Jake Wigal (Jr.) recently released his first album, Scavengers, on iTunes on October 30.
Wigal has been writing and recording his own songs since he was 12 years old, but according to him, his best songs were produced last year.
When writing music, he draws from experience and exposure to different types of music. Wigal said, “I’ve heard a lot of music in my life, and I feel there is still so much music to be written.” During a summer songwriting session at Berklee College of Music in Boston, he was able to make some of his songwriting aspirations a reality. While there, he learned from former professional songwriters in a class setting about the fundamentals of pop lyric writing, melody and structure and was able to share his passion for music with others. In addition to his experiences, Wigal has also been inspired by his brother, and musician, Cory Wigal (UHS alumni). His brother, Wigal said, is his “encourager, motivator, role model, best friend and a smooth dancer.”
When it comes to his music style, he said, “Genres are blending more in music now than ever – especially in hip hop – so I think that kind of mixing is what I’m moving towards.” His interest in music is diverse, encompassing different styles like alternative, indie, hip-hop, rock, folk and pop, which is apparent in his album Scavengers.
Wigal uses his music style range along with his depth and insight to create his work. Songs allow Wigal to capture moments in time. He said he loves the feeling he gets “from listening to a song. It’s different with every song. There are some songs that pump [me] up and make [me] feel invincible, and there are others that just get [me] through pain.” He said, “I always want to be able to create that range of feeling with my music.” Wigal likes to “take [his] emotions and translate them to music.” Even though Wigal draws from his personal emotions, he said “they are feelings everyone can relate to: jealousy, longing and the happiness in between.”
Wigal recorded his Extended Play (EP) in Nashville, Tennessee. He said, “There are professional Nashville musicians playing on the recording, so everything grooves really nicely.” The album is called Scavengers because, he said, “I want to take in and express every piece of life in a song. A scavenger is an animal that feeds on carrion, dead plant material, or refuse.” Similar to how a scavenger uses every element of its prey, Wigal wants to dissect every aspect of life and incorporate it into his songs.
Wigal released his song “Ani” first because he said, “It gives a good catchy glimpse of what’s to come on the EP.” He named the song “Ani” because, he said, “Everybody has an Ani. It is that one guy or girl you keep falling for even if they don’t want you back.” Wigal’s EP catches different stages in life and relationships. As Wigal explained, he uses his own experiences to write his songs, but at the same time creates scenarios that everyone can connect to.
Even though “Ani” is a more serious song, Scavengers does have upbeat songs as well. On the album, bands like Vampire Weekend and the Beatles influenced the more catchy danceable tracks. His closing song is “Anyone But Me” because, he said, “It is the grandiose retrospective piece that wraps up the EP in an explosion of sound.”
When reflecting on his success, Wigal truly feels that he is grateful for being only 16 years old with an official album already produced. When I asked him about his future career, he said, “Hobbies are just careers you weren’t dedicated or confident enough to pursue. I want to make music my career. I’m pursuing it now.”
Written by JESSICA TSAI