With graduation season underway, this is a time for people to look back and reflect on the past few years. Years that went by way too fast. Walking away with new memories… some painful, some joyful. Maybe you’re Just A Young Optimist who is hope filled about the future. Whatever mood you’re graduating with, “Way Back When” from JAYO, is the feel good song for current & future graduation seasons. Take a listen here!
So, who is JAYO? I asked him a few questions for his fans to get to know him better.
Walk me through your music career journey so far. So my music career kind of started “late” to the eyes of most, however God’s timing is always right and I believe I started when I did for a reason. I began singing in choir at 20 years old and after graduating college at 23 I decided to step into the world of songwriting. So far its been great, meeting people regularly and quickly meeting more accomplished producers and musicians has helped me jump ahead of many hurdles people experience early in their career. I can credit being an LA native or having a warm personality for creating the network of people that I have come to know, but at the end of the day God put all the right people in front of me. From random elevator meetings to old friends reconnecting, every connection has reaffirmed my calling and has shown me how fun it is to let God take the drivers seat.
What has been the hardest part of this journey? Hardest part of this journey so far has been self criticism. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my projects, but often times that can get In the way. One of the things that held back my start for so long was me trying to perfect the covers I was doing on youtube. That made me only put out one video my first year. On top of that my perfectionism kicked into songwriting as well, so I never would finish a song. I had writers block for over a year, where I only wrote maybe a couple of hooks, but never a complete song. And undoubtedly criticizing my own voice has held me back from trying multiple times. But realizing that things aren’t going to be perfect and that art is a very subjective field has shifted my mindset and confidence a lot. It’s not like sports, or my track background where there’s 1 winner, 1 fastest time, a few qualifiers. But instead everyone with a story can tell theirs in their own way. And we were all built differently for a reason. I choose today to use the gifts God has given me for a purpose.
What are some of your best memories so far? So far some of my best memories include college choir concerts for sure. Singing at the radio Disney award show is up there. Recording in studio booths where some of my favorite artist have also recorded. Collaborating with friends and great artists for Youtube. Writing “Way Back When” and performing it for my class of graduating students. All of it is still new so I’m excited to make more and more memories.
What do you hope the next steps are? I hope that my next steps after this release is to really start building personal relationships with my listeners, and no better way to do that than with concerts and shows. I hope to hone in my craft of performance in summer 2019 and really show LA some of my work!
What is your vision for the next 10 years? Wow 10 years is a lot! Well I see myself with a few hits under my belt. I hope to influence and change music, inspire people to be their best selves, and show people that music doesn’t have to be raunchy to be good. I hope to have traveled a bit by now and share more of my story outside of music. I hope music is the door to show people more of me, because at the end of the day I’m still naturally a teacher and I think there are some things I would love to help people learn and understand. Hopefully I will be involved with other ventures outside of music by now. I like to stretch my comfort zone at times. I’m hoping that the collaborations and people I’ve met along the way has created an impact enough to start creating change in how we influence the younger generation.
How do you plan to serve your community? I plan to still substitute teach from time to time, until that becomes too much of a distraction. Then I can encourage people through school visits, meet ups and making myself available (with caution) to the public. LA is the homeless capital of America, and that’s constantly pressed me as I grew up in this city. I have some ideas as far as stirring the pot in the community. But I definitely want to make a dent in the homeless nature as well as change the way we view and interact with those in different contexts.
With a new EP being released in a few short weeks use this link to listen to JAYO’s music on any media platform. Be sure to subscribe to his YouTube page, and follow him on all social media platforms to be the first to hear his upcoming project.