Interview – J.K.B


J.K.B is kicking 2023 off in style with the shimmering indie release ‘RUN’. The Birmingham curator has showcased a melancholy single that still embraces a hopeful ambiance. The new single follows on from J.K.B’s latest release ‘Young Professional’ which garnered attention from Spotify editorials New Music Friday UK, Fresh Finds UK/IE, and Alternative Future. With past support from BBC Introducing (West Mids) and Reform Radio, this release showcases an evolved J.K.B – showing an emotive side that explores social issues that are a very real reality.

A lyrical insight into his own experiences, ‘RUN’ illustrates a story of a man who has been abused in a relationship, and his personal journey of acknowledgement and acceptance. For J.K.B it was important to highlight how men often don’t feel like they can share these experiences but that there is no shame in doing so.

J.K.B in his own words about the meaning behind the track: “RUN is about learning to value yourself and not accept being treated like shit. For me it’s a proud moment because it shows me how far I’ve developed in terms of my self-image, and affirms to myself that I deserve to be loved and to be happy.”

Indie Midlands: Can you explain a bit about yourself to our readers?

J.K.B: Sure! I’m a singer-songwriter originally from Brum, now based in London – I guess broadly I would say I make indie music. I quit my old corporate job in July 2022 and have been making music full-time ever since I’m really big on following your dreams and hopefully I can inspire people to do the same.

Indie Midlands: ‘RUN’ is a great track – how would you describe its sound to new listeners?

J.K.B: I would say RUN sounds like more than the sum of its parts. The most obvious influences are Brummie indie bands like Peace, who I grew up on back in 2013/2014, as well as King Krule and Elliot Smith, who are some of my biggest idols in terms of songwriting. But the song sounds like all of that and none of that at the same time – it’s a unique sound for sure.

Indie Midlands: What was your creative process like producing the track?

J.K.B: Writing this song was actually a really therapeutic process – that’s such a cliché at this point but it’s really true. I had the music for it floating around in my head for ages, and then the lyrics came to me pretty much all at once as I was processing the fact that my last relationship had been abusive in a few ways. It was painful to write, realising what I’d been going through for several years, but ultimately it really helped me move on.

Indie Midlands: Are there any specific venues or stages you’d like to play ‘RUN’ live?

J.K.B: Another cliché here, but Glasto! I’ve never been able to get tickets, so I reckon the best option is just to get booked. 😉 In all seriousness though, playing at a huge festival to a crowd of both fans and new listeners is a massive dream for me.

Indie Midlands: Who would your dream artist be to cover the track and why?

J.K.B: Great question – the most obvious answers would be either Elliot Smith (sadly no longer with us) or King Krule – but I’d like to see what Khruangbin or SAULT would do with it! I love covers that make the original almost unrecognisable, and I think a good song sounds good in any style.

Nat Greener