Jutes is a rising star in the music industry, having debuted several singles over the last several months, including "Where Are You Going?" He's currently on the precipice of releasing his EP, "Overrated" and as a tease for fans, he's just dropped his newest single, "Bad Dream." Take a look at our interview with Jutes about his music, his quarantine and his tattoos in the gallery below, then let us know your thoughts on his new music in the comments section on social media.
Take me through your upbringing and how you developed an interest in music.
Growing up, I was around music really early. My dad was a drummer in a rock band so I would go to shows and band practice wearing little ear plugs to jam out. But it genuinely never occurred to me that I could or would end up making music. I was obsessed with basketball and was set on going pro. That dream died out when I discovered film in my last year of high school and ended up getting a scholarship to one of the top film schools in Canada. I ended up hating it because the school element of it sucked the fun out. This is where I started writing little raps in my dorm room while skipping class, and I guess finally something stuck.
Who were some of your music inspirations growing up and how did they shape your current style?
Red Hot Chili Peppers is my all-time favorite band. I was always obsessed with them, Anthony Kiedis is my hero. I also loved Third Eye Blind and obviously blink-182. My basketball homies got me into hip-hop and I kind of went away from rock music and became obsessed with it. My favorites were Outkast, Ludacris and later on Kid Cudi.
Talk me through your EP “Overrated.” What went into making it and why did you choose these songs?
"Overrated" is a product of me moving from Toronto to LA. I mostly recorded in my bedroom, just getting inspired by the crazy shit and the crazy people I was getting into. Mostly toxic people. But I learned a lot about myself making that project. I was finally pushing my voice and finding parts of it that I didn’t know existed. I never thought I would be able to pull off singing rock music or pop punk. I really wasn’t a singer growing up, I had to teach myself how (thanks autotune). These songs really just came together effortlessly, and I felt it was a nice little sampler of where I was at mentally and emotionally at that point in my life.
What’s your typical writing and recording process? How do you find inspiration?
This changes almost as much as my genre. I started off writing and recording everything alone in my room. Then gradually I started recording in front of friends who I trusted. Then moved to LA and launched myself into studio life, working with new people in new places daily. When you aren’t 100% confident in your voice that can be nerve wracking. But I love throwing myself out of my comfort zone so I can level up again. Now, because of COVID, I’m back in the bedroom and kind of loving it. There’s magic that only happens when I’m alone that can’t really happen in a room full of people. I get inspired by my emotions mainly. When I feel anything intensely, I can’t stop it from coming out when I write.
How did the quarantine impact your ability to write, record and promote your music?
The quarantine made me lock in and get weird again. Made me try shit without anyone watching. I kind of lost some of my Jutesy secret sauce in the midst of working in studios with other people with their own opinions and music taste. When I’m alone I fully trust myself and I just dive into a whole other world and I think that’s when I make my coolest stuff. Content has been more difficult with the social distancing stuff, but even that made me get creative and figure out how to shoot a video on my own. I like being challenged and I like things to change and force me to adapt. I bitch about it but always come out of it feeling better than I was.
What’s your favorite single from the EP and why?
"Where Are You Going?" is my favorite sounding record. It was me finally making a song that felt like the music I loved growing up. It made me feel like, "Damn, so I can just make the shit I love now." The record that means the most to me though is "I’m Not Ready." It’s about my uncle who died out of nowhere. That song came pouring out of me and was crazy emotional to record. It means a lot to me and my family.
When did you get your first tattoo and what’s the story behind it?
I think I was 17 or 18. It’s a quote on my forearm that says, “Even when there’s nothing to do, there’s no time to waste.” I made it up in the shower and my friends and I kind of used it as our motto. We were in this small little hick town with essentially nothing to do, but we were always getting into weird/funny/cool shit.
What’s your favorite tattoo and why?
It's so hard to say, I definitely get asked this often and generally I say the bear on my shoulder done by Mike Storey in Toronto. It makes me think of my grandpa because he loves bears and always asks to see it when I see him. He will say “Do you still have the bear?” I love the suicide king on my hand too, that one’s by Matt Vanasse who is also in Toronto.
Take me through some of the tattoos you’ve done yourself through stick-and-poke and what they mean to you.
I’ve done over 10 of them now. My homie Sleestak from Toronto was in LA and pulled up to my place to give me some tattoos. He left me needles and ink, so I started messing around and give myself stick-and-pokes. It wasn’t until quarantine that I was going stir crazy and decided to start tattooing myself. They are all pretty simple and random, like a heart, some cross hairs, 613 (Ottawa area code), some dice, stars, a big LA, a skull, leaves, etc. Nothing too deep, just fun stuff.
What’s up next for you?
I’ve got a bunch of really cool records I’m rolling out. Different vibes than the last EP. More hip-hop again and shooting videos however I can. And I’ve designed lots of dope merch coming soon too. Oh, and huge radio hits and millions of dollars.
Hang tight for the official music video of Jutes' "Bad Dream," coming 8/20.