[INTERVIEW] Jason Singh, ‘I grew up really quickly’

You might recognise Jason Singh from the catchy dance beat of ‘One World’ or the distinct pop melodies of his debut solo album Humannequin. Then again, you may also put two and two together when ‘Creeping Up Slowly’ comes on the radio and your older sister’s Taxiride posters appear in the cupboard. Yes, that’s the Jason Singh we’re talking about. And in case you missed the memo, he’s back and will be playing at the Anglesea Music Festival later this month.

“I’m doing a new single every eight weeks on the countdown…So when the timer counts down to zero I release a new song, and sort of keep people updated pretty clear on the progress of the track and what we’re up to,” Singh of the THE JASON SINGH PROJECT.

Pushing the musician to write, create and record six singles in 12 months, so far he has dropped ‘Quicksand’ and his latest offering ‘Your Love’. “The inspiration’s kind of coming from the pressure of getting it done, and just being open to ideas that are coming through, so to speak. Like the initial idea for ‘Your Love’ came to me in a Chinese takeaway restaurant up the street,” he shares.

“The first two singles we kind of just made the time limit. But I think it’s affected me in a positive way, like it forced me to let go a little bit and just go with the flow. When I’m making tracks at home usually I’ve got all the time in the world…When I know that I’ve got to get it done, I’ve got to just work and let go a little bit, which has been really good for me.”

At time of print, there is just over a month left for Jason to finish single three, and it sounds like it’s going to be pretty stellar. “I’ve got this idea for a track, it’s a very kind of George Benson vibe, and I’ve put a band together and the horn section and the whole lot. We’re just gonna walk into the studio, we’re gonna film the whole day, and see if stuff works out like the first two have.” Singh laughs as he says, “I’m confidently crossing my fingers with this one!”

His newest music since the success of his 2014 release Humannequin, THE JASON SINGH PROJECT delivers a new sound from the ARIA Award winner.

“With Humannequin I worked with Charles Fisher, an award winning producer and probably the best in production wise ever- the most successful producer to ever come out of Australia. With THE JASON SINGH PROJECT I guess I’m taking all this education I’ve had with Taxiride and all the stuff that I do, that I’ve done since then, and I’ve sort of trusted myself a little bit,” Jason says.

Playing over 250 gigs in the past alone with guitarist Adam Surace, the two have also partnered together on the Project. “He knows what I like, I know what he likes, and it’s been quite a fast process. So I’d say with Humannequin I was trying to figure out who I was as one person.” Singh explains.

Performing his newest tracks at the Anglesea Music Festival on the Australia Day weekend, Jason and his good friend Dale Ryder from Boom Crash Opera are taking the stage to relive some of their greatest hits and give us a taste of what is next. “It will probably be the first time that I’ve played ‘Quicksand’ and ‘Your Love’ in front of people, so if they wanna hear the debut performances of those two songs, then that’s something they can look forward to. I’m really looking forward to it as well, I’m still trying to figure out how to play them to an audience,” he says of the set.

“We’re just gonna have fun, you know? Play a whole bunch of covers and a whole bunch of our hits, and then maybe some new stuff. So it should be fun. Hopefully it’ll be a cracking day and we can just have a ball up there.”

The festival also sees the likes of Mick Thomas and the Roving Commission, Chris Wilson, Geoff Achison, 19 Twenty, Izzy Losi and the Auracles and more hit the stage at the scenic location. There will also be workshops on various instruments, a community art and craft market, a multicultural food court, buskers and more.

Touching on Singh’s time in Taxiride before we finish up, the lead singer is quick to open up in light of the original Imaginate line up coming together after 15 years for select shows in 2015. “It’s been awesome actually. The main things that I’ve loved about it is reconnecting with Tim Watson, who early on in Taxiride we were both kind of the lead singers, we were young and we were kind of very competitive with each other. And we’d fight a lot.”

He shares exclusively with Forte. “We didn’t actually talk for about 10 years…there was no kind of ill feelings or anything, but something made us [susceptible] to anger for each other, which is really weird.” In early 2014, Jason decided to mend bridges and began to text Watson. “I probably sent him 150 text messages before I got a reply,” he admits. “I finally got a reply just before New Years last year [2014]. So at this time last year, I was like ‘I’m not giving up’. I think I had kids, and that just changed me so much as person that I grew up really quickly.”

They say that time heals wounds, but Singh’s determination to make amends for the past has been what has cultivated a new and long lasting friendship with Watson. “I just wanted to go back to why we wanted to make music together in the first place and forget about all the shit that happened along the way and just start again. And finally he returned the text message and we caught up and now we’re getting along better than we ever have.”

Once upon a time Singh hated playing any number of songs from Taxiride’s beloved discography, but now they remind him of past adventures and good times, fueling him as he continues to make sweet tunes as part of THE JASON SINGH PROJECT and when he jumps on stage at Anglesea Music Festival.