‘Caring, Loving, Introspective’ | Interview with Jake Botts

Sax fuelled cinematic songs with remarkable string sessions and soft felt pianos, infused with a sense of adventure straight from a vintage film. A sensational debut album by Jake Botts. Read our discussion with the talented musician below!

Describe your sound in 3 words

Caring, Loving, Introspective

Tell us a few things about Global Works. What is the story behind it?

It has been a personal goal of mine to create a full-length record since I was a teenager. I had such an enormous respect and love for the craft of making a record but have always been too intimidated to make my own. As I got closer and closer to turning 30, I felt a sudden rush of urgency that I never felt in my life before. In my late ‘20s, I decided to commit myself to completing a 10-track LP by the time I turned 30, and I did just that.

Musically speaking, my producer Raymond Jospeh and myself went into the project with the idea of creating an “anti-saxophone” record. I wanted to write songs just like a vocalist or band would write and sort of get away from the types of albums that horn players usually put out. Instead, the record was heavily inspired by artists like Blake Mills, Henry Mancini, Nick Drake, and many other master story tellers. I didn’t want this album to be too technical or musically complex. I just wanted to write songs and focus on textures and vibes.

Personal favourite saxophonist?

There are far too many to list, but the first that come to mind are: Lester Young, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Desmond, Maceo Parker, Jeff Coffin, Rahsaan Barber, Stanley Turrentine, Mike Lewis, Sam Gendel, John Coltrane, and Pharoah Sanders.

You have performed, recorded and toured with big names. Can you share with us a funny story that happened during one of these sessions?

The one that really takes the cake is being on the Kelly Clarkson tour in 2019 when she suddenly had to relieve herself and ended up doing so underneath the stage before the final encore. Then she got it together and nailed the encore without anyone knowing but the band and some management people. And for the record, I am allowed to say that because she told the whole story on her TV show. Look it up. I was there. I will never forget that moment…

Except from the present, which decade or social event your music could be a part of?

I feel like my music could be apart of the 1960’s. I think it shares a lot of aesthetic with some of the music that was being released in that time period. And a lot of my influences are from the ‘60s as well!

Your music has a lovely cinematic vibe. If the music of Jake Botts was a film, which film would that be?

Thank you! If my music were a film, it would have the overarching theme of someone finding their way into experiencing true gratitude. It would incorporate lots of travel and exposure to new different experiences and tell the story of someone’s journey in acquiring perspective through experiencing other cultures, ways of thinking, and getting older. I guess you could call it autobiographical.

From San Francisco to New York and then to Nashville, what do you love/hate in each place?

I love each of those cities so much for different reasons. I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and have a lot of love for SF and the whole bay in general. The area was rich with resources for a young person who was falling in love with music. I was very lucky to grow up in an area with such a strong musical lineage. The elephant in the room regarding SF is the cost of living and the tech industry that ousted out most of the music scene. But every time I go back, there seems to be a resilience and people hanging on and fighting for the arts in that city. The Bay Area is in my blood and will always be a part of me!

New York City is where I went to hone in my craft and develop as an artist and a saxophonist. I love New York so much. The music, the food, the people. It seems like everyone is there for a dream and that is so inspiring to me. I was only there for 3-4 years, but it was at a very impressionable time in my life and I absorbed so much. It’s genuinely a tough city to live in, but I wouldn’t trade my time there for the world.

Nashville is my new home. I’ve been here since 2017, and in that short span of time, I have felt such a sense of community in the music scene. The level of talent in this city is just unbelievable. I am genuinely so inspired by my musical peers. As an instrumental musician here, I feel so supported by the city. People come out to shows, venues treat you with respect, and people just care about it. And there is such a thirst for instrumental music. It’s amazing. Music in the DNA of the city. Nashville in 2022 has its own sound and vibe and it is an honor to be a part of it all.

What is the most useless talent you have?

I’m really good at vacuuming.

Thank you!

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