JAYO is no stranger to major transitions. As an up and coming artist with a steadily growing Instagram and YouTube following, he has his sights set high and is consistently working towards a music career that almost didn’t happen. With an EP already under his belt, it’s hard to believe that JAYO started his music journey only a short five and half years ago.
His college days started with a track career that didn’t pan out and that almost caused a major set back in his education. After his track scholarship fell through, JAYO had the choice to continue running on the track team in one community college or pursuing his first love, basketball, at another. He chose love.
Unfortunately, JAYO injured his shoulder during summer practice and was unable to continue playing, but a new opportunity arose after one of his teammate suggested he try out for his original university’s gospel choir.
The transition from sports to music may seem unusual, but to JAYO’s teammates, it was the most natural thing they saw in him. While on the team, he earned the nickname Happy Feet after singing and dancing around. He had always sang in his everyday life, but never thought to do it formally or in any kind of organized setting, but when the suggestion came up, he leapt towards the opportunity to invest time into something he had always had fun doing.
In the beginning, he didn’t consider himself a great singer, but after that first year in Gospel Choir, he was able to develop his voice enough to earn scholarships to leave community college and go back to his university with invitations to join other choirs.
After developing his voice in a choral setting, JAYO started a YouTube channel and posting covers that people readily gravitated to. From continuing to post covers and participating in open mics, JAYO was starting to find his voice as a solo artist and to dream of doing something he loved and thought was fun for a living.
“Musically, I transitioned from being a background singer and singing in choirs to really owning my own voice and being a soloist while being a songwriter and telling my story,” he said.
According to him, songwriting came easy. His first song release, ILY2, was the first song he had ever written.
“Ed Sheeran says that song writing is a running faucet. When you first start running, it’s like mucky water and all your first songs are trash. Then the more it flows, the cleaner the water comes out. He said it took him a thousand songs to start writing good songs, which is probably an over exaggeration, but for me… my first song has already been released. I feel like my song writing, already at this early stage, where I haven’t even written 25 songs, are mostly bops. I feel like I can reach [Ed Sheeran’s] level or beyond,” said JAYO.
His EP, “Say It,” is heavily influenced by the music he listens to. While driving for Uber, he was able to invest time into discovering and listening to artists that would continue to inspire him and his sound. He describes his musical style as transitioning between hip hop, urban contemporary, pop, and R&B, among other genres. As for his intention, JAYO describes himself as a melodic storyteller.
“I love to portray stories and take people to places that allow them to enjoy the moment,” he said.
In the coming year, JAYO plans on playing more live shows to practice for his dream of opening up for artists like Justin Bieber and Frank Ocean. Currently, he’s in a state of transitioning from being an up and coming artist to making it big and being a full time artist.
All he can say about where he’s going is, “I’m not trying to stay in the middle, I’m trying to go to the top.”
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