This interview was first published on March 20, 2017
Emerging indie artist Melina Duterte, AKA Jay Som, has managed to impress critics with her every release to date. After originally planning to pursue a conservatory program for jazz, Duterte rather enrolled in community college, studying studio technology, songwriting and music production instead. It was around this time that she began writing and recording demos in her bedroom studio, subsequently releasing them on Bandcamp in 2015 under her Jay Som moniker. The original 9 track EP has since been re-released twice to rave reviews. Everybody Works is just released on Polyvinyl Records to great acclaim.
Who is Jay Som? Can you please introduce yourself?
Hello!! Jay Som is me (Melina Duterte). I am 22 years old and I live in Oakland, California
Tell us a little about your new album. What’s it about, and what do we get?
It’s about whatever you want it to be about, nothing too specific. You get to hear 10 songs.
Who were your musical heroes growing up?
Karen O, Avril Lavigne, The Donnas, Beyoncé, DCFC.
When and how did you first get into music?
My mom bought me a tiny acoustic guitar for my 8th birthday and I taught myself for a while, then I picked up the trumpet and that shaped most of my musicianship skills.
Name an album, artist or experience that changed your perspective on music?
The Glow Pt.2 by The Microphones
What’s the best new song you recently discovered?
“To You” by Andy Shauf
Can you share a fun fact about you or your music?
I am very good at catching small things in my mouth (popcorn, candy, etc.)
Any other favorite activities?
I love to binge watch Netflix shows and movies until 4am.
What’s coming next for Jay Som?
Getting ready for hefty touring for most of 2017, I’m also working on some demos for the new record; definitely want to spend a lot of time on the next one.
Looking one year ahead, where would you like to see yourself?
I would like music to still be a consistent part of my life next year. Maybe I’ll be in a different city working on multiple projects in a house with a pool and a dog.
And finally, if your music was a food what would it be?
My music would for sure be a nice soup, kind of mild and spicy but pleasant.