Meet emerging new artist Jay Som on 'New Hot'

Jay Som
Jay Som (Cara Robbins)
Jay Som performs in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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| 00:19:38
  • Jay Som performs in The Current studio (full session + interview) 19:38
  • Jay Som - Everybody Works (Live on The Current) 04:08
  • Jay Som - The Bus Song (Live on The Current) 04:11
  • Jay Som - Baybee (Live on The Current) 04:59

When Melina Duterte was a junior or senior in high school, she wanted an artist name. "I got bored and I looked at a baby-name generator," she recalls. "It was in a different language, and it translated to 'Victory Moon,' and I just kind of liked it. But also, there are a ton of people named Jay Som, so I feel like I'm stealing their identity."

The identity has worked well for Duterte, who got signed by Polyvinyl Records and released her debut album, Everybody Works, on March 10, 2017. Duterte and her band — Oliver Pannell, guitar; Dylan Allard, bass; and Zachary Elsasser, drums — were in the Twin Cities for a show at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis. They stopped by The Current for a session on New Hot with host David Safar.

As for the title of the album, "It's more about trying to make your hobby into a career," Duterte says. "I'm still getting used to it. I feel like I'm at the beginning stages of making music my job."

A key step toward Jay Som achieving that goal was the band's recent visit to SXSW in Austin, Texas. "It was really fun," Duterte says. "It was super overwhelming, though. We did like 10 showcases in the span of four days total. … You're really tired because you're running from one venue to another with all your gear."

Now that Jay Som is becoming better known, Duterte feels pressure to continue putting out new work. "I definitely feel that way because I think that people that listen to new records sometimes don't realize that the music they're listening to isn't actually new. I feel like musicians are always kind of changing their styles. It's just like their natural evolution," Duterte says. "I think it's something that just happens. You just learn to accept it."

It sounds like we'll be hearing a lot more from Jay Som.

Use the audio player above to learn more about Jay Som and to hear more songs from the band.

Songs Performed

"Everybody Works"
"The Bus Song"
All songs from Jay Som's 2017 album, Everybody Works, available on Polyvinyl Records.

Hosted by David Safar
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Web feature by Luke Taylor


Jay Som - official site

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