Local artist profile: Jay Howie

December 24, 2023 BY

Feelin’ it: Jay Howie said he’s developed “quite an aggressive approach” to playing music, which is reflected in his dynamic live performances. Photo: SUPPLIED

THIS week we chat with the phenomenal blues and rock singer, songwriter and musician Jay Howie, who cites Led Zeppelin, Joe Bonamassa and Marcus King as just a few of his many inspirations.


What initially motivated you to become a singer, songwriter and musician?

My love and passion for music was the main motivator and I think there is no better therapy than being able to express yourself, whether that be through writing lyrics or wailing on a guitar solo. I think for me, songwriting came as a progression and a means for me to talk about things that were rattling around in my head.


How would you describe your style?

My style is definitely blues based. I grew up on a myriad of blues and blues rock and learnt anything I could get my hands on. I developed my style by trying to sound like a full band as a solo acoustic player. I would take songs by different bands and try to emulate the sound on my acoustic guitar. From there I think I developed quite an aggressive approach to playing which has developed into what I play now. I have always been a firm believer in learning different genres too, which has shaped my playing in different ways.


Which other singers/songwriters/musicians inspire you and why?

On a mainstream level my all-time favourite band is Led Zeppelin. Joe Bonamassa and Marcus King are two guys I am really digging.

On a local level there are a few that are really inspiring me at the moment. Bill Barber is doing great things with The Holding Cell. Jared Healy is another local guy I am really liking. Willie J & The Bad Books are killing it and their old school rock sound has inspired me to go back to my roots.


What are some highlights you have from your career so far?

I’ve had some great times playing music! I’ve had the opportunity to play with some great artists and I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many great people that have shown me so much support.

Getting the Artist Sponsorship from The Golden Vine in 2022 was definitely a big highlight and becoming a Cole Clark artist was a dream come true, but the fondest memories will always be the ones from playing shows.


How can people check out your music online?

I have a website, JayHowieMusic.com, which has all of my upcoming gigs listed. People can also check me out on Spotify, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram


Do you have any gigs coming up?

I have a single launch on Friday 23 February with my band The Jay Howie Trio, which will be taking place at The Golden Vine. All the details and ticket links are available on my website. It’s going to be one hell of a party.


What would you say to young regional aspiring singers/songwriters/musicians who are thinking of making a go of the creative life?

I would say do it! There is a really good musical community around regional Victoria and a lot of people are more than willing to help young musicians that are starting out. Sometimes it’s just a matter of saying ‘hi’ and asking for some advice. There is quite a lot involved in being a creative that doesn’t involve the actual art itself and that can be really daunting, so take the time to reach out to other artists and try to learn what you can from them.