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31 December 2007
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Matthew Jay

Matthew Jay biography

The talented singer-songwriter from Abergavenny who tragically died in 2003.

When he emerged in 2000, Matthew Jay was hailed by many as the new golden boy of British folk pop. At just 21 years old, he was compared to Nick Drake, Belle & Sebastian and Elliott Smith, and his debut single Please Don't Send Me Away was Mark and Lard's record of the week on Radio 1.

Jay grew up in Abergavenny in South Wales, although he moved to Nottingham as his career began to take off. He was brought up in a family of musicians, and was inspired by his parents' Beatles, Stones and Led Zeppelin records.

He signed a recording deal with Food Records before playing his first gig, on the strength of a collection of self-penned songs recorded in his bedroom. Many of these songs appeared on Jay's debut album, Draw, which was released in March 2001.

While critically acclaimed, Jay never found the commercial success many felt he deserved, although he supported a number of more established artists including Stereophonics, Dido and Starsailor. Towards the end of 2002 he parted company with his record company, and began working on new material.

Tragically, Jay died on 24 September 2003 after falling seven storeys from the window of a North London flat. He was 24 years old. His parents issued a statement saying: "It is understood that there was nobody with him in the room at the time and no note was left.

"His family loved him dearly, admired him greatly and wish Matthew and all who loved him peace and tranquility. Matthew lived and died for his music. We hope that his music will live on and help fill the terrible void left in all those who loved him."


Danny Carolan
For a debut his CD was superb. I thought he must be ready for a new release then found out on the internet about the tragedy. If any of his family read this you should be very very proud of him - he was genuinely a fantastic artist.

Graeme, Melbourne, Australia
Draw is a gorgeous album, by a skilled, sensitive artist. It's so sad to hear of his death, what a waste.

Michael John (born Swansea now in Milan, Italy)
Bought the CD purely by chance as I'd never heard of him before. It is absolutely wonderful and I listen to it all the time. Like others above I thought"why nothing new on Amazon by the bloke". I found out 5 minutes ago that he was dead. Poor young chap. Tragedy for him and his loved ones, but for the rest of us too as this lad was damn good. Thanks for "Draw" Matthew!

Dan Solan from Warrington
I learnt of his death almost as soon as it hit the news. My brother was reading it on teletext and was deeply shocked and sadened as i was. Thought i'd leave a message as to how damn good both of his albums were, and the latest song to be released 'what would love do now' sounded excellent too'. Rest In Peace matthew, My sympathy goes out to all your family.

Rachael, Manchester, UK
On 24 September 2006 a new Matthew Jay single will be released. Believed to be the last song Matthew recorded, the track, 'What Would Love Do Now' is a beautiful acoustic number, which should be loved by Matthew's existing fans, as well as creating new ones. It will be available for download from from 24 September, with a preview available on from 23 September.

Carl Patterson from Chicago
It's 4/26/06.I listened to 11 cds @ the used cd less than an hour ago.Matthew Jay's "Four Minute Rebellion" was the only 1 I purchased.I had never heard of him before and checked the internet.What a damn shame!! Now I must find "Draw".So SAD!

Alex, New Zealand
Again...pretty much same as comments above. Wondered why he never released another album...sadly I know why. Saw Matthew when he supported The Divine Comedy at the Junction In Cambridge. Remember a very talented albeit a very nervous looking lad on stage - he was brilliant! He lives on in our CD players!

Shelby Sutherland from Cali.
We walked out of a little CD store in Long Beach California and saw a bin for one dollar CD's. We were instantly drawn to his genuine face. We were so surprised when we popped in the CD and were awed inspired by his melodious voice. Next, feeling the urge to google him, we heard of his tragic death. oh mattie, you could have been so big, but your legecy lives on in our hearts through 'Draw'.

Ben London
Can't believe it. Same as fella above.. I just searched him cos i haven't listened to that album for a few years but loved it.. shame. really liked the chaps music eh.. bit shocked by the news to be honest..

Steve, ormskirk
i am totally saddened by the loss of any talented artist and this was very sad news when i found out. I seen mathew supporting starsailor in liverpool and i thought his set list of songs was excellent i got his debut album which was excellent aswell its just sad people could not see this amazing artist blossom at his passion for music RIP mathew and god bless.

Dave Eacott from Ebbw Vale
I have only just found out about Matthews death.I worked with Matthew briefly at Specsavers in Abergavenny.He was a great guy and would have become a legend in music industry.RIP 'Graham'

brian , isle of man
having only just learnt of his death nearly a year and a half after it happened i can't belive it. i found my album "draw" while going through my cd's and thhought "why hasn't he had another album out" went on the internet and found the very sad news. brilliant singer songwriter who should have made it big. RIP matthew

Key works

  • Four Songs (EP: 31 January 2000)
  • Friendly Fire (EP: 8 May 2000)
  • Let Your Shoulder Fall (single: 26 March 2001)
  • Draw (LP: 9 April 2001)
  • Please Don't Send Me Away (single: 18 June 2001)
  • Draw (re-release) (LP: 26 June 2001)
  • Call My Name Out (single: 5 November 2001)

Amen Corner (photo: Chris Walter)
Amen Corner

The first Welsh band to get a number one single, in 1969.


Valleys-born rock sensations influenced by hardcore punk.

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