EXCLUSIVE: Interview With J And The Rest

J And The Rest are a result of a series of happy musical coincidences. Their front-man Jamal was raised in a very musical family, but never really considered a career as a singer. Instead he studied music tech at Leeds Met, he decided to leave the course feeling the career path was not what he had expected. However one of his friends invited him in to a studio one day to jam, and that is where he met uni mates John and Louis.

The three lads clicked musically, along with their mutual fried Ricky, and this is how J And The Rest were born.

Since becoming a band they have performed with huge names including the likes of Tinie Tempah and Robin Thicke, and have gained a large fanbase due to their live gigs.

Here we speak to the boys about the release of debut EP ‘4 AM Again’, touring plans, band dynamics and much more.

What made you decide to put the band together?

Well, we actually started as a function band, doing weddings and corporate gigs, but when the feedback was always so amazing, we decided not to ignore it, as people were always asking us if we did original music. We booked in some studio sessions, fast forward a bit and here we are!  

How do you feel the dynamics of the band work?

Because we’ve been playing together for so long doing tonnes of all kinds of gigs, we know each others’ quirks inside out, which is so important. I wouldn’t say there are set dynamics because it changes day to day depending on how we’re all feeling. Especially J!  

Growing up did you always know you wanted to be in a group?

Me personally (J), I didn’t even know that I wanted to be a SINGER until quite late! I kind of stumbled into it. I went to uni to do music tech and dropped out, and was coasting a little bit until I started dabbling with singing. One thing led to another and here I am.  

What is the best and worst thing about touring together?

The best thing is that we’re all good mates so it never feels like work. It’s always a good thing when you get to do what u love with your friends. On the other side of the coin, gigging with with your mates is a recipe for regular hangovers.  

Can fans expect an album from you soon?

We’re just making music constantly so if that’s the way things transpire then so be it. I’m a big fan of the album as a release format anyway so I can definitely see it happening at some point. 

What is the inspiration behind your new single?

The song is about that moment of the night when the bar or club closes and everyone is deciding whether or not to go home or to carry on the party somewhere else, some people are rowdy and looking for a party and some are flagging and want to go home. We wanted to communicate that mischievous, after-party hungry vibe, hopefully it translates. 

How do you guys unwind on your days off?


If you could collaborate with anyone who would you choose?

Prince – no question! 

What do you hope to achieve in the next ten years?

The sky is the limit – we just wanna keep making music and play as many shows, big and small as we can. Whatever comes with that is an added bonus.

Make sure you follow J And The Rest on Twitter @JandTheRest to keep up to date with all their latest music and tour news!

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Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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