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Exclusive Interview With Pop Rock Artist Jay Elle

2021-22 has been the year of the Jay…Jay Elle, that is!  In August, Jay released his hot new record, “Ride The Wave,” which includes two international iTunes hits, “Miss Mess” and “Tequila Kiss.”  He’s not sitting back to enjoy success…noooooo!  He’s got more planned for the rest of the year, and we found out what’s coming up for the man with 2 letters in his name… Jay Elle.

Hi Jay!  Thanks for sitting down with us for a few minutes.  With the release of your album, “Ride The Wave,” you’ve had quite an eventful late 2021-22.  What’s been the biggest thing that’s happened for you, so far?

Hello. Thank you for the opportunity to chat. I love how Honk Magazine brings in music, fashion and lifestyle under one banner. Great read.

The release of my new album “Ride The Wave” has been a blast! It started with the response from my friends and fans. They are always very supportive but they were particularly excited about this album and it’s been very humbling.

We also received a lot of excellent reviews. We’re in just about 40 magazines/blogs, including getting an album of the year nomination from Indie Shark. All of these reviews have been positive.

We are on over 100 radio stations across the U.S. That is terrestrial. At some point we made it to the top 100 of the College chart and on other various charts. I have not tallied the Internet stations but we still get added on these as well.

Also, the album was selected for the 2022 Grammy Nomination Ballot for the Best Pop Vocal Album category.

The biggest thing is hard to pinpoint. Every little bit of support means the world to me. I read every reviews a few times. I dissect them really. I enjoy the radio and blog interviews. It’s quite wonderful to have the opportunity to talk about the album. It’s been a great experience. Much of the credit goes to Michael Stover at MTS Management for letting the world know about the album. Michael does an amazing job.

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There’s a great song on your album called, “Tequila Kiss.”  We heard the song is about someone in particular.  Care to share?  How did you come to write the song?  Do you know if that person has heard it yet?

Yes. “Tequila Kiss” is getting a lot of great feedback and made it to number 19 on the Top40 Chart from nationalradiohits.com. “Tequila Kiss” is about the star of The Vampire Diaries TV Series, Nina Dobrev @nina. I spent a great deal of time binging on TV shows during the lock down. I loved the show and I thought Ms. Dobrev was really, really good, playing two characters to perfection. Ms. Dobrev has a lot of energy and is very emotional. Always very precise and totally engaging. Then I followed her on Instagram. She does things that I would never do, like swimming with sharks and jumping off airplanes. She travels a lot. She’s definitely a daredevil. So I found myself living vicariously through her posts. She supports great causes and loves animals. And I read that Tequila is her favorite drink. So, it inspired a song. A fun, tongue-in-cheek appreciation for Ms. Dobrev’s ability to entertain us. This fan/follower imagines getting to meet her… I don’t know if Ms. Dobrev has heard the song yet. We did ask her agents if she would be available to appear in the video. They said that “there is availability and we should discuss the fee”. Nothing since. That was in October. Who knows…

You’ve worked with some pretty incredible artists and producers.  If there was one industry person that you have learned the most from, from your time together, who would that be and why?

I am so grateful that I have been able to work with so many talented artists and music industry folks. I learned and continue to learn so much from each and every one of them. I wrote with Margaret Dorn, John Dubs, Warren Schatz, etc. I learned a tremendous amount from Bill Aucoin and other business people.

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My most recent and intense learning experience is the time I spent working with Caleb “kbc” Sherman who produced my last album “Ride The Wave.” Caleb is really brilliant. I had written 30 songs at the beginning of 2021 and he chose 12 of them and orchestrated and produced them marvelously. To this day I listen to the album and appreciate the amazing work Caleb did. I always seem to find something new in each of the songs. You have to listen to the details, the finesse, the cleverness of the orchestrations and the sounds Caleb selected. Everything on the track is there to support the song. It all stems from the lyrics and melody. Listen to the bass lines on every song. 12 different songs. 12 different approaches to the bass, not just in sounds but how it complements the melody and the grooves. Check out the bass line in “Tequila Kiss”. Phenomenal work. It’s really a great record. You would expect me to say that because it’s mine but Caleb did a phenomenal job. He is a brilliant producer.

We love the video for “Miss Mess!” Very cool effects.  What can you tell us about that production?

Thank you. So glad you love it. Actually, it’s another Caleb “kbc” Sherman gem. He directed it. It’s a product of the pandemic for sure. Adela Sutac is the lady dancing in the black dress. She is wonderful. She danced in front of a green screen in Romania. I had very little space to work with in my apartment in New York City. Getting a green sheet up was a trip. When I got that up I filmed myself. We wanted to contrast Adela being “in charge” as per the lyrics with me not moving much at all. Small New York City apartments can actually turn out to be great if you don’t have to move. And Caleb put all of this together in Nashville. Again, it really supports the spirit of the songs and the lyrics. It’s a lot of fun. Not only can Adela dance superbly but she’s also gorgeous.

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If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, which one would it be, and why?

Wow! Great question. That is a tough question. Of course, I could cheat and make myself a CD, compiling my favorite songs but that would mean that I would press a box set really. It would take dozens of CDs to compile my favorite songs.

I would pick Eric Clapton’s “Ocean Boulevard”. I am a guitar player. My songs are guitar driven. “Ocean Boulevard” has amazing songs throughout in various styles with great sounding guitars both electric and acoustic. And I love the feel of it overall.

What’s YOUR personal favorite track from your latest album, and why?

They are all quite wonderful for many reasons. I enjoy them all. My favorite is “Angeling”. I think it really captures what I’m about: great melody, fun singing, witty lyrics and really cool fingerpicking guitar. And Caleb did a magnificent job building it up from beginning till end. The song is about my puppies. They all passed away unfortunately. But pets are little angels.

What’s next for Jay Elle?  Any more singles/videos from the current album?  Any plans for a new album?

All of the above and some… I’d love to do more videos of course. We’ll see how that plays out. Who knows, Ms. Dobrev might send us some clips of her from some picturesque faraway place on the other side of the planet… I still have my green sheet in a drawer so I’ll pull it out for the occasion. I might just sit there with a bottle of Tequila. We’ll let Caleb do the rest.

I am writing of course. But I could not say when a new album might be ready. We are still promoting “Ride The Wave.”

Congrats on all of your success, Jay.  We can’t wait to see what’s around the corner!

Thank you very much. Thanks for the opportunity.

 

Find out more on Jay Elle at www.jayellesongs.com

Artist Spotlight

Exclusive Interview With Dante Williamson

Today we had an exclusive chance to interview Dante Williamson.

Who is Dante Williamson? Sounds unfamiliar? How does he intend to make an impact with music? Read more to find out about the rare and talented musician.

QUESTIONS: 

What would you do differently if you were starting in your industry now?

I would strategize better and seek more insight from artists I know currently in the industry. Learning from other’s stories and miscalculations might’ve helped me from falling into the same traps.

What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?

–   Do what makes you happy and sounds good!

–   Build your fanbase.

–  Think big picture and keep the main thing, the main thing.

Which people or books have had the most influence on your growth and why?

My friends WHOISJORDAN, Beau Collins, Canon and my dad have influenced me tremendously. They keep it real and never beat around the bush. They’re all very knowledgeable in their own respect, providing an array of perspectives and insightful alternatives.

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What has been your biggest success story and why do you think it was a success?

My biggest success story is my highest streamed song, “Wanna Be With U”. I had no expectations for the song’s success and didn’t think it would do the numbers it’s done. I am very proud of that record!


What would you say is the #1 key to success in your music career?

Don’t go the easy route and be yourself! Real fans and friends can hear the authenticity in your art when you’re honest.

Talk about the biggest failure you’ve had. What did you learn from it?

The biggest failure I’ve ever had is not taking more risks early on because I cared too much on people’s opinions. I was a little too reserved, listening to what others said I should do. I learned to stop putting value into other people’s opinions of me and the moves I make because it’s not their career— it’s mine.

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What keeps you going when things get tough in the music industry?

God, my wife Erin, and my family. They speak truth to me when I need it most and remind me to push through.

What made you pursue being an artist full-time?

My love for creativity and competition. I love making new sounds and experimenting when I’m in the studio. It’s almost like a high. Music is such a beautiful language, and I enjoy venturing through its endless maze.

Would you sign to a label?

If it was the right deal and situation, possibly. It must make sense! Some artists I know have taken that route and are still paying the consequences. The industry can be skeptical. Keep your eyes open!

What projects are you working on for the rest of 2022?

I’m working on my EP “sadhappy!” plan on releasing it early 2023. It will be feature heavy with lots of different sounding tunes and melodies.

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How can our readers follow you online?

My website— dantewilliamson.com

Instagram— danteswelly

Twitter— danteswelly

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Artist Spotlight

Exclusive Interview With Rising Sensation Jarred Brown

Jarred Brown

Hello Jarred Brown, Thanks for Coming To Honk Magazine To Talk About Your Music Career.

Let’s start off by introducing yourself, you know the basics like name, age, where you’re from. As much or little as you’re comfortable sharing.

I’m Jarred Brown AKA Horizon Wake an RnB/Pop artist currently based out of London, Ontario. I found my introduction into music as a child in Toronto, Canada where I taught myself to play guitar and started singing for my rock band when nobody else wanted to do it. 

Talk me through your creative process.

My creative process is in large part a collaborative effort with my long time friend and producer Jesgee Beats. Typically I’ll start off with an idea that’s usually inspired by some kind of life event, a memory, or sometimes even a dream. 

I’ll take that and it usually comes along with a melody and basic lyrics that most of the time end up becoming the foundation for the hook section. Lately I’ve been recording vocals, guitar, bass, or a combination of the three and sending/taking them over to Jesgee where we work together to transform it into what you hear in my releases. The pandemic played a big role in shaping our current process and actually strengthened our ability to work together. We began working online during quarantine and at some points I was even recording demos from my car before I was able to get my home studio up and running. We still continue to start most of our work through discord.

How do you solve productivity/scheduling problems and reduce overwhelming situations?

Productivity and scheduling typically isn’t a huge issue for me at this stage but I do find that when situations begin to get a little overwhelming or there is a lack of productivity being direct is a huge help. This industry is collaborative by nature. I’m responsible for the music while someone else takes care of videos or mixing, or whatever else needs to be done to take the music where it needs to go. I learned over time that being direct, keeping open communication, and taking charge of the scheduling or whatever other issue is the key. Set deadlines and communicate them firmly.

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What’s the best advice you ever received concerning music?

I’ve received a lot of good advice over the years and I think the best advice given to me regarding music creation is to not get comfortable and don’t let genre box you in. I find that a lot of new artists will approach writing/producing new music in a way that is almost like a cookie cutter style where they take something that someone else in the genre has done well and replicate it over and over. 

Sometimes artists feel like they can’t write a certain lyric or use a certain instrument or melody because it doesn’t sound RnB or Hip Hop. This kind of thinking crushes creativity. Artists should keep experimenting and evolving. Otherwise how do we grow and improve?

What is still your biggest challenge?

For me I’d say my biggest challenge is knowing when a song is complete. I can sometimes be a bit of a perfectionist or judge myself a bit too harshly before releasing a project. It’s really easy to overthink or keep making tweaks to your songs past the point where you should. Knowing when to take time away really helps and getting a second opinion from people you trust to give honest feedback goes a long way.

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

Don’t rely on the wrong people. If I could go back to the day I started I’d push myself to record everything as often as possible and to make connections with people that are just as passionate as I am. Starting out I formed a lot of relationships with people who just weren’t in music for the long-term. So many people have so much potential but lose the drive to keep pushing. I don’t think I can ever stop making music. For some of us it is a part of who we are. Find those people and push forward together or learn how to do as much as you can for yourself so you aren’t slowed down by others.

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If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

There are so many amazing artists that I would love to perform with or open up for. To be honest I’m a huge fan of Post Malone. I’m incorporating more guitar in my music and performances. I think we could rock out together.  

What are you focusing your time on now?

Right now I’m focussing my time on developing my new sound and releasing an EP. I’ve had a shift where I’m blending my RnB sound with more pop and rock elements to better suit my musical background. I plan on having the EP for release in November and it’ll be much more pop influenced than what I’ve released previously.

I’ve got a new song about a bad relationship called “Young Girl Games” featuring Coobie and Golden G dropping on September 30th.

How do you currently feel about the state of Hip-hop in general?

I think hip-hop is in a really cool spot. Over the past few years it’s really grown and become integrated deeply into the mainstream. Most modern pop music has more than a few hip-hop elements where there never would have been before. 

Growing up I remember my mom throwing out my Eminem CDs and not understanding rap music as art. Now she listens to a lot of the same things that I do. I think now more than ever we have the ability to experiment with our production in the hip-hop space. We’re blurring the lines between genres. I think its awesome.

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What keeps you going when things get tough in the music industry?

When things get tough in the industry there are 2 things that usually keep me going. I love when other artists or fans reach out on social media to let me know how much they vibe with my work. It helps to keep me pushing on and often times can even shift my mood to increase in productivity. I also really enjoy having conversations with them and hearing the music they make or connecting with them in general. 

So I really encourage my fans to feel comfortable sending DMs on instagram or TikTok so we can connect. I can’t always respond to everyone right away but I try to do as much as I can. Secondly, I take a break from whatever is stressing me out for a while. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the responsibilities and forget why you make music in the first place. I won’t ever stop creating because it’s an outlet for me. When the stresses become too much I take a step back and just create for the love of creating. It’s important to take breaks and give yourself some breathing room to keep it fun.

How can our readers follow you online?

Follow me on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube @HorizonWake. My music is available on all major platforms so head over to wherever you get your music from and search Horizon Wake.

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