With all the Gaga-esque artists out there, we tend to overlook the singers and songwriters who bring us back to reality. We love Lady Gaga, but sometimes it’s nice to listen and watch an artist who harbors qualities we look for in friends and others close to us. Come on, how many of you fans can say Lady Gaga holds the other half to your best friend’s locket?
So when we find that artist who is as creative as any outlandish performer out there, but one who can also converse with us as though there is no celebrity status gap between us, we hold on tight. Congratulations Jason Reeves, you have upheld the coveted role as our friend uninhibited by fame.
Jason Reeves has impacted your musical taste more than you would think. Just like the Bruno Mars of the world, Reeves has co-written chart topping hits, such as Colbie Caillat’s “Bubbly” and “Realize.” As Reeves wrote these smash hits and other tracks for artists like Lenka and Tyrone Wells, he also established himself as a solo artist by stepping in front of the renowned songwriter curtains he constructed.
His debut album, Magnificent Adventures of Heartache and Other Frightening Tales, caught the attention of songwriter and previous “American Idol” judge, Kara DioGuardi, who signed him to Warner Bros. Records, who then re-released his album in 2008.
We got the opportunity to chat with Reeves about his journey throughout the music industry and most importantly about his upcoming album, The Lovesick, which will drop this summer. We can all most likely agree that hearing a guy talk about the hardships of love and the desire to find it could make any emotionless woman fall for him. Well, Reeves performed this magical effect on us, but in a much less cliché way. He did not gush about his yearning to fill his heart, but rather chose to discuss with us how The Lovesick includes everyone’s desire to want love, not just his own need for it.
Jason Reeves is a singer and songwriter dressed in humility. He doesn’t need to slab on meat to get his point across. We apologize Lady Gaga for the jabs, but they fit too appropriately to avoid.
Can you tell me a little about how you broke into the music industry?
Well, I have been writing songs since I was 17. It took a long time. To be honest, I didn’t really get into the music industry until six years ago when I moved to California that was really the first time it became serious. The first big thing I ever did was write with Colbie Caillat. When we made her first record, I had just been putting out albums on my own from Iowa, and everything changed very drastically when we put out her first album. I have been really fortunate to write a lot of music.
How did it feel when “Bubbly” topped the charts?
Neither of us expected that to happen. We had no idea that people would even like the song at all, so it came as an insane surprise, but it was also amazing. It is incredible to have that many people react to something you wrote.
Would you be content just having become a renowned songwriter in the industry or was becoming a solo artist always something you aspired to accomplish?
My goals have changed. The thing about goals and desires is that they keep changing. By all means my goal now is make music in any form. I don’t care about whose name is on the song or if it is me putting out a record of my own. I am always going to do that, but I guess I have stopped caring so much about needing the attention for myself.
After you write a song for another artist, is it hard to let it go? Do you ever want to keep it for your own record?
Not usually, but sometimes if it is a song I really want to keep then I’ll just keep it. Fortunately when you write a song, you have control over it and people can’t necessarily take it from you, if you don’t want to give it to them. So, that is a hard thing to decide in the moment, but usually it is easy to tell if I have to keep it or I’m fine letting it go.
What separates the tracks of The Lovesick from your previous tracks musically and lyrically?
Lyrically, I think the songs are even more intimate and real to my life. In that sense, they are more intense and probably even more powerful than the ones on the last record. The music kind of follows that. The music is also more powerful; it is more complex. I used sounds that I never used before with this new record. It is definitely a lot more rhythmic than the last one. At the same time, I just tried a lot of new things and pushed myself to go in places I have never gone before. This album is very true to my life, especially when I was writing it.
With The Lovesick, I found it interesting you kept the word “the” in the title. Why keep the “the”?
The Lovesick doesn’t refer to just me as a singular person. I am kind of referring to a whole group of people, like “the lovesick” and the people who are either hurt or literally sick over love. My favorite way to look at it is people who are sick with the desire to love: the people who won’t give up on the idea of love. And in that way, it is a big, gigantic group of people who either in a good or bad way still believe in it.
Did writing The Lovesick, heal your own lovesickness?
It helped. I wouldn’t say it was a cure. For me songwriting and recording is definitely therapy for the problems and heartbreaks. I guess it is like a free therapist in a way.
The single, “Stick & Stones” has a very powerful message. What was trying to break you down and what made you strong enough to stop it from happening?
Well, a lot of things. That song is not about anything too specific. It is definitely about multiple things that are bringing you down. It is just simply a song about overcoming anything negative. I was experiencing quite a lot at that moment. Being in the music industry is a very hard thing to deal with a lot of time and that is just one of the aspects of this song. I had a lot of trouble with love at that moment in my life as well.
What was it like having Colbie Caillat record on your own album this time with the track, “No Lies”?
It was amazing. For some reason, I didn’t have her singing on the last record that I put out. I am not even sure there is an answer for that, but it was just because we were both on tour at different times. When I was recording, she was on the road. It was just strange timing. I have always wanted to have her on one of my songs. I played her “No Lies” before it was finished and she loved it. And I was lucky that she wanted to sing on it. I think it works out perfectly.
What’s the meaning of the track?
It is just about not lying to each other. The point of the song is that if you want to make a relationship work you just cannot lie about anything. You have to be honest and free with how you feel and what you think. It is a very simple thing, but it is also very powerful and true.
What are some of your favorite tracks off the upcoming album?
They all have something special and different to me. I am just going to point out that beside “No Lies” with Colbie, one of them that I am most excited about is called “No One Ever Taught Us,” and that song features Kara DioGuardi, who is just a phenomenal singer and songwriter. I am most proud of those two songs as I love both of those women and I feel very honored to have them singing on the album.
Anything else you can tell fans about The Lovesick?
Well, the single “Sticks & Stones,” is out on radio now. It is just kind of starting. So I am sure we are going to shoot a video for it pretty soon. We haven’t done that yet. There is a music video for the other single that we first put out off the record called “Helium Hearts.” That video is out already on YouTube or my website. Other than that, the record comes out this summer and unfortunately, we don’t have a date yet for that. I am just excited to get the music out.
by Lonnie Nemiroff