Atlanta, GA [9/18/2017]: A few weeks ago our founder KierraM had the opportunity to speak with r&b singer/songwriter Jay-T about his hit single, “Easy Lover,” growing up in the church, the current state of r&b, taking a leap of faith + MORE.
It’s no secret that music lovers are yearning for that 90’s r&b sound. Especially in an era where the down south up-tempo and occasional “8O8’s” are the ONLY sounds we’re hearing on mainstream ‘fm’ stations.
But we’re hear to reassure you that your tweets, underground sampling, and blasts have been heard loud and clear by those who wish to make the same transition! Singers like Bryson Tiller, August Alsina, Sammie, Tank, 112 group members, and music lover Jay-T are doing just that.
Jay-T, who comes from a family that holds many accolades, spoke candidly about his religious background and what sets him apart from the rest.
“I can’t sing anything that isn’t the life I’m living! I started in the church. Both of my parents are pastors. I had my first solo at 3 years old. My mother was the director of the junior choir. I just always loved music and I always loved singing. I knew I wanted to do it the 1st time I saw Usher on TV around the time of the “Confessions” album.”
He went on to say that at just 12 years of age, he had the APOLLO audience crying as he sang popular church hymn “His Eyes On The Sparrow.” At that moment, without Jay-T realizing it, a higher power was creating the steps of his life. Steps which eventually led to him uprooting his career in the DMV and taking a ‘leap of faith’ by transitioning to ONE of the music capitols of the world:
New York City!
As we all know, nothing great will ever come from comfort zones and unfortunately for most HOME equals comfort; which is one of the reasons Jay-T suggests that he had to go!
“In anything that you want to do you have to take a leap of faith. If it’s something you really want to do you have to say, ‘You know what God, I’m going to do this.’ I felt like for me to kind of spread my wings and be the artist that I needed to be and to be the MAN I needed to be….I had to get out of my shell. And being in Maryland I was in my shell. It was my comfort zone! When I went to New York City, it was such a dope vibe. It removed my shyness from me. It made me have to go out and introduce myself and learn how to network and learn how to promote. I had to learn how to really brand myself as a BRAND. And I think that was the biggest blessing of moving to New York. But there’s obviously no place like home.”
MANY in music can TOTALLY relate to Jay-T’s transition! There’s just something about the feeling of being “uncomfortable,” it tends to give you the courage to become something you never thought you had the strength to be; which then translates through EVERYTHING you do.
Factual evidence being Jay-T’s hit single, “EASY LOVER”……. which, by the way had over 10,000 Spotify streams!
Jay- T says:
“My parents are from West Africa. They’re from Liberia so everyone has been telling me to make sure that I add something from the culture! For me, I’m always big on never sounding like the last record. I’m always wanting to change, create & keep evolving so that people can go on a ride because there are so many different aspects of me musically.”
Aspects which caused him to create a track people could really VIBE too!
“When I wrote Easy Lover I really wanted to make a record that was fun, something someone could dance to. I also took the old school aspect of r&b and out it into it. That’s why I made it very harmony filled, and just made sure that I made a record that represented where I wanted to go musically. As far as production, it was produced by Mantra. The success of Easy Lover, it’s been moving really well.”
Of course we had to ask about the current state of r&b, especially when we have several artists saying that TRUE r&b can’t be revived, it’s dead and we’ve entered into a new wave. A wave called: TRAP….. To that statement, Jay-T had the following to say:
“For me r&b will never be dead because REAL music will never be dead. At the end of the day when you come from a true place and your singing from a true place, that’s even to say when it’s down south or EDM— To me real music is coming from a place that speaks from the heart. You know when I listen to MIGOS, they are telling a story. When I listen to Rae Sremmurd, they are telling their story. They put that type of drive in their music. I try to approach r&b like my own. Not like ‘let me try to make it like this person or that person.’ I sing from the truest place that I can sing from and people will relate to it. And it’s been a blessing that people have been relating to it.”
Credits: Tamar Braxton, Bryson Tiller, and Kevin Ross as continual artist inspiration!
So what’s next for Jay-T….
This songbird is far from allowing someone to box him in musically! He says that he’s currently working on his new EP: “Forward” and calls it his BEST WORK YET because he was forced to push the pen deeper.
We’ll definitely keep you guys posted on what’s next for Jay-T. In the meantime, check out “Easy Lover” above.