Irish artist Jack Hughes delivered his debut single Crossed The Line. Hughes uses songwriting to manifest things which he doesn't feel comfortable talking about openly. The battle between being creative and comfortable has delivered some false starts for Hughes. It wasn’t until 2018 when he finally found a happy medium.
Strangely, it was an old out-of-tune piano in a school in Switzerland that become Hughes' happy place. The odd nature of the erratic tuning allowing Hughes to find solace in its unusual timbre and by osmosis his own.
Jack Hughes started releasing music intermittently with 2018's debut single The Fallen, culminating with 2019's single Selfless which has amassed over 300k plays on Spotify.
Now after a two-year hiatus, Jack Hughes returns with the dark single Crossed The Line which showcases a never before seen side to the songwriter.
The imagery around your project is quite mysterious. What attracted you to the deep-sea diver’s helmet as a visual theme?
My ultimatum was to formulate a look that could conceal all of my insecurities, and I guess the mask just happened to be one way of hiding my entire face while still allowing my voice to be heard. The mask offers my lyrics a sort of safe zone where they can be exposed and brought to the public and listeners.
What was it about the piano in Switzerland that connected all the dots for you creatively after searching for the right approach to songwriting?
Although the lyrics and melody of Crossed the Line stemmed from a dream I had, I found it so astonishing that you could begin something creative and genius from a rundown, out-of-tune piano. It may have had Major keys that didn’t work and sounds that were quite unearthly, but it was exactly what I wanted.
Crossed The Line, deals with many dark themes including drug abuse often being a symptom of other issues. Why was it important for you to speak about such things?
I don’t discuss lyrics. The listeners are invited to study the lyrics, noises, and sounds if they would like to seek a narrative behind the song. None of the stories that people extract will ever be confirmed.
What was it about Lucan Mills that made you want to work with him on the track?
Through the contacts of my team, they managed to contract Lucan, and indeed, a credit to the song he was. He was given the brief and he took note of what the song touched on, and from there on he shaped the bridge.
You worked with producer Joe Egan and musicians John Byrne and Ronan Nolan on the track. How did they help you achieve your goals?
I gave them my vision of the song and how I wanted it to sound. It can be quite the task to give a group of people you didn’t know too well a song that came with an eerie look and sound attached to it. That being said, it was something that they were able to execute so phenomenally well, and the major moral we stood by throughout was playing around with the weirdest of weird ideas.
When can we expect to hear more new music from Jack Hughes?
Well, I guess that just depends on how the rollout of Crossed the Line goes. If it were me, I would love to turn around tomorrow and just give everyone everything that has been in the making. But the sound that I am going for is different and doesn’t shadow any of my previously released music.