Music is about transformation. No one knows this better than Jai Waetford, the 21-year-old Sydney artist whose genre-blending mix of pop and alt-R&B is already drawing comparisons to The Weeknd. Despite a seemly fortunate path – Jai achieved national fame, released two EPs, toured with the likes of Selena Gomez, Dennis Lloyd and Little Mix. Jai wasn’t handed success raw talent got him noticed, but it’s hard work, humility and a commitment to evolving that have earned his longevity. After teaching himself to play guitar by watching YouTube videos as a kid, Jai attended Campbelltown Performing Artist High School in Sydney’s West – more from necessity than aspiration. “My family didn’t have the money to put me into a good school and if I auditioned and made it in, then I could go free. But I feel like that really helped me expand my creativity; I made a bunch of friends and I fell in love with music even more” he says. Though an industry veteran at 21, he exudes the enthusiasm and hunger of an artist just starting out. “To be able to think that every day I go into a studio could be the day that changes my life – that’s wild. It’s exciting to go from literally nothing to a full production with a story, narrative and lyrics and then be able to perform that.


Australia, New Zealand, Asia