New York City native Jak Lizard is artist by trade. Coming from a musical family, Jak knew making music was his calling from a young age. From mirroring Bob Dylan to learning harmonica, you can see exactly where his inspirations stem from. Several EPs and an extended string of singles later and Jak Lizard is on the map.
Fast forward to now and we sit with Jak’s newest release: a 6 track “love letter to optimism” titled Young Americana, which is an ode to the Hudson Valley region where Americana got it’s start. Across the entire project you can find themes of positivity, harmony, and sharing cultures, but also a consistent colorful and vibrant sound that Jak’s fan have become accustomed to. “Heaven Help Me” has been on my rotation as of late, and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.
Jak had this to say about the project as a whole:
“While there is so much to feel anxious and down about within the world, it’s been my true experience with all shapes, sizes, colors, and cultures of people that there is something of true happiness and worth to how we’re all living. I spent a year and half listening, learning, and falling in love with life and everyone involved in it. It’s that pure freeing feeling that helped shape Young Americana.”
A strong message especially in a time of such negativity and growing worry. It’s artists like Jak that continue to try to shed light on the positives of life (and make it sound good at the same time).
See below for the full conversation with Jak Lizard
I read that your upbringing played a big role in inspiring your start in music. Talk about that musical bond you shared with your parents/siblings.
-My dad was always playing guitar in the house growing up and him and my mom had a really great record collection: Stevie Wonder, Sly and The Family Stone, Steely Dan, ELO, etc. My three older brothers are all music lovers as well. It was amazing growing up with them as my influencers. At any given moment, Radiohead, J Dilla, and Miles Davis could be playing in my house; they showed me it all.
You’ve had quite the busy beginning to 2022 putting together your new EP Young Americana. How would you describe the project as a whole?
-It’s my pandemic project in a way. Meaning that these songs were my therapy during a difficult time. They symbolize optimism in a dark place, and freedom after you’ve felt trapped. The project is celebrating life in the face of life’s challenges.
Is there a favorite track on the EP? I know a hard question!
-I’ll tell you my current favorite haha. “Give A Light To You.”
You’ve had the opportunity to play legendary NYC venues like Elsewhere Rooftop, The Troubadour and the Capitol Theater…. I’m sure all these places have their pros and cons, but is there a favorite venue of yours?
-It would have to be The Troubadour, purely for the musical history of it. Sitting in the same green room where Elton John was before his first American show; that was something special to me.
How about a dream venue to play?
-Red Rocks in Colorado! That place looks dope.
I have a lot of friends in Denver! Would love to see this happen and am all for it. Thanks for stopping by!
A BIG BIG thank you to Jak for taking the time to speak with us today. Massive things ahead so be on the lookout!