Jake, also known as Judith to family, grew up in Edinburgh, part of a conservative Evangelical family, and Church of Scotland. She felt a call to some sort of ministry from a young age, but assumed that this would involve missionary work, as women in front-line ministry was something of a taboo. Growing up, she developed a passion for music, influenced by her dad’s love of Scottish pipe band music, her Jamaican mum’s Calypso record collection, and the rich, powerful hymns of Sunday services. She became skilled on the piano, clarinet, guitar, bass, drums and recorders, and left home at the end of high school to study composition, at the Royal Northern College of Music, in Manchester.
She plays in the band The Hermitage with Richi Werner and Dave McGinty, and special guests from time to time. She says, “I’ve has been described by lefttist newspaper The Morning Star as ‘a one woman song writing machine’ and, by alternative Scottish Christian arts festival The Project as ‘banshee pop’!”