaysen Gold? Any questions you want to ask him? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!