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Jack Athey Sheffield Music

Jack Athey

Jack Athey MusicPresenting our latest fellow Sheffield Creative feature and this time we deliver a little insight into the thoughts of uber talented singer, songwriter and musician… Jack Athey!

We first came across Jack when we were pointed in the direction of his excellent YouTube performance (thanks Steve), of My Place/Children of the Night, filmed at Sheffield’s very own Bowery on Devonshire Street (catch the performance here).

Soulful, Funky sounds, slick vocals and some wicked guitar combine to create the “Athey Sound”, and we are loving it!

Jack kindly agreed to chat to us about what impact Sheffield has on his creative flow.

1. Who or what inspired you to do what you do?
Jack: Music has always been the main thing in my life. My earliest inspirations came from Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, T.Rex and a lot of rock music that I got into when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I have no idea how i got into that. My older brother later introduced me to bands like The Libertines and I really took influence from the lyrics of Pete Doherty, but being into rock music from such a young age I soon grew a bit tired of it eventually, got into the Sheffield Punk scene when I was about 13. That was also pretty short lived, then from the age of about 15, I started to get into Motown, Jazz and Hip Hop, taking influence Mainly from Marvin Gaye and Billie Holiday, I’d say that developed into what i do now.

2. Were you self taught or have you had musical training?
Jack: I first of all learned the basics of guitar by myself and with a little help from my Dad, then I started getting lessons from a really good blues player for a few years, that probably shaped my guitar style alot.

3. How did your current style develop and how do you see it developing in the future?
Jack: Listening to Soul and Jazz music pretty much constantly, I’d say that’s how my style developed, I think more of the same is on the way, but better of course! I think the music will become more experimental, deeper meanings and definitely more instruments.

4. What influence has living in Sheffield had on your creativity and how you approach your work?
Jack: I don’t really want to talk too much about Sheffield, but I think it is quite easy to find a stage for new music here, which is good. The influence the city has had on my music, I’d say is the negativity in a lot of my lyrics, particularly my earlier stuff, when I was 16, really just writing about escape. I suppose that’s positive really though, my disaffection with Sheffield spawned creativity.

5. What is your favourite thing about Sheffield?
Jack: I like the mixture of built up urban areas and the nature where we’re free to roam, both of those make ideal venues for parties, which are necessary, when the clubs in town’s monotony kicks in.

6. What piece of your own work gives you the most satisfaction and why?
Jack: I haven’t reached great satisfaction with my own work yet, but I’d say a song I wrote, called “Half Of A Good Thing” gives me the most satisfaction, It was written in spring last year a couple of weeks after my first love left, it was the first thing i wrote after that and it was such a release to sing those words, especially to perform it to an audience, I still get the same satisfaction when I sing it now. I think it is truly soul music.

7. If you could lay claim to one piece of creative work in any area what would it be and why?
Jack: I don’t know, there’s too much! Maybe Roy Ayers’ entire discography? That question is difficult.

8. Does other types of creativity, such as art, have any influence on your work?
Jack: Yeah from time to time, poetry will find itself into my lyrics, I used to read a bit of Arthur Rimbaud and I like to try and incorporate a bit of the Beat generation attitude, People like Jack Kerouac are definite influences.

9. When you are writing a new song, how do you approach the work?
Jack: Usually it starts with a chord progression, either from just messing around on my guitar or jamming with the band. Then once I have the chords, I’ll try and write the lyrics, sometimes I don’t even have to write them, they’ll just come out, but also sometimes i can have the music for months before I can put any words to it.

10. What advice would you give an aspiring fellow musician who was wanting to break through to the next level?
Jack: I don’t know if I’m in any position to give anyone advice, but I suppose i’d say, just keep doing whatever you want to do and if its truly what you want to do, you might have to make some sacrifices, but just keep going and it will probably be worth it one day. Don’t get beat down when it seems like no ones listening, just improve, someone somewhere is listening.

Jack Athey SheffieldSome insightful answers from Jack, we would highly recommend you check out his work and try your hardest to get down to one of his gigs. Want to find out even more about Mr. Athey and his cool, intelligent, creative music, below are a selection of tunes from his Soundcloud page and social media links.


Soundcloud – it’s all good stuff, our current favourite is “Half of a Good Thing” … silky!



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youtube logo


search  “Jack Athey”



Enjoy people!


Previous Sheffield Creatives:

Jonathan Wilkinson 



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