MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
- Jay Elle: Thank you for the opportunity. MuzicNotez is such a great site. Music was always around as I was growing up. My parents had the radio on almost all the time, especially in the morning when everyone was getting ready to go to work and school. The more music I listened to, the more I discovered that I loved great songs. The songs that give you chills down your spine or goosebumps. I loved the energy I got from listening to great songs, the uplifting feeling of hope that came through for me. I gradually got more and more involved with music activities. Eventually, I decided to learn how to write songs to pass on that energy to others through my singing, playing and songwriting.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
- Jay Elle: There are so many. I am really into Niall Horan’s work. I think Dua Lipa is great. Keith Urban, Maroon 5, Billy Idol, Christina Aguilera, Pink. The list goes on and on really. I started playing guitar as a teenager and listened to every guitar player from Andres Segovia to Eric Clapton to Eddie Van Halen, etc. Then I got interested in the songs or compositions they created or performed and eventually discovered great singers through that process. That lead me to appreciate the work of Billy Joel, Freddy Mercury, Elvis Presley, Sting, etc.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
- Jay Elle: Making people feel great when listening to one of my songs. If I can write a song that is going to give you great energy and give you chills or goosebumps then I have succeeded. If it goes further and you start dancing and possibly sing along then even better. I am hopeful about the future and I usually express positive hopeful messages in my lyrics.
MuzicNotez: What’s the latest release of yours? Tell us about it.
- Jay Elle: The pandemic shaped a lot of how my new album “Ride the Wave” came to be and the songs that I wrote for it. I had planned to release an acoustic album, just my voice and my guitar. I wrote 30 new songs and recorded them in that format. I thought I could get a good album out of the 30. I pushed myself and explored various styles as I wanted the listening experience to be as interesting as possible. One voice and one guitar for 10 songs in a row requires interesting lyrics and melodies and guitar parts, in my mind anyway.
During the lock down I spent time in front of the TV and on social networks. The song “Tequila Kiss” on the album is about Nina Dobrev (@nina), the star of The Vampire Diaries. The song “Ride the Wave” was inspired by pictures taken by my friend Jett Harris (@jettt1209) who posts great pictures of surfers riding waves. I thought that dealing with the pandemic was pretty much like riding a wave, a tsunami in this case. There is nothing you can do other than ride a wave as best as you can. You can’t control the wave. Just ride and hope for the best and in the case of surfers have a great time.
TikTok is a great inspiration. You can thumb through lots of videos. It inspired “Miss Mess” the first single we released. Thanks to Facebook I reconnected with Caleb “kbc” Sherman who produced the album. It had been a while since we talked and worked together. I told him about my plan and he asked to listen to the 30 songs. He picked 14 and we ended up with 12 songs for the album. Caleb has amazing ears and brings together production techniques and musicality brilliantly. He feels the music so deeply and so well. That’s why I think everyone should listen to the album. It feels great. Caleb put together a mix of fast songs and slower ones. It makes for a great album. All of the songs are full of energy. And I get chills down my spine listening to them. It’s great work. The album was selected for the 2022 Grammy® Nomination Ballot for the Best Pop Vocal Album category. “Tequila Kiss” reached number 19 on the TOP 40 National Radio Hits.