Jay Quayson: The New Kid On The Block

EDDIE BLAY 07 11 2015
Jay just released his new single, ‘Paradise’, which is enjoying massive airplay on radio. His unique take on Afrobeats has got him pegged as the latest artiste to hit the big time. It’s always refreshing to have an artiste come with a different style that is still commercial and appeals to the masses. His image as a suave, cool and collected artiste will definitely see him become a hit among the ladies, and his prolific songwriting will make him the artiste to look out for in 2016.

How did you begin your career as a recording artiste?

Jay: It all started in Takoradi, took it serious after senior high school even before I moved to Accra some years ago. It’s one of those things that you know you were born to do, and would not be able to do anything else. I feel the music running through my veins. When you feel that love and passion for music, you just need to follow your heart.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced over the years?

Jay: Being an underground artiste wasn’t easy. Getting a good sound engineer to record with, and getting shows to play or being paid after performing at a show was my headache. People just don’t respect or see the value of an upcoming artiste. They always wait for you to hit the big time before they give you your due. Even if your music is really good or your stage performance is impeccable, if you are not a big, already established name, you will not get your due recognition. But it’s all good. That just forces you to work harder and break into the mainstream.

How would you describe your type of music?
Jay: I will say I do African music and it can be enjoyed worldwide. It can be called Afrobeatz or Afropop. I try to mix, blend and fuse as much as I can. It’s important for artistes to be as versatile as they can and broaden their repertoire.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Jay: It’s always hard to pinpoint one specific thing. I get inspiration from everything. I’m inspired by nature. It makes me feel free to express myself.  I also get it from movies, especially quirky ones, and even hearing people say a word sometimes will give me an idea for a song or song title. I’m always looking at magazines for a word to pop out at me or a phrase or something to inspire a song. Finally, I get inspired by the works of the legends like Fela and Kojo Antwi.

What do you hope to achieve through your career? Money? Fame?

Jay: Even though music is a passion, no matter how passionate you are about something, nobody cares about it simply because you do. All I seek to achieve throughout my career is to be a successful musician and it comes with the money and fame. That’s the total package. It’s almost every artiste’s dream.

What are you working on at the moment?
Jay: Currently, I have two singles I’m promoting, one was a collaboration with Levelle London titled ‘Di Koko’, which we already have a video out for, and my second single ‘Paradise’ which we are yet to shoot a video for. That’s going to happen sometime next month. I’m always in the studio recording though. I practically live there.

I read somewhere that you think songwriters don’t get their due recognition. Explain.

Jay: Yes, it was a statement I made during an interview I was granted. People enjoy meals forgetting the chef who helped to get it done, likewise enjoying hit tracks forgetting which artiste composed or wrote the lyrical content, aside the main artiste who performed or recorded it. The best acknowledgement one gets is a thank you. Not every artiste writes his own music.

What advice would you give upcoming artistes like yourself?

Jay: We should stay focused, be original and keep our heads up high and the Lord will make us big. Not forgetting the ‘PHD formula’. Perseverance, hard work and determination. Those are the main components to surviving, and moving forward in this industry.

What does the future hold for you?
Jay: If God permits, I will be big because Ghana is just a starting point, I am aiming at Africa and I will end up with the world. There’s no stopping me or telling how successful I will be. Even the sky is not the limit. The near future will see me perform a quite a number of shows, and begin an extensive tour. I’m really looking forward to that.

 A message to your fans?
Jay: All true fans that believe in real African talent shown worldwide should keep supporting not only my music, but also the Jay Quayson brand so that any move made will be good looking in your eyes. And I promise always to deliver and will never disappoint any fan that supports me.

Shouts to my manager Edmund Sackey, aka Gbevu of GMG (Gbevu Music Group). That’s my new family that is pushing me to the next level.

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