Jed Craddock, A.K.A The Unusuals has created his own kind of “intelligent pop.” Blending uplifting lyrics with electronic instruments and guitar, Craddock emanates John Mayer but adds his own kind of modern twist.
His musical identity was developed from a lifetime love of music, along with overcoming hurdles in his career, such as the departure of his bandmate.
A week before Craddock visited our B40 studios, The Unusuals comprised of him and violist Michael Staffeldt. The duo performed at the studio and interviewed with us, with both members expressing how excited they were to continue their musical journey together. The news of Staffeldt’s parting was a surprise to Craddock, but he was understanding of the situation. “He has a lot of responsibilities on his plate,” Craddock says of Staffeldt. “We had to split ways because our priorities are in different places. Mine is to move forward in music, and I will continue to do that until my dying days. I’m sure Michael will continue to do music because he loves it. I know he wouldn’t have dedicated thirteen-hour days to rehearsal if he didn’t. I know his heart is in the right place.”
To Craddock, music is his soulmate, and will do whatever it takes to play whenever he can, even fitting his career as a medical practitioner around his passion. “My goal is to do music fully. As a health care practitioner, that’s something that I enjoy because I am helping people, and not just [being in a career that is] completely arbitrary to my beliefs. I’m fortunate to have a flexible schedule, I am my own boss. I work for myself, and that is a very powerful thing. If you keep pursuing and moving forward with the right intention, life will come back and the universe will serve you. I’m very fortunate to pursue what I love and not many people have that.”
Losing a band member can prove to be a challenge for an act, image-wise, but luckily for Craddock, his manager Lauren Lamb knows all about the social media world and how to tackle it. “It’s not uncommon what’s happened to Jed in the music world at all,” Lamb states. “It’s a lot easier to make transitions today than it would have been in the '90s. If this had happened to Jed when we were just putting out CDs, things would have stopped dead in the water. A label could’ve dropped him. Thankfully were not at the point of telling the label half of what you bought no longer exists.”
As far as finding another musical partner, Craddock says that he will stay single for now. “I’ve noticed about myself that, in romantic relationships, I’m very capable of being alone. Yet I’ve noticed that I have this tendency of wanting to be in new musical relationships. I must have someone.” Craddock laughs as we mention that he might be in need of a musical rebound. “I know I have the capability of doing it myself, so I’m going to continue by myself and collaborate with a variety of musicians. “I have all of these tracks that are really fun, and a mixture between looping and live musicians. That way, you’re not going to know what’s coming. Maybe this show is just going to be Jed looping because he’s in Germany and he can’t have musicians. Or maybe The Unusuals is [more than just me on stage].” Craddock is excited to have variety in his shows, as he says that “being able to collaborate keeps it exciting and fresh. Energetically, it’s always so beautiful to have the energy of other people. When multiple people come in together, that really can grow into something. I’m able to bring these other people and beautiful styles into the mix, and that for me resonates strongly.”
Social media-wise, Lamb says that keeping a consistent sound through a period of change is the best thing a musician can do. “The most important thing is to always set it up where the identity of the music stays the same. Social media belongs to the artist; there are really no rules. Jed can continue to be The Unusuals because his approach to music and the way he’s going to play it is going to continue to be unusual. Where I come in is where he applies to gigs. Regardless of whether you see 3 or 1 people on stage, what you’re going to get is really strong sound performance and good music.”
All in all, Craddock has an admirable sense of resilience and confidence in his music that will help take him far. “At the end of the day the face that you’re going to see is Jed’s. We’re going to be bipolar about [who Jed will perform with]. If you want to be in the music world, you have to be confident in what you’re doing and know that you have the ability and kind of cork those relationships.”
Simply put, Craddock says: “Its rolling with the punches, moving forward, knowing and being true to what you believe in.” Lamb smiles and agrees. “Were looking forward to the future, however unusual it may be.”