Duterte in March, 2017
|Birth name||Melina Mae Duterte|
|Born||March 25, 1994|
Walnut Creek, California U.S.
Melina Mae Duterte (born March 25, 1994), better known by her stage name Jay Som, is an American, Los Angeles-based, DIY and bedroom-pop singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Her second album Everybody Works was released on Polyvinyl Records in March 2017, which was preceded by Turn Into, an LP of demos that first gained her attention as a singer-songwriter.
Duterte was born in Walnut Creek, California, United States, and grew up in the suburban outskirts of Oakland, California. She is the daughter of Filipino immigrants, and cites her parents' immigrant background and cultural customs as major influences.
Duterte grew up playing the trumpet and guitar, and began writing and recording music at the age of 12. She originally intended to attend a conservatory program for jazz but instead decided to focus on songwriting. After enrolling in community college and studying music production and recording, she began recording in her bedroom studio and self-released music under the moniker Jay Som, which was created from an online baby name generator and means "Victory Moon".
In November 2015, Duterte released nine tracks on her Bandcamp page under the name Untitled. They began to receive attention online despite the fact that they were intended to be demos, and were eventually re-released twice as Turn Into, first under Topshelf Records and then Polyvinyl Records in 2016. Following Turn Into, Duterte opened for Peter Bjorn and John, Mitski and Japanese Breakfast.
Everybody Works, Duterte's first proper album as Jay Som, was released March 10, 2017 under Polyvinyl and Double Denim Records. It was preceded by the song "1 Billion Dogs" in February. Duterte has said that the album's sound was influenced by Tame Impala, Yo La Tengo, the Pixies and Carly Rae Jepsen's E•MO•TION. Everybody Works landed on Best of 2017 lists from Pitchfork, NPR, Stereogum, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard and others.
In January 2018, Duterte released "Pirouette" and "O.K., Meet Me Underwater," singles that were recorded during the same sessions as Everybody Works but did not end up on the final track list. In June 2018, Duterte toured with The National in Dublin, Ireland. They also recently toured with the Alternative Rock band Paramore, and was their opening act for the second half of Tour 5.
In September 2018, Duterte released a split EP Nothing's Changed with Singer/Songwriter Justus Proffit. Consisting of 5 tracks, all recorded in her home recording studio - where she also recorded Everybody Works.
Musical style and reception
Joe Coscarelli of The New York Times has described it as "D.I.Y. bedroom pop" and noted its intimate, lo-fi aesthetic. Pitchfork has described Jay Som as being intimate, and having the "crushing vulnerability" of Phil Elverum, and the "gloriously slick sound' of Carly Rae Jepsen. Liz Pelly of Time Out has described Jay Som's sound as "mesmerizing and multidimensional dream pop that favors reality over escapism, drawing from classic pop and funk". Pelly also described Duterte's singing as "low and languid".
Her touring band includes Oliver Pinnell on guitar, Zachary Elsasser on drums and Dylan Allard on bass.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|"Baybee"||2017||Charlotte Hornsby and Jesse Ruuttila|||
|"One More Time, Please"||Christopher Good|||
|"The Bus Song"||Michelle Zauner|||
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- Blais-Billie, Braudie (June 4, 2019). "Jay Som Announces New Album Anak Ko, Shares New Song "Superbike": Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- Coscarelli, Joe (March 22, 2017). "Jay Som Brings Her D.I.Y. Bedroom Pop to Brooklyn". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Pelly, Jenn (February 2, 2017). "Jay Som's Hard-Working Dream-Pop". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Pelly, Liz (May 31, 2017). "Rising indie-rocker Jay Som captures the grind of city life on her new album". Time Out. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- "Jay Som Chart History: US Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- "Jay Som Chart History: US Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- "Jay Som - Ghost [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]". YouTube. October 5, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- "Jay Som - Baybee [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]". YouTube. February 23, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- "Jay Som - "One More Time, Please"". YouTube. May 18, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- "Jay Som - The Bus Song [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO] (Amazon Original)". YouTube. October 10, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2019.