Lexie Jay From Featurette Talks New Music, Who They’d Love To Perform With And What’s Next

Kat Harlton

Toronto-based duo Featurette was formed by singer Lexie Jay and drummer, Jon Fedorsen. Featurette makes emotionally-charged, heavy-hitting electro-pop music that has met with international critical acclaim. After receiving their first full recording grant from FACTOR Canada, the duo released their debut LP Crave in October, 2016.

Their first single, Broken, garnered much attention from media outlets across Canada, including Indie88 Toronto, four Stingray channels (national satellite), MusiquePlus and key spins in primetime on 102.1 TheEdge, Live885, CTV, RogersTV, The RIVER Detroit | Windsor, The ZONE Victoria, CHOM977 Montreal, X929 Calgary, LIVE885 Ottawa, MUCHMusic to name a few. The duo followed this up with an extensive Frosh Tour in September 2016, hitting many major University and College campus stages in Ontario.

Featurette’s second single, “Give A Little”, has been placed in TV’s Private Eyes, starring Jason Priestly and synced in season 4 of Degrassi, and was swiftly added to regular rotation on Toronto Alternative chart reporter, Indie88. “Give A Little” has also been featured in the web series That’s My DJ, Seasons 1,2 & 3, by New York television film festival award winning director – D.W. Waterson. Their stand-alone single, “BANG”, was debuted at Featurette’s sold out headlining show at CMW at Adelaide Hall. The success of the show resulted in a month-long support tour for Scott Helman with Ryland James, through Ontario and Quebec. Fresh off the tour, Featurette was selected as a top 10 finalist for the Allan Slaight JUNO Masterclass for 2018. After receiving their second JSR grant from Factor, Featurette has spent the past several months in the studio, writing and producing their anticipated sophomore album.

Featurette has played alongside notables such Alessia Cara, Dear Rouge, Walk Off the Earth, Adventure Club, Hayley Kioko, Catey Shaw, Paper Lions, Ryland James, Neon Dreams, Ria Mae, Coleman Hell and Scott Helman.

We had the chance to catch up with singer Lexie Jay and talk new music, who Featurette would love to perform with and what’s next.

Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your latest single “Don’t Know Me Without You”?

Lexie: The song started out super differently from where we’ve arrived now, it was a total journey for us. It started out as a story of a relationship. I’d written down a piano riff that we were using as our base for the song, and the words came very naturally to me, but there was a problem with the context for me. The way the words were falling it made the character very weak sounding to me, and that’s not at all where I am with her. So, I had a chat with the producer of the music vid we just shot for it and we flipped it on its head. Instead of ‘Don’t Know Me Without You’ being a relationship between two people, we changed it to mean a relationship between the two sides of yourself. The angel and devil on your shoulders, yin and yang. It ended up being an introspective look into the duality of spirit that makes up our whole self. There’s a darkness in all of us that fights with the light, and sometimes it’s the force that wins. But without that darkness, there is no light, so you need the two to make up the whole picture of ‘you’.

Kat: Is there an artist you would like to perform with, that you haven’t had the chance to yet?

Lexie: SO many, but if we had to pick one for the sake of brevity, in Canada we’d love to play with Milk & Bone or even write with them. We think we could make some really cool beats since our vibes are similar.

Kat: For someone who has never been to a Featurette show before, what can they expect?

Lexie: I would definitely say it packs a serious punch! Jon’s insane on the drum kit, it’s a really sweet hybrid he built himself (yes, you read that right!) that’s both an acoustic kit and a triggered electric kit. It means we can be really flexible with the kinds of drum sounds we’re making song to song over the set and stay true to our original recordings. We try to make little cinematic sound worlds for our listeners and in order to have that translate to our live show and really pull you into those worlds, having different sounds for the kit, triggers, keys, is all crucial for us. On my end, I tend to really use all available space on the stage – throw some kicks in there, lots of hair flips, you’ll have to come see for yourself! It’s a bit of a workout haha!

Kat: Do you have any advice for emerging artists, or have you been given any advice that really made an impact on you?

Lexie: I think something I’ve really come to realize lately though a combination of trial and error and advice over time is as much as you’re making music for your audience or your fans and listeners, you really have to authentically be doing it for yourself more than anything else. At the end of the day, we all have different paths ‘in’ to the industry – there’s not one sure-fire route and it’s always changing. So, the whole idea of ‘making it’ really isn’t something worth chasing. You have to define your own success, forge your own path, and stay true to your sound. Don’t change just because someone tells you you’ll fit better in that box, because for me anyway, that’s not art, that’s just business. Balancing them both can be hard because the business side is important too, but I think making your art authentically your sound is just the most important factor. They’re your stories to tell, so be true to your voice and write about what you believe in!

Kat: What are your upcoming plans?

Lexie: First up we’ve got a video in the bag for DKMWY which we’re super excited to release in October! No spoilers but it’s completely badass and coming soon! We’re also going to be on a fall tour with Toronto act For Esmé (PLEASE check her out if you haven’t already she’s a dream):

Oct 3rd – Gordon Best – Peterborough w/ Peachykine & For Esmé
Oct 4th – Driving Bell – Montreal w/ Nōva & For Esmé
Oct 5th – Cinqhole – Ottawa w/ Akeem Oh & For Esmé

Then we head back to Toronto for a one -song-cameo appearance at a mystery show in Toronto (TBA) Oct 11th and last but not least another hometown show on Oct 18th at The Rec Room with Courage My Love, Hot Lips and Joan Smith and more to come!

After that we’ve got another single ready to go, planning to shoot another video for that as well, and then we’re releasing our sophomore album in Jan 2020. And then in February, same thing we do every February, Pinky: try to take over the world.

For more visit; www.featurettemusic.com

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