• The Vibe

Award-winning rap artist leaves hip-hop behind

Award-winning hip-hop artist Jake Aldridge’s new single, Poison, is the first song in which he doesn’t rap a single verse.

Released on August 2nd 2019, the pop-dance track features no guest vocals, with Aldridge taking all the singing credits himself. It was produced by RedNek, who has previously collaborated and performed with Tinie Tempah and 50 Cent.

Aldridge says: “The truth is that I always wanted to be a singer, I just never had the confidence to give it a try. I’m having singing lessons now and I feel like this song marks a new beginning for me and my music and I am really excited about what’s to come.”

Aldridge won Male Act of the Year at the 2018 International Achievers’ Awards and also beat more than 100 other artists to the Audience Choice Award at the 2017 New Music Generator (NMG) Awards. He was also invited to perform at the London Hippodrome in 2017 by Dingwalls owner Maria Kempinska.

The 31 year-old’s music has been played on US and UK television including the documentary ‘Beating the Odds’, which follows American students on a cross-country roadtrip that features Michelle Obama. His tracks have been played on BBC Introducing dozens of times, as well as BBC Radio 6.

Aldridge was brought up in Reydon, Suffolk with two siblings, and was born to a Bangladeshi father and Canadian mother. Jake was just eleven when his father was killed after being struck by lightning during a family fishing trip, and this life-defining event has informed much of his work since.

Jake Aldridge biography

Jake Aldridge was born in 1987 in the small coastal village of Reydon in Suffolk, UK. Raised by a Canadian mother and Bangladeshi father, the first eleven years of his life were nigh on perfect.

That all changed, however, in August 1999, when Jake’s Father was tragically struck by lightning during a family fishing trip and passed away.

Struggling to come to terms with the loss, Jake was itching for ways to express himself and took comfort in writing his thoughts down on paper. To begin with, his notes were in the form of a diary, but he soon experimented with rhyming some of the words.

Inspired by rap music, Jake’s took to performing the poems he’d written. The wide-eyed teen had dreams of being as big as Tupac Shakur and Dr Dre, but there was just one problem...he couldn’t rap in time with the music.

"Despite being a confident lyricist, I had no sense of rhythm in those days,” he said, “I couldn’t even nod my head to a drum beat".

With practice and plenty of help from his friends, Jake eventually started to feel the music and grew in confidence. He began posting songs online and quickly built a small fan base.

One of the first major milestones for Jake was when two of his tracks, ‘Erotic’ and ‘Falling’ were used by PlayBoy TV in 2013. After looking for new ways to gain exposure, Jake contacted the company’s managing director, Phil Barry. Barry loved Jake’s originality, and much to the amazement of Jake and his friends, put the songs in regular rotation on Sky TV’s PlayBoy TV Chat channel.

“I Remember telling my house mates that I'd heard back from the Director of Playboy TV, but they didn’t believe me!”, Jake said.

Jake’s music later fell into the hands of Dingwalls owner Maria Kempinska, who has previously discovered artists such as Ellie Goulding. Maria invited Jake to perform at a showcase at London Hippodrome in Leicester Square. Jake was thrilled by the opportunity and the event’s host Billie Laurie commented that Jake “definitely has hit songs”. The gig was later televised, marking Jake’s first ever appearance on Sky TV.

In September 2017, Jake was nominated for a New Music Generator (NMG) Audience Choice award. After receiving more votes than 109 other artists from East Anglia, Jake was presented with the gong at the awards ceremony at the Cambridge Corn Exchange. After this career-defining moment, Jake’s music was played by BBC Cambridge’s Sue Marchant on the radio station’s Introducing show.

A year later, Jake won ‘Male Act Of The Year’ at the International Achievers Awards and later had his music licensed by Road Trip Nation, a US TV series. His song ‘I’ll be there” was played during a segment of the show Beating the Odds in which Michelle Obama is interviewed about overcoming challenges in her life.

In recent times, Jake’s music has gradually moved away from the hip-hop and rap that first inspired him. The only remaining evidence of this influence was in his verses, which he continued to rap.

However, Jake’s latest song, Poison, which is set to be released on August 2nd, marks an altogether new direction. Produced by ‘Rednek’, an award-winning producer who’s worked with alongside Tinie Tempah and 50 Cent, it’s the first song in which there’s no rapping at all.

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