hey it’s jay is a pop-rock artist hailing from the deserts of Arizona with the goal to build a community around inclusion and understanding, which gives a voice to the broken and misunderstood. While realizing his vision, he moved to Los Angeles and graduated from ICON Collective College of Music, honing his skills as a storyteller, songwriter, and vocalist. Formerly a producer and DJ, hey it's jay discovered the missing puzzle piece to his art: tapping into his roots and long-time love for rock, pop-punk, and storytelling/songwriting. His soon-to-release debut EP, H.E.L.P. (Here Everyone Likes Pain), combines his warm presence with vulnerable, honest lyricism that listeners can easily relate to. Get ready to be transported to a world of high-energy anthemic pop punk, where the warm presence and vulnerable lyrics of hey it's jay combine with raw, catchy top-line melodies to create an unforgettable listening experience.
We recently had the opportunity to chat with hey it's jay about his new music, the importance of prioritizing mental health and the queen of pop, Ariana Grande. We hope you find his story as inspiring as we do!
Hi there! Excited to chat with you today. Can you tell us more about the creative process on your latest single “Doing Fine”?
Totally! The creative process took some time to hash out as this song was written
towards the beginning of my pop punk journey! I have always written songs but
understanding how to write songs for my voice…well that was an entirely different beast
I need to tame. The words themselves came naturally and were meant to call myself out
for doing exactly what the lyrics say. I am no stranger to shielding myself from having to
talk about my feelings to others. I would use “I’m fine” without even thinking about it. It
became second nature to just wear a mask and not be honest. After writing the lyrics, I
went over to my friend’s studio who plays the guitar on the song. We laid down the
guitar backing track together. Afterwards I scheduled time with another artist who has a
wicked drum setup. He laid down the insane drum groove on the record. When it came
time to jump in the studio to record my vocals, we actually came up with a lot of melody
changes to add more emphasis and character behind the words. Still discovering and
learning my voice, we really wanted to make sure the story was being told. My engineer
and I thought that the song needed a guitar solo instead of a double chorus twice and
I’m so glad we did. Revisiting my guitarist, he absolutely shredded on this song! I can
listen to his solo on repeat! My little kid would die if he knew we had a song with a guitar
solo on it.
What advice do you have to someone who is not “Doing Fine”?
First thing is that it’s okay to not be doing fine! Most people aren’t. We live in a world
where we showcase and broadcast the highs in our lives. It’s so easy to think we need
to hide the lows when it’s never on display. Talking about the lows helps us through
them. It helps you not have to carry the weight alone. Trust me, as someone who for
their entire life decided to carry the weight of my pain by myself until the breaking point,
it’s much better to lighten the load. Make sure the person you’re opening up to is
someone who cares about you. If you’re not ready to talk about it, it’s okay. When you
are ready, healing and peace are on the other side.
Who is your biggest role model?
Oof! Such a tough one because I have so many in different spaces. When it comes to
music I often lean into the artists that are raw, vulnerable, and seem like completely
themselves. Artists like Machine Gun Kelly, Miley Cyrus, MOD SUN, NF, Billie Eilish,
etc. When it comes to life, I really look up to my father. I know that having my father in
my life alone is a privilege, but he’s literally one of the greatest people on this planet. He
has taught me how to be patient with not just myself but with everyone around me. He
taught me how to always be the bigger person and to do the right thing even when no
one is watching. He help mold my conscious into putting people first and treating every
human fairly and with love. I owe him everything.
In what ways are you trying to positively impact the world and your community?
I want to help shed light on the human experience and bring oneness! Being a human
being is hard a lot of the times! It’s not all glitz and glam or sunshine and rainbows
which is what we have lead ourselves to believe because social media draws us there.
Through my art, I want to create and learn vulnerability. I’m going through it just as
much as anyone out there is. I believe in one race, the human race. We are all one and
the same and I want us to come together. The community we build will focus on
inclusion and understanding. Being about to come together over love and caring for
each other. Part of focus will be on suicide prevention as well. I would love to help
continue the fight for mental health and giving back to making sure there are more
places for people to turn to in times of struggle.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to make their own music.
Omg just START! Like in any way possible just try it and have fun looking silly when you
do. I think so many people before starting already put themselves down because they
are thinking they aren’t going to sound like their favorite artist. Chances are you
probably won’t but even your favorite artist didn’t sound like they did originally. They
actually sounded just like you’re sounding right now. Find community and learn from
people! It really helps as well. It pushed me to become better and seeing everyone’s
process in creating helped excel me forward in not only how to create but coming up
with the best process for myself.
How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t had the chance to hear your music yet?
Unique yet nostalgic! A lot of people tell me my music is warmth and that always hits
home because a lot of the music that got me through things felt that way too!
What part of the creative process do you like the most - writing, recording, or performing live?
In truth, I love writing! It’s my escape. It helps clear my mind and helps me get out what
I’ve been holding onto. This can be through lyricism or writing guitar
chords/arrangement (noodling some would say lol). I absolutely love recording and
performing but both of those things definitely come with their fears. Writing always feels
safe and comfortable. I know one day, after performing hundreds of shows, I’ll feel safe
their too because I always feel on top of the world after performing.
Now that you’ve released “Doing Fine,” what is next for you?
“Thank you, next” – Ariana Grande! Haha. Really just onto the next one. Focusing on the next song off the ep and getting it ready for release. My friends and I decided to do an acoustic cover of this next song so we’re recording a studio acoustic video for it that I’m so excited about! Both the original of this next song and the acoustic version will be available soon!