We realise this is our third Jai Paul story in a week, but there’s a lot to take in, it’s like blogosphere Quincy out here. Jai tweeted yesterday, saying his laptop was stolen and that the album that was put up on Bandcamp on Saturday was uploaded by someone else. Sorry bro, but we got a few questions.
This is 2013, a major label can have a van full of riot police round at your house if they think you posted a clip from an Olly Murs concert without express permission. If his label, XL Recordings, wanted to take down a fake Bandcamp page they could do so in a matter of minutes, and probably find the guy who uploaded it via his IP address. Also, XL have been quite chill about it. Their head of A&R tweeted “surprise!” when the record dropped and that was retweeted by their parent-label’s head of marketing. If the album really was uploaded by a thief, and then sold at £7 a pop, that’s not the response you’d expect from a company that’s just just been cheated out of thousands of pounds.
The Bandcamp page has now been taken down, days after it was first uploaded. We think there’s something dodgy going on - so we’ve been looking out for conspiracy theories.
SOMEONE FROM A MID-00S INDIE FAILURE, LET'S SAY IT WAS BOY KILL BOY, ACCIDENTALY MADE SOME INCREDIBLE MUSIC
There are plenty of talented musicians who, through misfortune and poor styling, become so deeply uncool that they can never release music again, even if they learn from their mistakes and write an opus. No one from Boy Kill Boy, the band that ruined indie for everyone, would be allowed a second go at stardom. Every interview would be the same: “How could someone responsible for such an unbridled flood of crimes against guitar pop, ever make something that wasn’t half bad?” Their only option would be to go deep undercover, hiring someone to play an elusive character, perhaps named Jai Paul (perhaps an anagram of PA Julia, the label assistant who he’d once fingered at a Christmas drinks).
Soon the stand-in actor would become greedy with power and start demanding more cash and creative input. Eventually, the guy from Boy Kill Boy would crack and put everything he’d been working on onto Bandcamp and craw back under whichever rock he came form.
Is it true?
We’ve just had a look at what lead singer Chris Peck is up to these days and what we found is quite shocking. He’s somehow managed to make music, audible to the human ear, that is worse than Boy Kill Boy. We don’t think he’s capable of a ruse like this.
JAI PAUL IS A CHARACTER DREAMT UP BY SOME STUDIO ENGINEERS
Jai Paul’s only press shot is a collage featuring 90s Newsround presenter Lizo Mzimba and Sir Alan Sugar. He has only ever been interviewed once, about two years ago by Dazed and Confused, that could have easily been staged. Who’s to say he’s even a real popstar? He barely does any recording, releasing one song a year. To us, that sounds like the work of a few London tech heads who wanted to see if they could convince the world of a ridiculous new savant. They uploaded the tracks when they were drunk on Saturday night but have had to deny any knowledge in case they get fired. So they created this elaborate laptop rouse in order to absolve responsibility.
Is it true?
We tracked down Michael Cragg who did the original Dazed interview to ask him whether he could confirm that he was an IRL human being. “I certainly can. He was wearing a tracksuit,” was his response. He’s probably lying.
WE DID IT
Yesterday we were proudly waving our penis of prophecy, reminding you all that we knew about the new Jai Paul album before anyone else. How the hell did we do that? In the article we made up loads of tenuous stuff about Wikipedia entries and Radio 1 plays (with some screengrabs we could have easily doctored) but look closely and you’ll see us basically admitting we had the files.
“I came across a mix tape from Jai Paul titled Everlasting. Obviously, because I’ve been meandering through life for the last two years waiting for a slither of hopeful MP3s from Jai Paul, I was pretty fucking excited. I slammed my keyboard down, forcefully typing to all my musical friends on Facebook about the discovery that I’d made. I felt like Jesus giving bread and fish to the hungry, but with MP3s to the blog thirsty hypebeasts. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Everlasting wasn’t an official mixtape from Jai. Instead, it was simply a collection of everything that he’d released on to the Internet so far.”
Still, a 10 track mixtape, from an artist who has only released two singles isn’t bad going. Maybe we had a few more songs and we just weren’t letting on. There’s definitely something very suspicious about us.
Is it true?
No, we absolutely didn’t leak it. OR DID WE? No.
JAI PAUL IS SUCH AN ELUSIVE GUY THAT NOT EVEN XL KNOW WHAT HE'S UP TO
Communication between the label and Jai has been dodgy at best, with even the label boss saying he doesn’t really know what’s going on. “The way he's going about things is, I think for many, baffling. But it's how he's going about things, and as such it can only be right because it's his way of doing it. He's going about things in the most Jai Paul way you could possibly go about things. And who knows where that may lead," he told NPR earlier this year. Which is a really long way of saying: who the fuck knows.
So maybe when the thing went up, XL had absolutely no idea whether it was Jai or not. Either Jai uploaded it off his own back (which would make sense considering it was linked to a Facebook account created in 2007) and then started to backtrack yesterday or the laptop was stolen months ago, and he only just noticed. Either way he doesn’t sound like Mr. Reliable.
Is it true?
You'd have to ask Jai, but of course you can't, because no one has his phone number.
IT'S THE INTERNET ILLUMINATI
After the record was takend down, someone uploaded a new track to the Jai Paul Bandcamp and wrote “NOT JAI PAUL” underneath. They logged on with the same username and the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. The song sounds kind of like Burial without any bottom end - exactly the sort of thing people who put all their savings into Bitcoin would listen to. Is this the work of Anonymous? Lulzsec? The stonecutters?
Is it true?
If it is we're in the midsts of the music world's Wikileaks moment. For the love of God don’t them let release our iChat histories.
WILEY DID IT
Having parted ways with Warner, Wiley started to miss the youthful thrill of leaking his own material online and ruining his relationship with a record company. So he’s started leaking other people’s records instead. Next week: Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong
Follow Sam on Twitter: @samwolfson
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