Check our interview with talented Recording Artist & Songwriter Jaki Nelson who was named a “Billboard Top 10 artist” and recently released her new single “High Wasted.”
The video for her new single, “High Wasted” by Rayne & Jaki Nelson, is produced and co-written with Rayne (“America’s Got Talent”). It’s the companion/prequel video to her “Dancing With Strangers” video for her Billboard Top 10 hit co-produced by GRAMMY-winner Dave Aude (Lady Gaga, Beyonce).
“High Wasted” is a tale that’s as old as touring: Like players who only love you when they’re playing, the song speaks about people who are only interested in someone, romantically, because they’re well-known.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, driven, spiritual.
Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
My ex. He broke my heart in so many ways, and I’ve written so many great songs as a result. I’ve become the person I always wanted to be because of it. Thanks, dude.
How did you get started in the business?
My whole family is musical. My dad was a rock-n-roller in the 70’s and early 80’s and my older sister was in a touring country band who opened for acts like Kacey Musgraves and Little Big Town. By the time I even considered getting into the business, I had a pretty good playbook mapped out and I’d already been playing music for years in bands and on my own. Toward the end of high school, I was dating this guy who was a producer and as soon as he showed me how all these music making programs worked, I was obsessed. I couldn’t put it down.
Did you go to music school?
My mom actually opened a music school when I was in middle school, so I spent all my spare time taking classes. I was going to be stuck there after school anyway, so I just started taking everything I could – piano, guitar, voice lessons, songwriting, music theory, production. I was very lucky.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Sexy dance pop.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
As soon as I got a taste of how music production works, I couldn’t stop. I was messing around with synths and playing with samples. I just wanted to do that all day. So I guess you could say my awful ex (not the same one that I mentioned above) was a big influence, not to mention all of the biggest pop stars of the last 20 years. Lady Gaga was a big one and Britney was my entire childhood. They all are amazing in their own right and they all inspire me to this day.
Do you ever get nervous?
I get nervous all the time, but I’ve learned how to deal with it. It’s not as bad as it used to be (I say that now….) and I would never want to pursue a career that didn’t scare me a little.
What is your next goal as a musician?
Whether I sing it or not, I want to write the next huge pop song. I love writing.
Do you have a tour coming up or where we can see you performing?
Well I’m about to headline an intimate show at the legendary Viper Room in West Hollywood to preview what we’ve got heating up for a tour coming soon.
Now tell us about your new single “High Wasted?”
It’s a tale as old as touring. This song came to me when I was staring into my underwear drawer. I thought, “High Wasted … that should be a song!” And as I drove to a writing session that same hour I wrote the chorus idea about this girl I know that only ever likes me right after I’ve played a show and we’re High & Wasted.
High Wasted Vertical BTS Lyric Video
How was working with very talented people in the business for this video?
It was a great experience. Rayne (“America’s Got Talent”), the producer and cowriter of the song, shot the video as well. It was all a tight team. The video is actually a prequel to my last video, “Dancing With Strangers”, produced by GRAMMY-winner Dave Aude, so we brought back the amazing actors to explain their backstory a bit more. It was super fun.
What inspires you to create new music?
I would say music does. I’m always on the hunt for the next incredible song, and that fuels and directs my desire to make them. As far as topics, it’s just whatever is going on in my life. Whatever hits me the hardest.
Where can we see you playing next?
I’ll be playing The Viper Room on June 4 for The Pride On Sunset party. It’ll be an all LGBT line-up of amazing artists, so I’m really excited.
What we can expect of Jaki Nelson in 2019?
You can expect me to putt out new songs, which I can’t wait to show everybody, and announcing a tour.
What is your favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
“Badass Woman” – Meghan Trainor
Name one your strengths?
I do what I say I’m going to do. Doesn’t matter how big or how small, if I said it, you can expect it.
What is your own definition of happiness?
My definition of happiness is always feeling better even after a really difficult day of work. I’m very lucky. I look around at the people I work with and that work for me, and they’re all just such beautiful, talented people. It makes me very overflow with love and gratitude.
Any loves other than music?
I’ve recently fallen into a mildly-abusive relationship with exercising. I love it, but I also need it. If I don’t do it, it messes with my life in evil ways.
Any exciting news you want to share with us?
Since my new single “High Wasted” has done so well on Spotify with absolutely no label support, we’re going to put out a remix pack at the end of June with Tazmania Records.
How’s a typical day in your life?
I get up, make coffee and breakfast, always with some kind of fresh fruit, then straight to work out, rehearse for upcoming shows, run choreography, etc. Then shower, practice piano/music theory and songwriting, eat lunch, and usually at this point I’m sprinting out of the house to get to a session on time.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Bottomless mimosa brunch at a restaurant on the beach of Miami.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I’m a huge fan of poke. I love the fresh fish with seaweed and a bunch of other good stuff in there. SO GOOD.
And your favorite cheat food?
In N Out Burger. It’s the best. Fight me.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
If the person is a smoker. I have serious health issues with my lungs and I’d also just prefer not to date someone who is paying tons of money every year to slowly kill themselves. And me.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, because she is AMAZING.
Do you support any charities?
I work with a group every year where we go around to The Children’s Hospital, old folks’ homes and homeless shelters to perform holiday music. For the homeless shelters, we also hand out food and care packages. It basically takes up the entire month of December every year. I’ve been doing it since I was 8 years old.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself living on the road and writing songs while struggling to find a gym and healthy food options every night. It’ll be glorious.
How would you describe your fashion style?
My style is edgy and sexy. I love neon colors, but I also tend towards black. I like to wear the outfit that other people are afraid to try on.
What do you think of Social Media?
Social media is a beautiful gift from the dark side. It has helped society grow in so many ways, and it can be so useful for talking directly to fans and building one-on-one relationships, but it can also take over your life. It’s a balance.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: When you notice yourself thinking a self-deprecating thought, think three positive ones. Train yourself to stop letting it take you down.
Song: “Wild Like The Wind” – Deorro
Movie: “Independence Day” – best movie ever.
Travel Destination: Bahamas. I’ll be there in about a month-and-a-half.
Sports Team: I grew up on horses. I don’t know any sports teams.
Photo Credit: Leo Madrid