Jay Soul’s current project Stay With Me is ten tracks of emotive tolerance. On his most recent release, London R&B artist Jay Soul grapples with situations he cannot change and emotions he cannot shake. The album highlights universal sensitivities that we all have felt or can easily recall. Love, loss, pleasure pain, these are all feelings that Jay Soul is expressing on Stay With Me. Throughout the record we listen to a man empathize with his tumultuous past while singing and composing music in the style of soulful early-nineties (the years he came of age in). Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, Jodeci and Dru Hill are all cited as influences, as well as poppier, more contemporary artists in the mould of Beyoncé. In our time with Jay, we got to grasp a better feel of who he is, what his sound represents, and what he is up to in 2015.
How would you describe your unique sound to someone who has never heard you perform? How are you able to blend the genres of soul, dance, and R&B so fluently?
First and foremost I would describe it as soulful and from the heart. It’s also thoughtful, fun, and ambitious. I think the key for me when it comes to blending different genres is remaining true to yourself and going with the feeling that the song conveys.
What is it like living in London? What has been your experience with the music scene of London?
London is one of the best city’s in the world its full of different cultures, foods, music and people. Its the sort of place where no two days need to be the same and I take a lot of inspiration from that.
What experiences and events led to the writing and recording of your album “Stay With Me” (released this past October)? Could you walk us through each of the featured tracks?
“Stay With Me” is a beautiful ballad. It’s about that love that you just don’t want to end, but know deep down there’s only one outcome. It follows the mix of feelings and emotions that you go through in that situation. We have all been their right?
“Afraid” is a great track. It’s unplugged, it has a really cool jazzy feel and it explores the feelings of being hurt, and the fear of falling in love again. This is something I have felt in the past, so it’s very emotional for me and it’s great to be able to share that emotional journey through song.
Who are your biggest musical influences? Do the sounds, styles, and textures of these artists find their way into your original recordings?
I have so many influences, but some of my favorites are Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Brian Mcknight. However, there are so many more and I’m always discovering new music and new artists that inspire me. The great thing about music is it never stands still. There’s always exciting new music to be discovered, and that discovery always influences and feeds into my own creativity.
You’ve uploaded a number of videos to YouTube over the last three years; could you tell us about a few of your favorites? What went into the filming of these videos (4 of them are official music videos, correct?)? Did you work with one person or a number of people to bring this content to fruition?
I have been really fortunate to work with a number of really talented producers. Shout out to ‘Tai Cambell’ from Epik Music Videos and ‘Howard Jones’ from Prettybright. They have both been awesome with helping me translate my musical visions to video.
What is your favorite social media platform? Why?
What I love about social media is that it’s a great way for me to connect with my fans. I try to engage with people on as many platforms as I can. I would say my favorites in order are probably Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
I love that on Facebook you can share all sorts of content. It’s a very rich and in-depth media platform. I like Instagram because I love to take pictures and Twitter is great because it’s a great way of connecting with people in real time.
What activities do you enjoy outside of music?
Well music is a huge part of my life, but when I’m not singing or playing guitar and piano, I enjoy traveling, socializing, and partying. Also, and I’m scared to admit this, I’m a big geek so I love playing around with gadgets and computers.
What does 2015 hold in store for Jay Soul? Do you have any live performances scheduled for the new year yet?
I’m really excited about 2015. I have a new single coming out titled “Free”, and I will be preforming more and building on the successes of the last year.