“Behind every finished painting there’s at least 100 sketches, so behind every good song, there’s at least 100 bad ones. I write with quantity over quality in mind!”
Jas Ratchford, more commonly known as stuffbyJas is a musician and singer-songwriter, who creates beautifully harmonic songs. Having started off uploading covers in 2014, her channel now features a mixture of original songs, covers and collaborations with other musicians.
She reveals that her inspiration for starting YouTube was dodie way back in 2013, saying she felt “quite comforted by the lack of expensive and fancy equipment in her videos.” Jas also highlights Orla Gartland as one of her “absolute favourite YouTube musicians”, citing her songwriting and video production as the main things she admires.
Reminiscing about her start in music, Jas says “I’ve always loved music, but never became really passionate about it until I had an amazing music teacher when I started secondary school.” She goes on to add that it was around then that she started to write her own music. Talking about her musical inspirations, she admits that she draws inspiration from many places, but lists The Staves, Noisettes, First Aid Kit, HAIM, and Tom Rosenthal among the main ones, adding: “I love the folk/pop sound that these artists do so well.”
For a musician, their songwriting process is one of the most important steps to creating music, and this is definitely the case with Jas. She says that the only thing that changed in her writing over the years is the frequency with which she writes. “When I first started I put everything into one song, and made sure that every one was polished and completely finished. Now, I don’t stop writing.” She adds that not every song has to be perfect, and admits to having numerous unfinished songs that will never get released. In 2016, Jas uploaded a video which gives more insight into her writing process.
One prominent theme in her music is the seasons. Explaining this aspect of her writing, she says that, in her opinion, using the seasons “gives such a broad sense of the atmosphere of the song without having to say much at all”. She mentions that spring is her favourite to work with: “Recently I’ve been writing a lot about growth and change, so I think spring is a perfect way to express that.”
With YouTube being an ever-changing platform, being a new creator can be quite daunting. Jas says that the best advice she can give is to simply reach out to other people: “YouTube is such a good platform to find others like you who you can both collaborate with and make new friends in the process.”
She also adds that reaching out is also an invaluable learning process, as being active in the community “not only means you can reach out to more people, but also creates new opportunities and helps you to learn from others.”
When asked what smaller channel she would recommend, she answers that “my wonderful friend Ezra has the most incredibly beautiful voice and makes amazing music on their channel! They also have a single out on Spotify which I LOVE.”
So what does she have planned for the future? Jas mentions that her priority is creating more original music: “Composing is the field I would like to go into, so I’d love to write some stuff for other people, as well as perhaps showcasing some different genres on my channel.” She also says she writes musical theatre and instrumental arrangements in school and on her own and that she would like to show that off on her channel as well. Collaborating and co-writing with more people is also a goal of hers. So just a short list then?!
She also reveals she is working on releasing a single pretty soon: “I am also working on putting a single out on Spotify/iTunes in the very near future, so stay tuned for that!” We’re so excited and, once you’ve checked out Jas’s channel, we’re sure you will be too!
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Read about the behind the scenes video of Orla Gartland‘s I Go Crazy music video by the director, Guy Larsen in our Video Spotlight. Alternatively, read our Channel Spotlight on Connor Ward who talks about his experiences with autism both in real life and online.