From: United Kingdom
Genre: Alternative/Alt. Rock, Indie, Accoustic
Matthew Jay was born 1978 and grew up in a family that loved music. His parents, Tony & Hilary worked as semi-professional country and folk artists. His older brother Edward now works as a professional musician travelling the world playing accordion and keyboards, and his younger brother Peter, graduated in Music and specialising in trombone.
In his teenage years, Matthew proved to be a very able sportsman playing volleyball for Wales, Badminton for his County, and cricket and football for his Town, Abergavenny.
Matthew also played music, beginning on violin but moving over to electric bass and guitar. His main musical outlet in his earlier years was playing in the ‘Jay Family Ceilidh Band’ for countless weddings and other events.
In 1997 he prepared for his ‘A’ levels and his school predicted that he would not do well at all, not surprisingly, because he was always out playing sport or music, or with his friends - and not studying. In fact he surprised his school and did very well exceeding their expectations by far. but because Universities offered places on predicted grades rather than actual results, his immediate further education prospects did not look good. As a result he took a fateful decision to take a gap year so that he could apply to University the following year with his actual grades.
His plan for his gap year was to write and record songs and send his demos off to recording companies. There was great excitement amongst his friends when major recording companies started to compete to sign their own ‘small town boy’.
In 1999 Matthew chose to ‘sign up’ with EMI Records and EMI Publishing. His first album, Draw, was released to critical acclaim. To promote his album he first toured the UK and Europe and America. Then a major tour of the USA was planned. Matthew waited at Heathrow airport to fly out to begin his tour. His older brother Edward waited to meet him in New York, and his parents Tony and Hilary were in Chicago waiting to see his second gig.
Then it happened - 9/11. Edward was close to the Twin Towers, but not too close. He managed to get a text sent before all communications were closed to say he was OK. Hilary and Tony were stranded in Chicago when the airport closed. Matthew was stuck at Heathrow and Peter was home alone trying to co-ordinate any messages from his family in all the confusion.
Many people died and the whole world shook. There were many consequences to 9/11 and perhaps, in global terms, one relatively minor consequence was the cancellation of Matthew’s USA tour.
Matthew, relieved that his family were safe, started to write songs for his next album. But somehow things had changed at EMI Records and it was clear that Matthew and EMI Records were going to part. In order to continue to record his songs Matthew decided to take a music degree and have use of all the advanced recording facilities. In September 2003, Matthew enrolled at the University of Westminster London, to study an MSc in Sound Recording. He planned to combine his studies with the recording of his next album on his own label.
Tragically, when Matthew Jay visited a student at her flat in Harrow, London on 24th September 2003, he fell seven stories to his death through an unsecured window. To date, the coroner has been unable to determine the cause of death and the Metropolitan Police investigation remains open. It is the family's hope that one day, a witness will come forward to solve Matthew Jay's unexplained death. Matthew Jay died 12.10 am on 25th September 2003, after paramedics tried in vain to save him.
Matthew Jay's family released a commemorative CD, "Matthew Jay ...too soon" in July 2004 on the Jays Music label. It comprises his rarities and demos, which were no longer available to his fans. "Matthew Jay ... too soon" is still available as downloads from itunes.
In 2008, KPM produced and recorded Matthew's final album, both for use in their business library and to retail to Matthew Jays' fans. The album is closely based on the original demos. Matthew's vocals were lifted from those recordings and where possible, the original guitars were preserved too. An arrangement was developed and recorded with the support of other musicians. The arranger/producer Vasco was chosen for this very challenging and sensitive task. Edward, Matthew’s older brother, had always worked closely with Matthew on new songs, and knew better than anybody else possibly could, where Matthew had been taking his music. Edward worked at the right hand of Vasco advising and supporting him and it is this relationship that has enabled the integrity of Matthew’s work to be maintained.
The selected band, Maitreya Jani on guitar, Henrik Jorgensen on bass, Andy Maclure on drums, Edward Jay on keyboards with Vasco also on guitar, played together live in the Berry Studios, West Sussex to the recording of Matthew’s voice. The result is so together and has so much energy that it is hard to believe Matthew was not there with them. We would like to think that, perhaps, he may have been. There is no doubt that the band loved and really understood Matthew’s songs and that they had a great time recording together.
The family named the album 'FURTHER THAN TOMORROW' taking a line from one of Matthew Jay's songs. It received critical acclaim and Q Magazine awarded it 4 stars and Q Recommends!
In May 2009, the latest album went online in EMI Publishing's worldwide business library - KPM.com giving the world media the opportunity to purchase songs from the renamed Matthew Jay album - INDEPENDENT MIND for use in films, TV, radio, advertising.... http://www1.playkpmmusic.com/pages/viewcd/viewcd.cfm?cdnum=4874
In June 2009, the Jay family were given the news that 3 Matthew Jay songs from Independent Mind have been selected for a high profile Bose Campaign. The Matthew Jay songs were chosen by Bose audio engineers for their superior audio quality and will play through Bose products. It is understood that the campaign will start in US.
Tony and Hilary Jay
November 15th 2009
We hope that Matthew’s, fans, old and new, have a great time listening to the resulting album, ‘Further than tomorrow’.
(Matthew Jay’s father)