Canadian by birth and presently London-based, GRAMMY Nominated maker Jayda G has risen consistently and subtly through the dance music underground with her irresistible enthusiasm, essentialness and unfathomable energy.
Jayda G’s Early Life
Beginning with lessons in piano and violin from the age of 5, Jayda’s tastes began to form around the impressive collection of records her dad—an avid collector—had built up of Soul, R&B, Funk and Blues. From her mum came a love of Jazz, from her sister an important appreciation for Disco, and from her brother, who was working in the Canadian music industry at the time, CD promo’s through the post that exposed her to artists such as D’Angelo and TLC.
Pursuing an education in Biology—which has seen her studying Sea Turtles in Maui and “playing fetch” with baby Porpoise in a Vancouver aquarium —kept her largely cut-off from the communities and scenes where she could explore her musical tastes further.
“I grew up in a really small town, my biology work always had me moving around a lot and working in pretty isolated places musically and culturally” explains Jayda. This began to change following a brief stint in LA—where she was introduced to electronic music for the first time via Mathieu Schreyer’s show on KCRW—and relocating to Vancouver full time in 2013 to begin her masters in Resource and Environmental Management specializing in environmental toxicology.
In 2016 Jayda’s first solo release, “Jaydaisms”, arrived on Freakout Cult, the label she created and ran alongside Fett Burger until 2018. This would be a home for much of her subsequent output, alongside releases on 1080p and Swedish label Geography Records, including 2018’s standout ‘Diva Bitch’ single, featuring long-time vocal collaborator and childhood friend Alexa Dash. 2018’s ‘Sacred Spaces’ would mark the inaugural release on JMG recordings, a new label established by Jayda as a platform to release her own material and collaborations, as well as music from artists that inspire her.
Her debut album “Significant Changes”—released on Ninja Tune in 2019—was met with incredible praise from the likes of The Guardian, Mixmag—who made Jayda their ‘cover star’, Pitchfork, Dazed, Resident Advisor, Crack, NME and many more. Created as it was while she was undertaking her masters, the record contained many overt references— from the track titles to the field recordings—to her work studying the environment. On ‘Missy Knows What’s Up’, she samples the voice of Misty MacDuffee, a biologist with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, talking about a landmark Canadian court case for the protection of the whales, in which environmental groups successfully sued the government for their lack of action. It was an important moment to Jayda as it ultimately led to the funding of Jayda’s own research and degree. She also draws on her experiences as a DJ, channeling her frustrations through tongue in cheek track titles like ‘No Parking on the DF’ (Dance Floor), Jayda admonishing the listener for spending too much time on the dancefloor checking their phone. Elsewhere on the album ‘Renewal (Hyla Mix)’ is Jayda’s “ode to R&B”, and the anthemic ‘Leave Room 2 Breath’ features the vocals of life-long friend and frequent collaborator Alexa Dash.
She followed up the release with a month-long residency at London’s Phonox, the launch of both her science-based interview series ‘JMG Talks’ and new club night ‘JMG Sessions’, and a BBC Essential Mix packed with soul, classic disco and house, before taking up her year-long stint on BBC R1’s Residency show. She also toured relentlessly throughout 2019, taking in shows across 12 countries including performances at Primavera Sound, Kala and Lente Kabinet (Dekmantel’s sister event), Glastonbury, Nuits Sonores and Dimensions festivals.
Returning with her first new material since “Significant Changes”, Jayda is set to release her new EP “Both Of US / Are You Down” on July 3rd 2020. As before, Jayda distils her interests and surroundings into the music once more. The resulting EP is a dichotomy of old and new, equal parts nostalgia and of breaking new ground. Both tracks were born out of a meeting with Fred again..—the BRIT Award-winning and Ivor Novello nominated artist who recently collaborated with Headie One, Jamie xx, fka Twigs and Sampha on the ‘GANG’ mixtape. The two quickly struck up a friendship and agreed to get into the studio together.
Following her contribution to the Club Quarantäne livestream series, Jayda announced her own ‘Virtual Get Downs’ tour, supporting the venues in which she would have otherwise been playing in Glasgow, Tokyo and San Francisco. She had also been scheduled to appear at this year’s Coachella.
Jayda released her EP “Both Of US / Are You Down” in July 2020, which was subsequently nominated for the 2021 GRAMMY Award for “Best Dance Recording”.It’s no surprise, then, that Jayda G’s DJ-Kicks mix, releasing on 14 May 2021, captures the buoyant spirit of the music that has influenced her most. Sitting at the centre is her new single “All I Need”.