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27 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 friends. 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 rhythm as this was something Jake just couldn’t seem to do naturally.
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 the 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, 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. 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.
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 also presented his own radio show. Steve complimented Jake on his recent success and offered Jake the opportunity of featuring on his radio show in a live interview on air. Jake and Steve hit it off and this led to a collaboration together. Steve asked Jake to write his own lyrics and feature on a song which he had 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 video for him. Over the next 3 years, working closely together they produced videos which had been filmed all over the UK. This was exactly what Jake needed and the 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 play 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 this was exactly the 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 – these tracks are still being played this very day! 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. Finally, he felt like he was really making progress.
In 2014, in an unlikely turn of events Jake began working with Steve Moyse once again. To this day, the pair still haven’t quite 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, racking up over 8,000 plays on SoundCloud alone. Despite the success of these two songs, what the pair really wanted to do was 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.
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 finally 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.
Jake continues to work with Leopard Music, who have now signed two more of his songs, including ‘Dirty Dancing’. In addition to this, his latest release ‘I’ll Be There’ was played on the BBC Introducing Mixtape, hosted by Tom Robinson.