We chatted to Jack Hinks about his new single THE EMPEROR

Released on 20th August, Jack’s new single is an instant indie-folk banger, and has an interesting story to go with it. We caught up with jack about all things music:

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from and where did your musical journey start?

I grew up in the borders of Scotland and found myself taking some local guitar lessons just as I turned 13. My parents had surprised me with an electric guitar that summer and I wanted to get stuck into learning and writing. I had always enjoyed singing and listening to music, so it felt like the next step towards expressing myself creatively.

If you had to sum yourself up in three words, what would you say?

Introspective Dark Optimist

You recently released your new single The Emperor. I hear this song has a pretty interesting backstory, along with a few other tracks. Can you go into a bit more detail about this?

The Emperor is the fourth track in a series of five, with each track representing a stage of grief in the Kübler-Ross scale. My intention was to create a mini-album that would work cohesively as a concept, but also work as stand alone songs. I’ve always been very interested in the cycle of grief, and most of my own writing is usually fueled by personal experiences, so I thought it could be an interesting way to explore each part of the process musically. The Emperor, in my eyes, represents Depression. I started writing it after having an experience where I felt completely out of place with a group of people I used to be really close with, and it made me feel as though a chapter of my life had come to a close. It felt like a sort of grieving, and the song grew from there. I wanted to explore the imagery of The Emperor within Tarot lore, as it usually represents confidence, stability and control within your life and actions. But, in Tarot when a card is revealed to upside-down it usually reverses the meaning or implication anyone could take from it. I thought that was a really interesting concept and storytelling tool, and I thought it could work well with the idea of Depression.

When can we expect the last song in the series?

I’ve been releasing each of the songs every 3 months, so all being well, mid-November!

Who produced this 5 piece? Have you worked with them before? How was it, working with them?

I’ve had a firm idea of what I wanted to do with the concept from the start. The first 2 tracks (Jigsaw and Plastercast) were recorded at Slate Room Studios with Garry Boyle, but since the pandemic hit, I’ve been exploring recording and producing it all myself from home. It’s been a process I’ve really enjoyed and growth through. I’ve always had an interest in the self-producing and engineering side, but until now I hadn’t been confident enough to produce and engineer my own music myself, as I’d always worked with Garry in the studio. I owe a lot of my recording experience to him, from both sides of the glass.

Are there any plans to play any live shows soon?

My hope is to get the full concept album ready with my band and play some shows once it is all released, but currently I’m getting used to juggling live gigs returning along with the rest of my responsibilities. I play in wedding and cover bands and with the lowering of restrictions I’ve found myself very busy again, very quickly!

Once this musical adventure into grief is finished, what is next for you?

I’d love to keep writing and releasing and honing my craft. I have plenty more songs that I could release, but also a few ideas for more concept albums. I’m also very keen to explore recording and producing more artists, as well as getting into playing with and for other artists in the scene!

What advice would you give to those looking to make music themselves?

If you have an idea of how you want to sound or what you want to write about, follow that desire. It’s all too easy to be distracted by what is popular or successful right now, but there is space for you and your sound. Don’t dilute yourself for others.

Where can we find out more about you?

You can get a much better sense of who I am and what I like to do (in and around music) by following my social media accounts. You can find me as @JackHinksMusic on most platforms.

Anything else you would like to tell us?

I’m currently curating my own monthly unsigned/indie playlist for local artists. Each month I select some of my favourite new music, and every week I play alongside and promote an artist on my social media. The playlist is called ‘Hot Singles in Your Area’, and my inbox or DMs are always open to questions and submissions from fellow artists!

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