After the recent announcement of his new album, Slingshot, JayWood has shared the lead single/video, “Just Sayin.” The Winnipeg singer/songwriter says: “The idea of looking back to go forward became a really big thing for me—hence the title, ‘Slingshot,’” Haywood-Smith explains. Feeling disconnected from his past and ancestry after the death of a parent, Haywood-Smith made a conscious effort to better understand his identity and unique Black experience living in the predominantly white province of Manitoba. Through a year of self-reflection and reconnection with his roots, Haywood-Smith has made the biggest leap forward for JayWood by simply looking back. Slingshot is a self-portrait of JayWood at his surface and his depths, merging fantasy scenarios, personal anecdotes, and infectious pop and dance instrumentals.
The LP features appearances from Canadian contemporaries Ami Cheon and Mckinley Dixon, and fellow Manitoban musician Kayla Fernandes who fronts the doom-metal band Vagina Witchcraft. One song was co-produced with Jacob Portrait of Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Today’s “Just Sayin” was originally written by Haywood-Smith with the intention to be given to another artist to perform, but he pushed himself to expand his vocal range and embody the confidence that pop music requires for the track. “The song is about creating equal opportunity for people in need, and lending a helping hand if you can,” says Haywood-Smith. “It’s a super simple thought that I think could easily get overlooked, but having a catchy reminder like this might subliminally provoke some thought.”
Jeremy Haywood-Smith was born and raised in the Canadian prairies, spending most of his life in the city of Winnipeg. He taught himself how to write and record during the early days of the JayWood project, but has developed through challenging himself to never fear change. Despite the culturally homogenous nature of his hometown, Haywood-Smith takes inspiration from a wide range of Black performers and artists working in all genres and eras. For Slingshot, visionary artists like Kendrick Lamar inspired Haywood-Smith’s approach to storytelling and world-building. “I love Kendrick’s ability to pull from life experiences growing up and conveying a message that’s greater than himself,” says Haywood-Smith “This album felt like I was making something that I would want my younger self to hear.”
JayWood 2022 Tour Dates:
Thu. May 5 – Wrexham, UK @ Penny Black Room (FOCUS Wales)
Fri. May 6 – Wrexham, UK @ Ty Pawb (FOCUS Wales)
Sat. May 7 – London, UK @ The Fox Inn
Tue. May 10 – London, UK @ Strongman
Fri. May 13 – Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store (The Great Escape)
Sat. May 14 – Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store (The Great Escape)
Order Slingshot by JayWood HERE