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28 year old Jake Aldridge was born and raised in the village of Reydon, situated in Suffolk, UK. When Jake was 11 years old, tragically his father died suddenly and unexpectedly. This life-changing event led Jake down the path of Songwriting. Despite having always struggled to deal with losing his father and role model, Jake eventually found comfort in writing his thoughts down on paper. To begin with, Jake’s notes were in the form of a diary. Until one day, he randomly started to rhyme a few of the words that he was writing and in time, his diary transformed itself into a book of poems.
Since Jake never had much of a singing voice and was inspired by ‘Rap’ Music, his method of performing these rhymes seemed like an easy choice to make. Jake would spend hours writing his feelings down, turning them into rhymes, and then would spend even longer performing them to himself and perfecting them, dreaming of one day becoming as good as the Rappers who he was so inspired by. One night, a teenage Jake had had a little too much to drink and with this, he finally found enough Dutch courage to perform some of his raps to a couple of his close mates. Once his friends had got past the initial shock of hearing their mate rap unexpectedly for the first time, they were amazed. Jakes friends were both incredibly supportive and encouraging towards his lyrics. All of a sudden, Jake’s wildest dreams now seemed like somewhat of a possibility in his own mind.
One of the friends who Jake performed to, was Tom Moran. Tom had some musical experience after years of playing the drums and in a bid to become Jake’s producer, Tom sought out the help of Wesley Hurr, a local Drum & Bass producer, who he paid for some lessons in music production. Jake & Tom began working closely together, alternating between each of their Mothers houses where they would produce demo CD’s which were passed onto their friends around town. The pair purchased a desktop microphone for about £12 and put a sock (a clean one) over the top of it to act as a Pop Shield! After hours of practice, a few angry neighbours banging at the door, and the after taste from several of Jake’s cremated pizzas, the boys had dreams of landing a deal with the likes of Dr Dre, Eminem & 50 Cent. There was literally only one problem…. Jake couldn’t rap in time with the music…..
Unlike many musicians, music wasn’t in Jake’s blood and feeling the music didn’t come naturally to him. His skills at this time were purely in his ability to write lyrics. It was at this point that both Jake and Tom realised there was a lot of hard work ahead. Jake recalls Tom playing an instrumental of his favourite rap song at the time, (‘Hate It Or Love it’ by ‘The Game’) He then asked Jake to rap their lyrics along to the backing track. Despite Jake’s familiarity with the song, he was all over the place. Once Tom had picked himself back up off the floor from laughing so much, they set to work on learning the basics – How to feel the beat and the rhythm of the music.
“Despite being a confident lyricist, I couldn’t feel the music in those early days… I had no rhythm”
Jake dropped out of college to pursue his music but soon realised it was unrealistic to be successful overnight and facing reality, Jake had no choice but to go and find a job. Tom went off to University and their musical journey together came to a close. Though Tom was never successful in securing a recording contract for Jake, he was however, solely responsible for installing so much self-belief and confidence within Jake and encouraged his friend to continue to pursue his dreams.
Jake hooked up with Wesley himself, and though his job was only paying him minimum wage, (£4.50 at the time) he paid Wesley £15 an hour to teach him all that he knew. During this period, Jake became friendly with another local musician – George Bennett. George was a fantastic Guitarist and was one of the friends who Jake passed his demo CD’s around town to. George expressed his eagerness to collaborate and Jake was keen to have George on board. The first song they did together was a track called ‘When You Come Around’ and George was instrumental in helping Jake learn how to rap in time with the music. George was a great producer, an up and coming Graphics/Website designer, and he had experience in shooting video footage as well. In 2009, George filmed Jake’s first ever music video for a track titled ‘Louise’ which was a song Jake had written for his Mum, thanking her for all that she had done for him and his two siblings after their Father had passed away. The video was uploaded to Facebook and went down a storm with the locals who already knew Jake’s story. After the success of ‘Louise’ Jake & George independently released an album which Jake titled ‘The Sides You Don’t See’. By this point, Jake had his own website and was deep into the social networking side of the industry. As his music progressed, he was gaining support from a growing number of fans online. Despite ‘BBC Introducing’ Presenters typically only playing acts who were based in their respective counties, the lead single from Jake’s album – a track titled ‘What You Mean To Me’ was played on over a dozen of their Stations. The album made the local press and the release was announced via a local Radio station.
In the years to come, the use of the internet and social media sites helped Jake to build a loyal fan base, establish relationships, and collaborations with Producers & Mixing Engineers from all around the world. Jake’s productions, intern with his fan base, were developing rapidly. In 2010 Jake was on his way back to work following his lunch break, and was approached by Steve Moyse – a local Country singer, who works closely with David Langely, a former Guitarist for Willie Nelson. Steve complimented Jake on his recent success and offered Jake the opportunity of featuring on his local radio show in a live interview on air. Jake and Steve hit it off and this led to an unexpected collaboration together. Steve asked Jake to write his own lyrics and feature on a song called ‘Dirty Dancing’. Despite the track’s popularity amongst family and friends, the track was never officially released.
In 2011 to Jake’s delight, he was approached by a Film Production Company (Rataplan films) about the possibility of shooting a music video for him. Over the next 3 years, working closely together, Rataplan Films produced videos for Jake which were filmed all over the UK. This was exactly what Jake because their professional productions helped elevate his brand to whole new level. Jake was now ranked number one on Reverb Nation’s Hip Hop charts for Suffolk and he was achieving radio plays worldwide. Towards the end of 2012, whilst searching for new producers on SoundCloud, Jake stumbled across Sam Hadfield’s profile. Sam was a young and enthusiastic producer, who was writing original tracks and was seamlessly blending Hip Hop with R&B. Jake was very excited to make contact with Sam as he had the exact type of sound that he had been looking for. Throughout 2013 the pair achieved a great deal of success with songs such as ‘Moonlight’ ‘Erotic’ and ‘Falling’. Jake began referring to himself and Sam as ‘Batman and Robin’.
Sam was studying a music degree at Bucks New University, in High Wycombe, UK. A huge benefit of this was that Sam was able to hire out the Universities amazing recording studios free of charge. Naturally, Jake took full advantage of this fantastic opportunity, travelling down from Suffolk on numerous occasions to record more and more songs. The ‘Batman and Robin’ duo went on to have huge success with two of their tracks being signed to air on British Television in an ongoing deal. Jake recalls his sheer delight to come home from work one day and actually hear one of his own tracks playing from the TV in his living room.
“I had goose bumps all over me, I couldn’t believe my music had made it onto the TV, even my house mates didn’t believe me when I told them”.
In 2014, in an unlikely turn of events, Jake began working with Steve Moyse once again. To this day, the pair still hasn’t figured out how their collaborations work so well together, but the response from both sets of music fans was quite overwhelming and led them to continue working together on new music. Despite their preferred genre’s being so incomparable, the pair recorded songs like ‘Slipping Away’ and ‘Survivor’. The tracks were playlisted on American Radio stations, and were even played in some night clubs in Hollywood. ‘Slipping Away’ went on to be Jake’s most popular track online at the time, racking up over 7,000 plays on SoundCloud alone. Due to the success of these two songs, the pair decided to bring one of their ‘old gems’ back from the dead – ‘Dirty Dancing’. Despite the tracks popularity back in 2010, Steve and Jake never officially released the song due to the lack of quality in the tracks production at that time. For years, the pair had searched high and low for producers who they thought may have the potential to revive the song.
Many proven producers tried and failed with ‘Dirty Dancing’ and just when the pair were about to give up on the song, Jake stumbled across ACJ Beats. Allan Janssen (ACJ Beats), was a producer from Amsterdam. ACJ was making hits. Serious hits. Though previously signed to a Record Label himself, he was now going it alone. Jake reached out to Allan and sent him Steve’s original ideas for ‘Dirty Dancing’ as he was both intrigued and excited to hear what Allan could do with the track. 24 hours later ACJ came back to the pair. Jake recalls the hairs standing up on his neck whilst listening to the new mix for the first time.
“When I heard it, I fell in love with it instantly. If I could dance, I definitely would have right there and then”.
Jake and Steve were now so in love with the freshness of the newly produced ‘Dirty Dancing’, that they decided to combine their catalogues, whilst using the song as the lead single in their bid to land a publishing deal together. After weeks of contacting Publishing companies, Jake heard back from Leopard Music Publishing. Leopard Music were particularly keen on two tracks. One was Jake’s new song at the time, ‘Palm Of Your Hand’. The other was one of Steve’s tracks called ‘See You Again’. Terms were agreed and the contracts were signed. In 2014, Jake had achieved a huge milestone through his first ever publishing deal… For this reason, 2014 will always be a year that Jake will be proud to remember. He continues to work with Leopard music, who later signed two more of his songs, including ‘Dirty Dancing’.
2015 was equally proving to be a big year for Jake. His first release ‘I’ll Be There’ was played on the BBC Introducing Mixtape, hosted by Tom Robinson. This was the biggest station to have played Jake’s music and he was overwhelmed to have had it aired by such a big name in the music industry. Jake went on to release another track which featured Suffolk based singer Lisa Ambrose. Lisa is a very talented songwriter who once opened up a show for Mark Ronson, after winning a ‘Battle Of The Bands’ competition in 2008. The song was titled ‘Where Do We Go’ which was also produced by Allan Janssen, and it was an instant hit with Jake’s fans, racking up over 10,000 plays on SoundCloud alone. Jake entered the song into a ‘feature’ competition which was held with held by the Chicago based ‘Daily Hip Hop Jamz’. To Jake’s amazement, he received more votes than any other artist in the competition and in doing so, became the first artist outside of the U.S to ever win that competition.
Eager to build on the momentum he was establishing, Jake decided that he wanted to shoot a new music video. Unlike his previous 6 videos however, he wanted this one to be extra special. He set his mind on shooting a music video abroad, and decided to do so with a new song called ‘Give You The World’. The track had already been Published by Leopard Music and was recorded before ‘Where Do We Go’ was released. Jake had kept this one back until the time was right to finally put it out. After reaching out to Rataplan Films once more, Jake saved up his pennies and had the music video filmed in Spain. He wanted to have some guaranteed sunshine in his video and to do something special for his core supporters. Jake made the decision to have his girlfriend feature in the video to uphold the authenticity he always seeks for his music and brand. Once the video had been edited and released, people were shocked that an unsigned artist had gone all the way to Spain just to shoot a video.
“I’ve always wanted to shoot a music video abroad and it felt so good to actually be doing it”
Once Released, the video was featured on numerous blogs all over the internet as the buzz around Jake’s music continued to grow. The video went to number one on the VTYO Video charts and was later seen by Stephanie Younk from GO DIY Records. Stephanie contacted Jake after hearing the new single and offered Jake a Non-Exclusive Synchronisation deal for ‘Give You The World’ along with four of his over tracks. Interest continued to grow around Jake’s music and more offers came flying in. He was approached by Mark Reid, who manages Artist Sponsorship’s for the Asian based Rude Boy Clothing line. Mark expressed and eagerness to make Jake an ambassador for their clothing company, an offer Jake simply couldn’t refuse.
After years of struggling to perfect his craft and to get his music heard, things are finally starting to happen for Jake. There is a definite buzz around his music and people are now starting to sit up and take notice.