RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW BRISTOL ARTIST AYRTON JIMENEZ
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Since I was about 5 years old I have always had a passion for music. Performing and being creative was always something that energised me from a young age, I started out just singing Elvis Presley songs in front of my class any chance I got! Thankfully, I gravitated to something a bit less embarrassing the guitar, which was where I really found my passion. I studied the classical guitar for about 10 years as well as taught myself the electric guitar, where I fell in love with blues and improvisation. I also fell in love with songwriting from about 10 years old, and have always found that to be a major outlet for me. I have always had a lot of creative energy, and music is what really allows me to release that.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
Since I was about 8 years old, I have explored a range of musical styles. I started off in the classical guitar before moving into popular music styles like blues and rock music. In terms of my songwriting, I started off in acoustic folk music, incorporating elements of my Latin heritage in my songwriting, with a few of my songs being in Spanish with flamenco guitar. Recently, as I have developed some basic skills in production, I have been able to utilise my base in the electric guitar which has helped me forge a new sound that you’ll hear in my new single.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
I used to stress a lot about how I was progressing in music professionally but it is really a hard thing to track, especially with how much is out there today and how streaming has changed the industry. Recently, I try to just focus on writing and recording songs I can be proud of – hopefully, people like it, but focusing on the industry can add a lot of stress and take away from the creative process so I try to just do the best I can.
How have your songwriting skills developed over time?
I have always had a lot of ideas as a songwriter, but have not had the technological skills in production to bring them to life. Only recently am I able to do this, so I think my development in that area has really breathed life into my songs. It has allowed me to explore a larger sound than just me and the guitar, which was always the direction I wanted to go in.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
I think music is something that is such a positive force to bring people together and gives people a safe space so it is really sad that some people take advantage of this and make music events an unsafe place to be. It’s a really important issue, and I think there’s a lot that can be done in terms of educating the public on the importance of these safe spaces, as well as tightening up security to ensure women feel safe and secure.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
I think being authentic is key, I definitely started out being a bit too careful in terms of what I put out there but I think what really resonates with people is just being yourself and doing something you are passionate about – I think people gravitate to that. Also with these kinds of algorithms, consistency is really important!
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
My dad is an astronaut
I was born 3 months premature
I am a martial arts fanatic
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
I think Spotify has benefitted the listener and the artist in a lot of ways but of course, there are some drawbacks. The positive is that music is now so accessible that artists of any level can share with the world and potentially reach millions of listeners. It also presents a new opportunity for listeners to discover new music through there really advanced learning algorithms. The drawbacks are that I think due to how saturated it is, it can make the music feel a bit disposable, and if you can’t harness the algorithm, it can be hard for new artists to break through.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
I find conspiracy theories very entertaining, even if I don’t subscribe to them! There might be a few I give some attention I suppose…
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
To be honest I didn’t really do much shopping in the pandemic! Maybe way too much uber eats?
What was the worst experience on stage?
Forgetting the lyrics to a popular cover is always a bad one, I once did ‘Ain’t no sunshine’ and the audience had to chime in to help me!
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.
This kind of exposes the previous question on 2 truths and a lie – but I am obsessed with martial arts! MMA, Boxing, BJJ – I can’t get enough of it!
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
My music isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it has a unique style due to my fusion of a few different genres and cultures – I also think my voice is a bit different so that does make me stand out (good or bad haha)
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
My new single is titled ‘I’m Sure. It’s a love song telling a story of an autumn romance. Something I really like about this track is it is the first where I have used the electric guitar which was something I was itching to use in my songwriting!
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
I wrote ‘I’m Sure’ some time ago, and it started off just acoustically. I picked it up again a few weeks ago and started experimenting with some blues guitar improvisation over the top of it. From there, I started recording at home and it took on a life of its own! The sound is different to what I originally wrote, but I like the way it has organically grown into a new sound!
What was the recording process like?
I recorded this one entirely in my bedroom! Everything from the guitars, percussion, keyboards, and vocals, I did from my flat in Bristol! Nothing fancy, but I think it adds to the intimate feel of the song.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
I have always taken to writing quite naturally, what I have found challenging to learn is the production and mixing! I learn new things every time I record, and there is so much more for me to learn!
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
I think if I had more budget and more advanced tech, there is more I could accomplish with my music, but that is the beauty of being an indie artist – I grow and develop with each release so I don’t think I would change too much.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I hope you enjoy the new release and music video! Stay tuned for lots of new music in 2023!