Happily for Jay, after bombarding record labels with his demo throughout the summer, he was signed to EMI. At that point, somewhat unusually, he hadn't even played one solo gig. While at EMI, Jay released two EPs: 'Four Songs' and 'Friendly Fire,' followed by the critically-acclaimed album 'Draw,' and three singles: 'Let Your Shoulder Fall,' 'Please Don't Send Me Away,' and 'Call My Name Out.' He enjoyed moderate chart success with the singles, and on the strength of this toured extensively throughout Europe and the States, supporting many acts including Starsailor, Travis, Dido and The Divine Comedy. In 2002 Jay separated amicably from EMI and started work on songs which marked a slight change in creative direction, as he began experimenting with a number of new influences, including hip-hop. Sadly, in the autumn of 2003, the singer-songwriter died suddenly in the small hours of the 25th of September, in an unexplained fall from his London apartment block. It was a shocking end to what had been a life full of promise, and one built upon a remarkable foundation of accomplishment for one so young. In 2004, the independent record label Jays Music Ltd released a retrospective album called 'Too Soon': a collection of Matthew Jay early songs and rarities, and followed this in December 2006 with a single: 'What Would Love Do Now,' which was one of the last songs he had recorded. The new material Jay had been working on until the time of his passing showcased a mature writing style for the artist, which although something of a departure from the tracks on 'Draw,' still maintained his distinctive vocals, and trademark bittersweet and often humourous lyrical style. An album featuring a selection of these songs is due for release in the spring of 2008, and will be available via his official website.
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