Emerging UK artist Happy Cat Jay started to cut his teeth in 2015 as a multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter, working with the cult UK future-soul artist Alxndr London as the artist racked up support from i-D and Annie Mac, as well as producing at mysterious label PC Music. With further remixes for the likes of Flamingods and Kinder, it was clear that Happy Cat was always going to thrive on multiple levels. This year Happy Cat Jay decides to release music under his own moniker.
His debut ‘Underpants’ is unquestionably a tongue-in-cheek statement, flecked with the kind of undeniable talent that you would expect with his kind of backstory. The same gorgeous instrumentation that is evident on the majority of Alxndr London’s early projects is apparent here, loaded with Happy Cat Jay’s formidable, surprisingly rich vocal. The track develops into a smooth, soul-tinged, inventive track bursting with crossover potential and the kind of flaring samples and melody that defines Happy Cat Jay as a serious contender – that talks louder than the evident humour that underlies his character.
“It was important to me that my debut track as a solo artist was something fun. It’s also the first track I’ve released with my own vocals on and I wanted that to feel like a light-hearted experience… Musically, I really wanted to front it with this faux-sexy vibe. But I want people to move to this, preferably with a big grin on their face. The song was written from the perspective of a big celebrity, questioning why people are so fascinated by the publicising of their private lives and why the media loves to create the boundary between a celebrity’s life and everyone else’s life.”
It’s the kind of cerebral take on pop that seems as refreshing as it is posture-free. Happy Cat Jay’s debut is indeed something to smile at, whilst its technical prowess cunningly wipes it away.