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.
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.
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.
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
MEET THE ARTIST MEL THE PROPHET
Hello Mel The Prophet, Thanks for coming to Honk Magazine to talk about your career.
Tell us a little more about when you first got into music?
Mel the Prophet- I first got into music in 2016. I used to freestyle with my friends and I was becoming really good and around that time I went to a NIpsey Hussle concert and an epiphany and was inspired to speak about my truth over music to inspire people how I was inspired by Nipsey
If you could describe your sound/style in one word, what would it be and why?
Mel the Prophet- If I could describe my music in one word it would be, [ UNIQUE ] because , my music comes from real experiences while being witty and aggressive with intention to motivate the listener to view themselves and the world in a different perspective.
What would you say to any aspiring recording artists who look up to your work?
Mel the Prophet- What I would say to aspiring artists who look up to my work is always be a learner and humble but always be honest with who you are before doing music, no matter what!
What quote or mantra do you live by?
Mel the Prophet- The mantra I live by is, if no one existed on the earth but you, how would you feel and what would you do and who would you be? ,,, now feel, do and be that with everyone existing on earth!
What is your hobby outside of music?
Mel the Prophet- My hobby outside of music is working out, reading and learning new ways to help others become more self aware.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Mel the Prophet- Where I see myself in 5 years is living on a ranch with multiple acres being a household name in music and the mental health industry providing value in creative ways to those who need help.
Do you have anything new or upcoming we can expect to see from you?
Mel the Prophet- What I have upcoming is a musical project, “SELF HELP” the self awareness guide and I’m also working on a RnB album
What is the inspiration behind your latest song?
Mel the Prophet- The inspiration behind my latest song, “Help 1 Self” (Mental Health Anthem) was experiencing the pandemic when a lot of people became afraid and aware of the fact their mental health was at stake.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Mel the Prophet- The 5 things I wish someone told me when I first started:
Expect no support from the people you want or expect support from. I was always a good person and a person who was “friends” with many people, not just around me or in my community but all around and thought I was going to get support from them because I was doing something good.
INVEST IN YOURSELF: Even though I did invest in myself, I was expecting others to invest in me because of the ideas I had and how beneficial they would be for others.
FOCUS ON THE BIGGER PICTURE: As much as I thought I was focusing on the bigger picture, I actually wasn’t. I was rushing the process to become what I knew I am and I would attempt to force myself and my vision onto people without trusting the process of just doing the work day in and day out.
KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO!: Being a good person can be tiring when you’re attempting to help anyone and everyone. Some people do not align with your mission or purpose. I would give my hand out to anyone who asked for it and then be in a situation where the person or people would just attempt to take advantage of my kindness.
FULFILL YOUR PURPOSE and not your ego
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Mel the Prophet- Some tips for my colleagues not to burn out:
1: SOLITUDE (spend time with yourself and your own thoughts).
2: Spend time in nature without technology . Nature is the essence of our being, being able to breathe in the air and listen to the natural habit of nature is a key element to self awareness to redirect your energy.
3: SLEEP WELL + REST.
4: Spend time with family and people you love doing things that are fun and not just work all the time .. finding the balance.
How can our readers follow you online?
Mel the Prophet- Readers can find me on ALL social media platforms, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube,Tik Tok under @meltheprophet or Mel the Prophet my direct website is www.help1self.com
Exclusive Interview: Rising Artist Rasta Man Jay
Hello Rasta Man Jay, Thanks for coming to Honk Magazine to talk about your career.
What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
Always stay focused and consistent on your goals,never give up no matter how hard life gets,also never let people bring you down.
What would you do differently if you were starting in your industry now?
I Would be dropping music constantly and making my fans happy with new music every week so my audience is always listening.
Which people or books have had the most influence on your growth and why?
When I was younger I always listened to great music from Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa,Young Jeezy and many other artists from the early 2000s.
What would you say is the #1 key to success in your music career?
I would say dropping different tracks constantly spitting lyrics from my struggle and pain in my life that is why I came a long way in the music industry.
Talk about the biggest failure you’ve had. What did you learn from it?
Getting criticized about my rap flow and will people accept it which eventually my fans started supporting me from out of town.
What has been your biggest success story and why do you think it was a success?
When I hit News Weekly, that was the best moment in my life. I started building my confidence again with my music.
What keeps you going when things get tough in the music industry?
Having 2 Daughters that count on me to win and I won’t let them down so they won’t have to struggle like I did.
What made you pursue being an artist full-time?
Wanting to prove people wrong that didn’t believe in me having a lot of non supporters and hate back in my hometown.
Would you sign to a label?
Yes but it has to be a label that lets me own my music and doesn’t control my music and all my royalties.
What projects are you working on for the rest of 2022?
I just dropped my album with Distro Kid called Don’t Try to Be No One You Not and also has multiple songs and projects dropping this year so stay tuned.
How can our readers follow you online?
Anyone can follow me from my instagram account @jholder051817 which already has an impressive following already from joining instagram within 1 year.
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