Get to Know: Jay Gonsalves
Melbourne based producer Jay Gonsalves is one to watch. Merging a deep love of dance music with lo-fi production and hip hop sensibilities, he might just be two releases in but already is hellbent on making a name for himself as a force in the greater dance scene. His latest single, ‘Evenings’, is a seductive romp featuring a rapid fire verse courtesy of friend and collaborator, Balé, and shows Gonsalves is clearly onto something really exciting.
Describing his influences as everything from Flume to The Weeknd, Gonsalves is an artist we’ll be keeping both eyes firmly locked on in the months ahead. While it is very early days for the newcomer, we can already hear something very exciting indeed. It’s no surprise then that we wanted to get to know him a bit better so we fired off a few questions for him to answer and tell us all about who he is, where he came from and where he’s headed. Take a listen to ‘Evenings’ here and read on below.
Who are you?
I’m Jay Gonsalves, I’m 20, I’m Eastern Arrernte (Mother’s side) and South African (Father’s side). I come from Port Pirie, a town that’s pretty much the same as Springfield (in The Simpsons) but in rural SA, and I’ve made it my life’s purpose to be a student of music.
How did Jay Gonsalves come to be?
Growing up I was lucky enough to be around a variety of music thanks to my parents and I suppose they played the right songs at the right time because for as long as I can remember, music is what makes me tick.
My old man used to play the guitar and as a kid, I can still remember him playing it for the family when we went camping and in my Poppa’s old shed. I can vividly remember being so interested in this instrument he was playing and thinking ‘I want to be like Dad’, so I started learning how to play. That was at around 4 or 5. Dad showed me how to play a few chords before my stubbornness got in the way and I decided that I was going to teach myself. I spent so many hours learning on YouTube throughout primary school. During this time I was listening to heaps of metal, mainly Slipknot, Killswitch Engage and Disturbed. Fast forward to high school and my taste changed, I was listening to loads of EDM and Hip Hop, constantly cycling through artists like Getter, Skrillex, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and The Weeknd.
Around the 10th grade, I started playing the drums and also began writing Instrumental Guitar pieces, then shortly after I started producing terrible Trap Rap beats on GarageBand. At this point my taste in music was all over the place, I’d go from Thundercat to Andy McKee to Periphery then to Lorn, it was chaotic. In my final year of high school I realised music was my passion and that all of my other interests were just hobbies, I realised how fulfilling it was to learn about music and I was so interested in how it could control how you feel. After realising this I decided I wanted to study at Collarts (music university) and that was it, no if’s or but’s. I spent a year in Alice Springs working as a Housing Support Officer for the NT Gov to save up so I could move to Melbourne. After that year finished, I moved to Melbourne and met the new collective and family that I now live with. A group of multicultural individuals who come from various background, all with the same dreams and passions. We’re called BABYFAT. I work on a mixture of my own solo music as well as with the other members of BABYFAT.
What are we talking, vibes-wise?
At the moment I’ve been really invested in artists like Brent Faiyaz, The Weeknd, Omar Apollo and Dominic Fike. So I’ve been trying to draw from them as well as my EDM and Metal roots, and then injecting them into my personal experiences to immortalise the emotions I’m feeling at the time. So what does that mean for my vibe? I guess that it’s constantly changing. It’s up to the listener to determine the vibe, I want people to imprint their own mean into my music.
Tell us more about your single, Evenings?
Evenings is a track produced by myself and performed by Balé and myself. It’s about the aftermath of a relationship that was sort of unhealthy but not really. I noticed all of this attention my ex got after we broke up which led me to second guess my decision to break up with her. As a result of this, I decided to distract myself in the most toxic way possible, looking for comfort and short term affection in other people. The instrumentation and lyrics are a snapshot of that period in my life. I wanted to encapsulate the lust, toxicity and mindless fun into a dance track.
What can we expect from you in the months ahead?
Well I’ve just finished another single. It really draws from my love of gritty guitars and obnoxious trap growls with a touch of anti pop lyrics. Think… if Arctic Monkeys and Getter had a baby and then The Weeknd raised it.
Where can we hear more from you?
You can find my music on all of the major streaming services. You can also find me on Instagram @jaygonsalves, I’m most active there. I’ll be releasing a bunch of content there in the near future for anyone who is interested.
‘Evenings’ is out now.
Image by Leilani Bale