“Sexuality is a very useful tool, just as much as comedy”

Jae Tyler grew up in Kansas and is based in Berlin, Neukölln. His music is reminiscent of 80s/90s synth-pop classics with a hint of self-destruction, confessions of mistakes, and pure sexiness. He admits to us he’s addicted to being funny, talks about what’s really behind the comedy, and how Prince made his way into his latest single.

Title: Tell me something about your new single Nothing Gets Me (Harder).

JT: Whilst I was writing the song, coincidentally I was thinking about Prince a lot because I was writing it around the time he died. When I started writing the song, and even before I knew he had died, I felt this incandescent purple-neon energy sort of attaching itself to me. I think I’m basically Prince’s horcrux now because this inspired my music with much more sexual energy than ever before. I had never put much of an emphasis on sex before that into my music. But after that – oh man – sexuality is a very useful tool, just as much as comedy. So I decided to write it as a duet.

Title: The other artist collaborated with you on the song is your wife, Silla. And I noticed that you work with women on a lot of your projects. Is this intentional?

JT: Yes! I always feel more comfortable working with women. Also when I was growing up, I spent most of my time with my mom and sister, and my best friends in high school were girls. A lot of men in my life who I think of as my best friends are also very feminine. There is just something about the openness of communication you can have with women. For me anyways, there is much more of a tenderness. And also the power of knowing when to put their foot down and make a stand for something. All of this makes women really fun to work with.

Title: Do you think the finished output is artistically different when you only work with women as opposed to men?

JT: Yes, and I also really hope that in all the stuff I put out it’s obvious that there is this kind of feminine sensitivity. Even songs where I’m singing about sex with women, I still want it to feel like it’s coming from a feminine perspective. All the credits for my music videos Famous, Exercise and the new one called Speed go to women.

Title: How important is it for you as a male artist to show yourself as fragile and vulnerable in your work?

JT: Very important, and even though it has this kind of comedy aspect in it, it still ties in. Some people use comedy or irony as a kind of protective mechanism to hide behind. For me it’s the complete opposite. Being funny on stage is basically showing off 100% of my vulnerability because there is no facade when I’m humiliating myself. There is nothing between me and the people I’m trying to reach.  My lyrical content is pretty dark most of the time. It usually involves depression, drug abuse, suicidal thoughts, or other sad things people write songs about. But it’s still framed in the context of comedy rather than just another sad caucasian guy emoting.

Title: The swiss comedian Hazel Brugger said once: Only the mentally damaged need humor to survive the day.

JT: I think everybody needs it but people who really get it are people who don’t naturally have a high amount of faith in themselves or humanity. It really does help to make it through the day.

Yesterday I was making a song inspired by this cassette. It’s called Slim Forever. It’s basically this woman guiding you through a meditation on how to center your thoughts on losing weight. I just cut it up in a really funny way and stuck it in this song. It made the song so amazing. And it’s really funny but also really disturbing and tragic. And there is one point where I have her saying: “inhale pure energy and exhale fat.” (He laughs.)

Title: Why are you not more well-known?

JT: Interesting question. One that a lot of people in my profession ask themselves I imagine. I don’t think I know the answer to that question. There’s talk of a zeitgeist that must be hit, or a wave that must be caught, but at the end of the day I’m just a weird dude making outsider pop. Well known or not, ya know? I’m ok with that

Title: Tell me a joke.

JT: I like spoonerisms. I like to come up with them sometimes.

What’s the difference between a dirty greyhound bus stop and a shrimp with huge tits? One is a crusty bus station and the other is a busty crustacean.

It’s so bad haha.

Title: What’s your zodiac sign?

JT: Aquarius

Title: Can you recommend a song for my sex playlist?

JT: The Ballad of Dorothy Parker by Prince. it’s so on topic.

Jae Tyler’s new single Nothing Get’s Me (Harder) is out now on several streaming platforms. You can also see him live on 6th December at Loophole for the 11th anniversary of Shameless/Limitless.