Jay Som

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jay Som
Duterte in March, 2017
Background information
Birth nameMelina Mae Cortez Duterte
Born (1994-03-25) March 25, 1994 (age 29)[1]
Walnut Creek, California U.S.
Years active2012 (2012)–present

Melina Mae Cortez Duterte (born March 25, 1994), better known by her stage name Jay Som, is an American, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and mixing engineer. Her debut record Everybody Works was released on Double Denim Records (UK & Japan) & Polyvinyl Records (Rest of the world) in March 2017, which was preceded by Turn Into, a collection of songs that first gained her attention as a singer-songwriter.[2] The follow-up to Everybody Works and Jay Som's second home studio album, Anak Ko, was released on August 23, 2019 via Polyvinyl, Lucky Number, and Inertia.[3]

Early life[edit]

Duterte was born in Walnut Creek, California and raised in Pleasanton, California and Brentwood, California. She is the daughter of Filipino immigrants, and cites her parents' immigrant background and cultural customs as major influences.[4]

Duterte grew up playing the trumpet and guitar, and began writing and recording music at the age of 12.[4] She originally intended to attend a conservatory program for jazz but instead decided to focus on songwriting.[citation needed] 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".[5]


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.[6] Following Turn Into, Duterte opened for Peter Bjorn and John, Mitski and Japanese Breakfast.[7]

Everybody Works, Duterte's first proper album as Jay Som, was released March 10, 2017 under Polyvinyl and Double Denim Records.[8] It was preceded by the song "1 Billion Dogs" in February.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] 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. The EP consists of 5 tracks, all recorded in her home recording studio - where she also recorded Everybody Works.[11]

The follow-up to Everybody Works, Anak Ko, was released on August 23, 2019 via Polyvinyl.[3]

On October 28, 2020, Duterte announced a new project Routine with Chastity Belt bassist Annie Truscott by releasing their first single "Cady Road". Routine's debut EP And Other Things is set for release on November 20 via Friends Of/Dead Oceans.[12]

Musical style and reception[edit]

Duterte performs all the music on her recordings, and records in a makeshift studio in her bedroom.[7] She describes her style as "headphone music".[2]

Joe Coscarelli of The New York Times described Jay Som's music as "D.I.Y. bedroom pop" and noted its intimate, lo-fi aesthetic.[13] Liz Pelly of Time Out New York called her sound "mesmerizing and multidimensional dream pop that favors reality over escapism, drawing from classic pop and funk".[14] Pelly also described Duterte's singing as "low and languid".[14]

Pitchfork has compared Jay Som's intimate sound and vulnerability to the music of Phil Elverum and Carly Rae Jepsen, and Duterte has stated that Elverum's music has had a profound impact on her own.[15] Karaoke singing and listening to Yo La Tengo and My Bloody Valentine also have influenced Duterte's vocal style.[15]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions


Turn Into (collection of songs)
  • Released: July 22, 2016
  • Label: Polyvinyl
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
Everybody Works
  • Released: March 10, 2017
  • Label: Polyvinyl, Double Denim
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
17 46
Anak Ko
  • Released: August 23, 2019
  • Label: Polyvinyl, Inertia, Lucky Number
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
2 13

Extended plays[edit]

Title EP details
Nothing's Changed
(with Justus Proffit)
  • Released: September 28, 2018[18]
  • Label: Polyvinyl
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
And Other Things
(with Routine and Annie Truscott)
  • Released: November 20, 2020
  • Label: Friends Of, Dead Oceans
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming


As lead artist[edit]

Song Year Album
"I Think You're Alright" 2016 Non-album singles
"Radio Silence" 2017
"Pirouette" 2018
"O.K., Meet Me Underwater"
"Invisible Friend"
(with Justus Proffit)
Everything's Changed
"Turn the Other Cheek" Non-album singles
"A Thousand Words" 2020
"Can't Sleep"
"Hurry Home"
(with No Rome and beabadoobee)
"Cady Road"
(with Routine and Annie Truscott)
And Other Things
"Calm and Collected"
(with Routine and Annie Truscott)
"Anything at All"
(with Bachelor and Palehound)
2021 Doomin' Sun
"Stay in the Car"
(with Bachelor and Palehound)
"Sick of Spiraling"
(with Bachelor and Palehound)
"I See It Now"
(with Bachelor and Palehound)
Non-album single
(with Troye Sivan)
2022 Three Months

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Album
(Hrishikesh Hirway featuring Jay Som)
2022 Non-album single
"Boring Again"
(Luna Li featuring Jay Som)
2022 Duality

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"White Flag" 2017 Various Artists Group Effort, Vol.1
"In Your Eyes (Reflection)" 2021 Anjimile Reunion
"Mom and Dead - Jay Som Remix" Owen The Avalanche Remixes
"Growing Pain" 2022 Various artists Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono
"Boring Again" Luna Li Duality

Music videos[edit]

List of music videos, showing year released and directors
Title Year Director(s) Ref.
"Ghost" 2016 Neil Davis [19]
"Baybee" 2017 Charlotte Hornsby and Jesse Ruuttila [20]
"One More Time, Please" Christopher Good [21]
"The Bus Song" Michelle Zauner [22]
"Tenderness" 2019 Jackson James [23]
"Nighttime Drive" Han Hale [24]


  1. ^ "melina d. (@melinamaed) -Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  2. ^ a b "Polyvinyl Records". Polyvinyl Records. 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  3. ^ a b Blais-Billie, Braudie (June 4, 2019). "Jay Som Announces New Album Anak Ko, Shares New Song "Superbike": Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "She Shreds Magazine - Ends Meet: An Interview with Melina Duterte of Jay Som". She Shreds Magazine. 2017-03-08. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  5. ^ "Polyvinyl - Jay Som". Polyvinyl Records. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  6. ^ "Jay Som Signs to Polyvinyl, Album Turn Into Reissued". Pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  7. ^ a b "Jay Som: Turn Into Album Review | Pitchfork". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  8. ^ a b "Jay Som has what we all need right now: "1 Billion Dogs"". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  9. ^ "Everybody Works, by Jay Som". Jay Som. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  10. ^ "Pirouette, by Jay Som". Jay Som. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  11. ^ "Album Review: Justus Proffit & Jay Som – Nothing's Changed EP (Polyvinyl)". Kexp.org.
  12. ^ Strauss, Matthew (28 October 2020). "Jay Som and Chastity Belt's Annie Truscott Form New Band, Share Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  13. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (March 22, 2017). "Jay Som Brings Her D.I.Y. Bedroom Pop to Brooklyn". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  14. ^ a b 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.
  15. ^ a b Pelly, Jenn (February 2, 2017). "Jay Som's Hard-Working Dream-Pop". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  16. ^ "Jay Som Chart History: US Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  17. ^ "Jay Som Chart History: US Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  18. ^ "Nothing's Changed, by Justus Proffit & Jay Som". Jay Som. Retrieved 2020-11-15.
  19. ^ "Jay Som - Ghost [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]". YouTube. October 5, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  20. ^ "Jay Som - Baybee [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]". YouTube. February 23, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  21. ^ "Jay Som - "One More Time, Please"". YouTube. May 18, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  22. ^ "Jay Som - The Bus Song [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO] (Amazon Original)". YouTube. October 10, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  23. ^ "Jay Som - Tenderness [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]". YouTube. July 11, 2019. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  24. ^ "Jay Som - Nighttime Drive [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]". YouTube. August 8, 2019. Retrieved 2021-08-17.

External links[edit]