Jake Ward Talks Debut EP “Sound With Intention”, Influences & More
By Jack Barnes
Sound With Intention is my first solo release! It consists of 5 songs that I’d written over the course of the 2 or 3 years prior to recording it in 2016. It’s the first album I’ve been a part of that is 100% my writing and my arranging, and for me it represents the first big step in what I hope is a long exploration into who I am as a musician, and as a human being.
My main goal for this release is to help catapult my career into motion. Like I say it’s my first solo release, so my plan is that it will hopefully lead to my first solo performances, first solo media appearances of many kinds, first solo tour(s), etc. Recording it was an almost unbelievably valuable experience, and I’m looking forward to more valuable experiences to come from it that I can learn from and grow because of.
My favorite part of the album is honestly the vocals. I know that sound a bit obnoxious because they’re my vocals, but I’m really, really proud of the work I put into them and how they came out. I went into a professional studio by myself and stood in a booth for hours and hours, challenging myself even though I was nervous and anxious about the results I would get. We spent many late nights tracking not just lead vocals, but layers and layers of harmonies and backing vocals, from my lowest range to the peak of my highest range, and if you listen closely to any or all of the 5 tracks you’ll hear there’s a lot of additional vocal stuff going on that really adds a lot and helps carry the music. It wasn’t easy for me to perfect all of it and I’m proud of the accomplishment. I’d say my favorite song would have to be Never Letting Go. When I went into the studio, I had only written that song a week or two before. The arrangement wasn’t finished and I had serious doubts that we would have time to record all 5 songs, so all along I was figuring we would cut Never Letting Go from the list. We managed to fit it in, and it was amazing to watch it come together and become so far the most popular song off the EP. It turns out that the sincerity I put behind that song, even in the early stages, was enough, and for me that’s a valuable lesson I’ll carry into future projects.
The most challenging part of putting together this EP was recording it. I took 5 basic demos to Nick Loiacono at Fang Studios in San Mateo, CA, which is nearly 2 hours away from my house, and would record until 2 or 3 in the morning despite having to work early the next day (or really later that morning). I knew Nick would do a killer job, and I think he did, but it was pretty exhausting for me, especially with all the excitement and anticipation associated with the process. It was a big challenge, but I knew it was worth it and I’m so happy with how everything has come out. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
In 2017, my big goals are live performances and a full length album. I’m working on putting together a live show and starting to play out at venues in my area; meet people, make new fans, and share my music with people in a live setting, which is something I haven’t done in way, way too long. I’ve also already written nearly a dozen new songs and started pre-production work on a good chunk of them, so I think there’s a very good chance I will release a full length solo album sometime this year. Aside from these things, my goal is just always to grow, to challenge myself, and journey into the places both inside and out that I’m afraid of. To me, that’s what art is for.
Jake Ward, a longtime singer-songwriter, producer, performer, and multi-instrumentalist with years of experience writing original songs, performing, and contributing to a plethora of musical projects, this week officially released his first solo musical project, Sound With Intention, a 5-track E.P on Soundcloud produced entirely by himself and Nick Loiacono at Fang Studios in San Mateo.
Discovering his passion for music at a very young age and subsequently attempting to master a variety of musical instruments, Ward is a self-taught up-and-coming artist who writes all of his original songs from personal experiences and observations.
“I think creating your own music is somewhat inherent in teaching yourself to play – or at least that was the case for me,” said Ward. “I knew at a young age, particularly after listening to the Goo Goo Dolls, that I wanted music to be more than just a hobby for myself. So I set out to master playing, singing, writing, and producing – and here I am today with my first solo 5-track album now on Soundcloud.”
Ward attributes his musical awakening to listening to the Goo Goo Dolls when he was just 13 years old. Other musical influences on him include John Mayer, U2, The Script, and a ton of 2000s era pop punk, like Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, All Time Low, and Yellowcard. In the beginning of his musical career, Ward played in a metalcore band where he was exposed to extremely technical and progressive music.
Today, his style can be described as acoustic-pop with singer-songwriter and folk influences. Every one of his songs was written with an acoustic guitar as the base instrument. On Sound With Intention, listeners can hear multiple layers of guitars setting the foundation for every song.
Ward kicked off his musical career at 11 years old, playing an acoustic cover of “Crash” by The Primitives at a school recital. Since then, he has played or filled in for local California artists, participated in summer camps, and continually finds various opportunities to get on the stage and play. In 2013, he recorded an EP titled “Boxes & Strings” for an acoustic project called “Fall Forward” with his younger brother, Carl. After graduating high school, he started a metal project with a classmate, releasing an EP called “Ignite” under the name Skypark.
Ward left Skypark 1.5 years ago to pursue his own musical career as a solo artist. He has played on big stages with the help of his friend Santa Cruz pop artist T3TRA.
For more information, or to listen to Sound With Intention for free today, visit: https://soundcloud.com/user-709391890/sets/sound-with-intention
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