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T8PES – Hope & Pray

T8PES – Hope & Pray


T8PES – Hope & Pray
T8PES – Hope & Pray


RELEASE DATE:  18/3/19
GENRE: Alternative/Electronic/Hip Hop



Apple Music



Following a superb debut year for T8PES which included all 3 single releases receiving national airplay on BBC 6 MUSIC, several exceptional visual releases (one of which included a cameo appearance from global superstar Ed Sheeran), and being championed as a Sound of 2019 artist by BBC introducing WM, these are exciting times for Birmingham’s favorite son T8PES.
The latest single Hope & Pray (written & produced by T8PES) is released on 18 March and with an album launch party show announced for April 26 at the Castle & Falcon in Birmingham; this is set to be a good year for one of Birmingham’s journeymen artists.
The man behind T8PES is veteran emcee/producer Jimmy Davis. Jimmy has toured the UK & Europe extensively, graced huge stages at venues such as Brixton Academy & Shepherds Bush Empire, is a 3-time performer at Glastonbury, and influenced a young Ed Sheeran.
Ed cites Jimmy as a major inspiration and the pair still rendezvous yearly to hang out.



“There are certain people who have inspired and influenced me as an artist and Jimmy Davis (T8PES) is one of them. A great songwriter, lyricist, and performer who writes deeply personal songs and confronts important issues through his music”
– Ed Sheeran



Tell us your history.
Parents divorced before I was 5 years old. By the time I was 18 I had become addicted to drugs and was homeless.
After getting my life together and having what can only be described as a spiritual awakening, I then decided to embark on the musical path that had called to me throughout my younger years and was a fairly late-comer to the game.
I didn’t make my first piece of music or write my first lyrics until I was 21 years old. Since then I have had many experiences within the industry which I’ll elaborate on later in this interview.


Describe yourself as an artist.
I like to write deeply personal songs – some carry important messages, some are brutally honest explorations of how broken we can become as humans, and others champion positivity and belief in the human spirit.


Tell us the genre of your music.
 Alternative, Electronic, Indie, Hip Hop…


Tell us the story behind your song.
I wrote Hope & Pray a couple of years ago having done some soul searching and realizing that I had slowly become somebody that I didn’t think I would – apathetic, emotionally numb, and demotivated.
This inner exploration led me to question what was happening in the world that had impacted me so profoundly in a way to alter my character so dramatically. I then got drawn into the ‘carrying stream’ as we call it and the song was written very quickly with the music informing much of the tone of the lyrics.
I found the vocalist I wanted whose vocals married to the track so beautifully and then brought in a guitarist friend for some additional production.


Tell us the problems you are facing as a musician.
Getting heard above ‘the noise’ I think is the biggest issue most artists face. Everybody now has a platform to champion what they do and everyone is competing for the time of the listening public. That can make it super difficult and incredibly competitive. Trying to earn a living on which you could support a family and own a home is also a big problem for any musician.


Discuss the recording and production of the song.
The vocals were recorded at The Songlab in Birmingham with a friend and engineer Jonny Amos.
All of the music was produced and mixed by me in my studio at home. I invited my longtime friend and collaborator Adam Evans to come and lay some guitars over the track for me.
Featuring vocals were recorded by Holly Fitzgerald in her studio.


List the names of blogs, radio, or television stations that have supported you so far.
The song was premiered on BBC Introducing WM and has since been aired on BBC 6 Music along with local Birmingham stations Brum Radio and Scratch Radio. Zap Bang magazine covered the song with an interview.


Elaborate on your music career, experience, and future goals.
In 2007 when I produced my first fully-fledged album I was asked to be tour support for a band called Nizlopi who had recently scored a UK number 1 chart hit with The JCB song.
It was on this tour that I met a very young Ed Sheeran who had written to Nizlopi to ask if he could do his work experience with them on tour.
Ed was a huge fan of the band and it was during this tour that we struck up a friendship that has continued to this day.
Since that time I have toured the UK extensively and parts of Europe, performed at Glastonbury Festival three times, graced the stages of Brixton Academy & Shepherds Bush Empire, and met/worked with some of my musical heroes.
My future goals mainly center on producing a piece of art that is revered as timeless and remembered for years to come.


Brief us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.
Life experience, artistic expression, a deep love for creating, a hunger, – and a desire to become the best at what I do, and God.


Brief us the top-secret behind making a hit song.
Not sure I can claim to have made a ‘hit song’ but what I think makes good music is honesty, emotion, great lyrics, great vocal delivery, originality, and strong hooks.


Tell the piece of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.
Remain authentic. Authenticity is the key to expressing what you have to say and giving your gift to the world.


Discuss at length your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition, or awards you might have received.
My career has comprised of two albums so far and an EP, as well as many collaborations with producers and other artists.
This was back when I released music under the name Jimmy Davis. During the period 2007-2015, I toured the UK, Ireland, and Europe several times, played Glastonbury three times along with many other festivals, have had songs played on BBC radio on many occasions, and I’m referencing as a major musical influence on Ed Sheeran when he was growing up.


Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.
It all starts with the music generally. I like to let the music steer my emotions and inform what it is I’ll be writing about. I tend to keep written ideas and voice recordings on my phone so that I can refer back to them at any point.
I’ll spend considerable time producing the music until I get what I want and will then write lyrics, melodies, and hooks. I’ll generally finish everything I start even if it’s not good enough to make it onto anything I release. I then demo the songs at home and get them sounding how I want, experiment with different ideas, etc. Then I’ll take the track to a studio and record the vocals with an engineer so that I can focus purely on the performance and delivery.


Name your favorite artists for collaboration. 
I’m currently writing with a young artist called Nath Brooks, that’s a lot of fun.


Share your press release and reviews with us.
It’s time to rage against the machine again says Birmingham artist T8PES.
Forthcoming release Hope & Pray is a scathing attack on political apathy, consumerism, and privatization in an increasingly despairing world.
The emcee/producer – who under the previous guise of Jimmy Davis forged a reputation for writing hard-hitting, issue-led lyrics and was a big influence musically on a young Ed Sheeran – has once again set his sights on social injustice and says this song is the soundtrack to the unsettling times we live in.
“The tradition of using music to protest injustice goes back centuries,” he said.
“The Diggers in 17th Century England, abolitionists in 19th Century America, and the Labour Movement in the 20th Century made such potent use of music in their efforts.”
With lyrics drawn straight from the headlines, Davis describes Hope & Pray as a continuation of the British protest movement that has included The Sex Pistols and The Clash as well as socially conscious artists such as Billy Bragg and MIA.



“Music should be at its most effective when times are at their hardest; when there is something to push against. The bleak years of the winter of discontent gave us punk. Ska and reggae artists sang about the riots and unemployment in the 1980s. Where are the artists calling out the Brexit shambles, the homelessness crisis, and the ever-increasing gap between rich and poor? Where is the Dylan, Marley, Guthrie, or Marvin Gaye of this generation? The impactful rant has been replaced by the glorified whinge.”
Davis is no stranger to facing personal and social adversity with drug addiction, homelessness, and mental health issues all playing a part in his life during his late teens/his early twenties.



“Hope & Pray is a rallying cry and wake-up call to the people of the world that we can no longer stand by and watch as our planet is torn apart and our society wrecked by power-hungry, money-obsessed governments and corporations. But also that we have a responsibility to ourselves to start facing the truth of what living in this kind of system is doing to us internally. It is killing our inner spirit on a number of levels.”
“There are certain people who have inspired and influenced me as an artist and Jimmy Davis (T8PES) is one of them. A great songwriter, lyricist, and performer who writes deeply personal songs and confronts important issues through his music”
– Ed Sheeran



“T8PES … who as you can hear is very, VERY good”
– Tom Robinson – BBC 6 Music



“A brilliant outpouring of nostalgia packaged perfectly”
– Stereo Stickman



“What blew me away most was the polished standard of production”
– AnR Factory



T8PES will be celebrating the launch of his debut album with a headline show at The Castle & Falcon, Birmingham on 26 April 2019.



Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.
I will buy a nice house somewhere peaceful surrounded by nature.
Invest in young artists from my city.
Help friends and family.


Discuss music promotion and how you are boosting your fan base.
I’m promoting via all of the usual channels and trying to build social media followings. I sometimes use PR companies if I feel it will be worthwhile.
I’m also just about to start performing live under this new brand so I’m hoping this will help to grow my audience.


Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career.
It’s always a difficult balancing act trying to have a truly nourishing life whilst pursuing your dreams, trying to earn a living, maintaining good relationships, giving your time to causes you care about.
I’d say I manage but also struggle at times!


State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
My artist’s name is T8PES. When I decided to step back into the music business and subsequently rebrand my whole identity, I chose the name TAPES because when I was young I was heavily into the rave scene of the ’90s and used to collect what were known as Tape Packs. These were collections of cassette tape recordings of DJ sets from different raves. So I became known as the kid with all the TAPES.
After choosing the name I noticed that there a few people calling themselves TAPES or who had social media accounts that used that name. So I decided to replace the letter A with the number 8 because I’ve always been interested in the numerology of that number with its associations. And that’s when T8PES was born! It’s still pronounced TAPES but just has a number 8 in there instead.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
Hope & Pray. The title of the song came from the chorus but also sums up the state of current affairs whereby many people have lost confidence in the way human beings are currently operating in the world and therefore have nothing left to do but to Hope & Pray.


State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.
The album is less of a title and more of a symbol which is the rewind symbol from a cassette tape deck. All will become clear as more releases follow.



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