"I used to want to be a baker until I realised how stressful it could be"
Jai Blue is a twenty-year-old singer-songwriter from West London who has the power to move and affect with the softest of vocals. Her alternative style of delicate, soulful folk is made all the more impactful by her increasingly honest and heartfelt writing style. NEO caught up with Jai Blue to find out what her guilty pleasure is.
NEO:Where did your artist name come from?
JAI BLUE:‘Jai’ is a shortened version of Jaixia, which is what my family have called me since I was little. ‘Blue’ is my middle name, given to me by my sister. I think she was inspired by that song, Blue (da ba dee) which was really popular around the time I was born.
NEO:How long have you been making music?
JAI BLUE:I always loved writing stories and poems when I was little, and would play around on my sister’s old guitar. I eventually wrote and performed my first song, ‘No Quitter’ at age 12, which really set me on the path toward becoming a musician. I was painfully shy as a child and my mum always encouraged me to write down whatever I was feeling, and sing it out. That’s something I’ve kept with me to this day.
NEO:How would you describe your music journey?
JAI BLUE: My early teenage years were spent performing everywhere, from holy communions, talent shows, weddings, pubs and community events. Prior to that my mum encouraged me to join a poetry group called W.A.P.P.Y (a writing, acting, publishing project for young people.) It was there that I became more confident on stage. Sometimes the sound would cut out or someone would have to hold the mic up for me, because I’d be playing guitar... It definitely pushed me to become more professional about my performance. Since releasing my debut single, ‘18’ I have been able to perform at more notable venues such as at Kew Gardens and 100 Wardour Street. During lockdown I’ve been doing Instagram Lives, including one for BBC 1xtra.
NEO:What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
JAI BLUE:I love being able to express myself in such a poetic way, my songs are like honest riddles. It's a magical feeling when the thing that's been weighing on your mind suddenly becomes melodic and beautiful. I also love being able to connect with people through my music, and hearing that I’m not alone in my experience.
NEO:Do you have any special talents aside from singing?
JAI BLUE: I love doing anything creative… I’m currently studying Print Design at Art School, so my room is pretty much filled with dyed silks, print samples and music supplies... I also love cooking. I used to want to be a baker until I realised how stressful it could be as a career.
NEO:If you could pick any three artists to collaborate with (dead or alive) who would it be?
JAI BLUE: That's such a hard question, but at this moment in time… I’d love to do something with Loyle Carner, I think it would be really chill and honest. I love listening to Labi Siffre but I’m also a big fan of Michael Kiwanuka; and I'm excited to do something in the future with a new friend and artist, Sam Dotia.
NEO:What is your guilty pleasure?
JAI BLUE: I’m always making popcorn! I eat it pretty much every other day, best snack ever.
NEO:What three words would your friends use to describe you as?
JAI BLUE:Calming, insightful, creative.
NEO:For your listeners and followers who are looking for some advice about life, what key advice would you give them?
JAI BLUE:Something I apply to my own life, is to feel the fear and do it anyway; there’s never a right time to do anything. This premise is what inspired my new podcast, ‘Girl Unafraid’ which shares my journey in living a life beyond fear.
NEO:Do you have any up and coming projects you are working on?
JAI BLUE:I am currently recording my debut EP, which I’m very excited to share with the world.
NEO:Let us know where to find you, on your social media.
JAI BLUE: Keep up to date with my life and music here: