Jayjay Robertson Somerville (Musician & Photographer): I Want To Document The Start Of A New Independent Country

Jayjay Robertson is a guitarist and vocalist in the rock band Hiding Place. The band toured with The Rasmus and opened for Metallica at Download Festival in 2004. Jayjay is now a keen photographer and working on his portfolio.

I was brought up in a musical household and consequently left to pursue a music career in London after I had finished my A Levels. Fortunately for myself, my parents brought me up in what could be termed a constructivist environment where creativity was supported and even endorsed. This in turn led to freedom of pursuing career choices with the backing of my parents. Subsequently it felt okay to implement a trial-and-error approach to attain and achieve career aspects, as long as it was the path I had picked and was content. To make my own choices so early on in life inculcated a cacophony of experiences and also led to many success stories.

The music writing process is an unpredictable process and it can take many twists and turns, produce a profound amount of blood, sweat and tears, and can create many a sleepless night. Conceptually it is as exhausting as it is brave! At the moment the people of Scotland are hearing the same regurgitated riff played over and over again. People are afraid to change what they are used to and what they deem is safe – the status quo. It’s time we took the song on its natural course and nurture some less familiar chord progressions. We can learn from the twists and turns of change and benefit from them. A good song won’t be produced if there is someone holding it back because they are afraid of change. For both England and Scotland to thrive we need to stop holding one another back and ‘stand on our own’. Proud, side-by-side,  as great neighbours!

I first gained interest in the politics of my country before the invasion of the war in Iraq. I was angry that the people of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland unanimously voiced their opinions loud and clear, and yet were simply ignored by Westminster. In an independent Scotland we can reinforce peace as a small nation with a fair and balanced voting system and make important decisions for ourselves. It’s time for change.

The arts are such a vital part of communities, and they are a way to bring people together. They are constantly reweaving the social fabric of our societies. Recently, I have just became involved with Project Scotland, Hear Glasgow, and Tollcross YMCA to give a lending hand to youth groups and pass on any advice I can as a mentor from my experience in the industry. It’s great what National Collective are doing – bringing the creative together. It is something the youth can relate to and use to engage in the important decisions that we must make. We can inform our country. Westminster is halting our daringness to become a nation in our own right. The people of Scotland need to know their vote will make a difference. Be brave, take the leap, stop that mundane, repeating riff, and progress as a nation.

I’m in the process of building my photography portfolio and I’m looking forward to documenting this fantastic piece of history, and maybe, just maybe, the start of our new independent country.

Jayjay Robertson Somerville

Selected Works

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