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JAKE TROTH / FLAUNT PREMIERE / “SUNDAY SMILE” OFFICIAL VIDEO

September 3, 2020

Read the full premiere on Flaunt.com!

Jake Troth is ready to step out from behind-the-scenes and debut his own artistry for good. The singer-songwriter has written and produced for all your favorite artists all around the globe. His impressive catalog of hits includes collaborations with Kevin Gates, KYLE and Kehlani’s Platinum “Playinwitme,” and Kehlani’s Grammy-nominated “Undercover.”

But fans can’t get enough of Troth’s smooth and sultry voice. The Davidson, North Carolina-bred, Los Angeles-based recording artist even had the opportunity to perform his feature on “Apple Of My Eye” alongside Big Boi on The Tonight Show, Late Show with David Letterman, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Blending the genres of uptempo hip-hop, pop, and minimal electronica, he went on to release his debut album IT IS AS IF via Atlantic Records.

Now, he releases the official music video for “Sunday Smile,” premiered exclusively on Flaunt. The record has amassed over 22 million streams to date, with the visual directed by Anastasia Shulepova. Following a string of releases — The Queen, All Over The World, Open Door and Alive & Well — Jake continues to release fire records for his growing fanbase.

Flaunt caught up with Troth via Zoom, who stated he’s been reading Flaunt since he was in college. During fashion school, he fondly remembers chopping up the magazine to create collages. Read below as we discuss the inspo behind “Sunday Smile,” and how he got to write for all the greats.

What was it like growing up in Davidson, North Carolina?

North Carolina was really great, I wish I could go back there now. As soon as I feel comfortable traveling, I’m going to visit. All kinds of weather, terrain, beach, mountains. They have their own bluegrass music that comes from that region. I went to public school so I got all different kinds of culture. I was friends with a lot of different kids growing up, which found its way into the work I make. It was very religious, it’s part of the Bible Belt down there. That’s definitely a scene to navigate, to figure out whether you fit in it or not. Where are you from?

I’m from the Bay Area.

Oh nice, I lived in West Oakland for a bit. After I graduated high school, I lived there for five months. I loved it. I lived in those warehouses down by the Bay Bridge in the Warehouse District downtown. Living in that area, I realized I wanted to make music instead of doing anything else.

How did you fall into music over there?

I got a Craigslist ad for an artist gallery that had a room for rent. I went to live there, residents in that warehouse were full-time musicians. Being 17, I’d never met anybody who was a full-time musician before. Once I got an understanding of what that life’s like, I realized I didn’t want to do anything else.

How’d you get to write for all these big names?

I’ve always been writing for big names in my head. I’d see music videos on MTV or hear songs on the radio and try to make my own versions of them, making it up at home in my room. Eventually I got a computer and learned to record. I made listenable versions of stuff and started sharing it with people. They probably weren’t really good until they were. I started working with a team in Los Angeles who helped me share my music with various people in the industry, it fell into place. Whatever was on TRL or the radio, I was always interested in making songs like that.

Photo Credit: RJ Shaughnessy

Photo Credit: RJ Shaughnessy

Jake Troth is ready to step out from behind-the-scenes and debut his own artistry for good. The singer-songwriter has written and produced for all your favorite artists all around the globe. His impressive catalog of hits includes collaborations with Kevin Gates, KYLE and Kehlani’s Platinum “Playinwitme,” and Kehlani’s Grammy-nominated “Undercover.”

But fans can’t get enough of Troth’s smooth and sultry voice. The Davidson, North Carolina-bred, Los Angeles-based recording artist even had the opportunity to perform his feature on “Apple Of My Eye” alongside Big Boi on The Tonight Show, Late Show with David Letterman, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Blending the genres of uptempo hip-hop, pop, and minimal electronica, he went on to release his debut album IT IS AS IF via Atlantic Records.

Now, he releases the official music video for “Sunday Smile,” premiered exclusively on Flaunt. The record has amassed over 22 million streams to date, with the visual directed by Anastasia Shulepova. Following a string of releases — The Queen, All Over The World, Open Door and Alive & Well — Jake continues to release fire records for his growing fanbase.

Flaunt caught up with Troth via Zoom, who stated he’s been reading Flaunt since he was in college. During fashion school, he fondly remembers chopping up the magazine to create collages. Read below as we discuss the inspo behind “Sunday Smile,” and how he got to write for all the greats.

What was it like growing up in Davidson, North Carolina?

North Carolina was really great, I wish I could go back there now. As soon as I feel comfortable traveling, I’m going to visit. All kinds of weather, terrain, beach, mountains. They have their own bluegrass music that comes from that region. I went to public school so I got all different kinds of culture. I was friends with a lot of different kids growing up, which found its way into the work I make. It was very religious, it’s part of the Bible Belt down there. That’s definitely a scene to navigate, to figure out whether you fit in it or not. Where are you from?

I’m from the Bay Area.

Oh nice, I lived in West Oakland for a bit. After I graduated high school, I lived there for five months. I loved it. I lived in those warehouses down by the Bay Bridge in the Warehouse District downtown. Living in that area, I realized I wanted to make music instead of doing anything else.

How did you fall into music over there?

I got a Craigslist ad for an artist gallery that had a room for rent. I went to live there, residents in that warehouse were full-time musicians. Being 17, I’d never met anybody who was a full-time musician before. Once I got an understanding of what that life’s like, I realized I didn’t want to do anything else.

How’d you get to write for all these big names?

I’ve always been writing for big names in my head. I’d see music videos on MTV or hear songs on the radio and try to make my own versions of them, making it up at home in my room. Eventually I got a computer and learned to record. I made listenable versions of stuff and started sharing it with people. They probably weren’t really good until they were. I started working with a team in Los Angeles who helped me share my music with various people in the industry, it fell into place. Whatever was on TRL or the radio, I was always interested in making songs like that.

Did you think Kevin Gates’ “Really Really” would become as big as it was?

Kevin made a series of mixtapes before I knew who he was. I was dogsitting my manager’s puppy, she’d gotten a bulldog. She had to immediately bounce and go out of town for something. As I’m driving over to her place, I thought of words to what I thought should’ve been a rap song. I grew up listening to rap with my brother and with my friends, I sometimes think of songs that I wish existed but don’t yet. I put that idea down and showed it to my friends, they said “damn this sounds like a real song.”

Were you the one who recorded the demo?

I did a demo of the beat and for reference, I put some vocals of the melody and the chorus. I was sharing it with my friends, we were playing it for a year. I was trying to pitch it but didn’t know anyone to pitch it too. My management was having a hard time placing it. After having it sit around on my computer, it finally got connected with the right person. That’s often how it happens. I have songs I come up with and have to sit with them for as long as it takes for them to find the right home. That was random, me singing to myself in the car. Most people get songs stuck in their head that already exist, but I get songs stuck in my head that I wish existed. I didn’t even know Kevin at the time. When I finally met him, he was incredibly Kevin Gates. The most Kevin Gates I could ever imagine.

How difficult or easy was it to transition into your own artistry?

I’ve always done both. I know pretty quickly if the song I’m writing is one I want to sing or something I’d want someone else to do. I’ve been stacking records for myself for the last few years. I know off the bat if a girl should sing this, or this could be a rap song or a straight up pop song. I left myself a group of pretty stripped down acoustic tunes I’d written post-breakup. I didn’t want anyone else to sing them, I wanted to be responsible for recording them. It’s not really a transition, I have a library of music that I’m always making and contributing to. I put labels on them and decide which ones I’d sing myself and which ones I wouldn’t.

Who or what inspired your new song, “Sunday Smile”?

I’d just moved to Los Angeles. I’d gotten a lot of pushback from people back home in Charlotte when I wanted to drop everything and move out West to be a singer and entertainer, be in the music industry. No one around me had done that. I came out here anyway and started to make music with friends. That song came out of me one day when I was trying to motivate myself and motivate other people who might feel like they’re not being heard when they express their dreams or things they’re actually passionate about. It’s more of a motivational, onward and upward tune.

The title refers to growing up on the Bible Belt, people on Sundays being very courteous to each other. Whatever drama they have in their own lives, everyone puts on a nice, courteous, pleasant demeanor. That’s how I’ve gotten through the lack of support or lack of belief in my dreams. To this day, it’s the most uplifting and motivational song I’ve made. It’s been getting a lot of plays on Spotify. I didn’t have a visual that I felt represented the nature of the song, so we decided to shoot the video for it before quarantine. When quarantine happened, we had to switch up the game plan and go back to the drawing board to get that done.

What can we expect from the new visual?

Anastasia is a Russian director who works a lot with symbolism and vignettes that have a lot of interpretation going on. I liked the way she told a story more abstractly.  I didn’t want to have a direct, firm narrative because the song’s done something for me, but it also does something different for everybody who hears it. I wanted to provide motivation for people, with a really uplifting tone. A lot of people feel lonely, they feel like an individual stuck in this Groundhog day we’re in just waiting for it to end. I wanted to make a video of people finding ways to find joy, going through their own processes of digging deeper into themselves and finding happiness in simple ways. We definitely were able to achieve that. Anastasia did an amazing job of finding very interesting people and coming up with interesting ways for those people to enjoy themselves. Go through trial and tribulation to overcome this strange time.

What’s one thing you want fans to get from your debut album IT IS AS IF?

I’d love if people listened to it and felt they weren’t alone. Growing up, my favorite records were ones I’d put on and fall asleep to, that made me feel not so lonely or would tuck me in at night. I wanted the record to have that quality. It’s really warm, very intimate, personal, it’s true to life and honest. I hope people hear the first song and want to keep on listening. If they buy the vinyl, I hope they get that experience too because that’s a big factor of making a record. Having an object that people can hold and interact with, put it on and flip it over halfway through. People who enjoy records will enjoy that record.

Goals for yourself at this point of your career?

I’d love to write enough songs and get enough songs out to where I can take a vacation. Look back at a year’s worth of work and say “damn, I really need a vacation now.” Right now, I’m digging in. I moved into this new house and I have a studio setup. I’ve been writing every day for whoever, Bieber, Gates, all these random artists I’m probably never going to kick it with this year. It’s been really fun trying to put myself in a headspace of all these strange artists. Hopefully in a year’s time when everything opens up, I can take a vacation and feel super happy about it.

Jake Troth - FLAUNT

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