Jay Korner is a singer, songwriter and drummer with a taste for the Funk. A veteran of numerous bands over the years, the Swedish musician launched his career as a solo artist in 2020 with the single “We’re Back Again.” On that track he offered up an inspirational bit of classic funky Soul to ensure the world that we can get back on track. With a sound inspired by the funk scene of early 70s artists like Buddy Miles, Ohio Players, The Meters and Stevie Wonder, he creates an infectious and immediately familiar scene.
“Will You Save Me” is the latest single from Jay Korner, released worldwide to all major streaming services on May 14, 2021. This time Jay makes the message a bit more personal. Delivering a soulful and earnest love song, he sings, “Will you save me when I need your love.” An ensemble of background singers provide some smooth Soul support.
Musically “Will You Save Me” is a beautiful hybrid of classic 70’s styles. Motown Soul meets Memphis horns and a deep New York City funk on this classic groove. At the heart of the track is fabulous Curtis Mayfield-style minor pentatonic guitar and bass riff, and Jay Korner’s solid drum groove. We ride that bit of cool through the verse until the chorus opens up to a powerful mix of vocals and horns. In the bridge the tune turns to a cool mellow groove before blasting off into a killer guitar solo. Top to bottom, the song is a fantastic shoutout to a funkier time.
Check out “Will You Save Me” by Jay Korner above. You can also hear the track on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. We had the chance to chat with Jay Korner about the past, the future and the Funk. Read his answers to our 8 questions. And follow the links at the end of the article to get in the loop on all of the great music on the way from this versatile and deeply talented musician.
8 Questions with Jay Korner
Where are you from?
I grew up in the north of Sweden, but now live just outside Gothenburg on the Swedish west-coast.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been writing music since my teens. The fragments to the two singles I now have released were actually created a long time ago, but it was not until last year I finished them and went into the studio to record.
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
In the studio I collaborated with co-producer, artist, and multi-instrumentalist Alexander Asp, who is educated at The Music Institute in L.A. It’s a great creative partnership. I play drums, percussion and do the vocals and Alex helps me out with other instruments. He knows what I am after and we agree more often than disagree on ideas relating to arrangements, sound and mixing.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
My inspiration is the funk and soul scene of the early 70s with artists like Sly Stone, Betty Davis, Funkadelic, Ohio Players, Buddy Miles and The Meters, but also more recent artists like Dumpstaphunk, Neal Francis, Orgone, Lettuce, Aaron Frazer, The New Mastersounds and many others.
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
My family is of course a big inspiration. But in general, people who have the guts and grit to take their own path in life, stand up for injustice and inspire people on the way. There are so many, but just to name a few giants: Muhammed Ali, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges. Then there are other athletes, and creative people such as authors and filmmakers who really inspire me as well.
What inspired you to create this project?
I grew up in a musical family with both my dad and my brother playing piano. I was also heavily influenced by my brother’s music taste, in particular rock from the 70s and the New Wave from the UK. I tried out several instruments before I started playing the drums when I was 11 years old. in the following 17 years music was a very important part of my life. I played in several bands, co-wrote music and lyrics, made studio sessions, played live and went on tours. Then when I was 28 years, I quit, sold my drums and moved to the UK. After several years I decided to start writing and record the music I really love; funk and soul. To be able to release my own music is a dream come true.
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
Right now I am focusing on writing new music. My plan is to record 4 more songs this coming autumn and release an EP in the beginning of next year (both digitally and on vinyl). I will start raising finance for that production very soon. Then when the pandemic is hopefully over, I would like to put together a band and perform in front of an audience again.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
There are certain genres that work better than others to mix. Funk, soul and rock are great examples. Many of the 70s bands I love actually mixed these genres. Mixing traditional black rhythm and blues with soul and classic rock has one common denominator and that is groove. The groove, i.e. “on the one” is key”. As long as you got the funk you’ll be ok in life