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Get To Know: Rising Talent Jay Moussa-Mann

We get talking to multi-talented Jay-Moussa Mann, based in the North-East, UK. She has just released her sensational new single 'American Tennessee' and it's a must-listen...

Tell us about the inspiration behind your new track 'American Tennessee'!

American Tennessee came about when I was messing about with some chords and guitar rhythm and the chorus melody started to evolve. I left it for several weeks but the tune kept coming back to me and it always cheered me up whenever I played it.

I was going through a pretty down time when I wrote it. I grew up moving a lot as a kid and a weird outcome of that as an adult is that I want the security of ‘sameness’ but I feel out of sorts if I stay in one place too long. The words for American Tennessee came from me feeling really trapped. I felt hemmed in by where I was living, by what was going on around me. A really fond memory for me was a trip I took to Memphis once and I had copious amounts of sweet ice tea. That’s where the chorus started to take shape.

Who are your biggest inspirations musically?

For this song I was particularly inspired by the music of Gary Clark, who fronted the band Danny Wilson. I watched a lot of Sing Street and was inspired by that 80s feel to the music, as well as the way he just writes a good ole tune. I was also massively inspired by Taylor Swift, Maisie Peters and Mandy Moore in terms of performance, rhythm and the way they write lyrics.

In order for you to have a good recording session are there any things you need in order for it to go well for you?

I mainly record in my home studio. We’ve just moved and nothing is set up at the moment so I feel a bit lost but usually what makes it go well for me is I need to spend time with the song beforehand. In the past I didn’t appreciate what that meant. It means sitting and listening to your own song and deciding how you want it to come across on the recording, what you want people to feel and it’s not always the way it sounds when you play it to yourself in your living room. I practise different intonations, different sounds to words and when I am completely at ease with all of that, the recording usually goes well. I also drink tons of water and try to rest beforehand if I can. I used to think I needed to be in the right frame of mind but that isn’t important. It’s a job, not therapy, even though emotion is an important part of it. I can’t imagine Tom Hanks turning up on set and deciding not to act that day because he’s ‘not feeling in the right headspace,’ yet expressing emotion is what his job is all about. What are you up to these days other than music?

We’ve just moved into our first house so at the moment my life consists of unpacking cardboard boxes. We also have a 9 week old Border Collie puppy called Indiana so she’s keeping me pretty busy.

What's next for you going into 2022?

I am working on finishing my album, which has been pushed back lately because I wanted to rework some of the tracks and write new songs. As long as everything goes to plan though, you should be expecting some more music from me in the coming year in the lead up to the final culmination Summer 2022. I was recently accepted onto the Help Musicians Co-Pilot: The Musicians Mentoring Network and I’m looking forward to working with a music industry mentor over the coming months.

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