Rising Artist Interview: Jay Bird

1. Give us a little background on who you are & where you're from.

Hey I’m Jason, AKA Jay Bird. I’m originally from Massachusetts but live in California now.

2. When did you start making music and was there anything that influenced you in to get started?

I’ve been a musician basically my whole life. My Dad was a musician and that seriously influenced me to get into music myself. It started with singing in the choir then eventually turned into piano, drum, and guitar lessons. I started writing a lot of indie/alternative rock music in college and eventually converted to electronic music and EDM.

3. How have your influences changed from your start to your current position in the industry?

The start of my songwriting journey was heavily influenced by folk, indie, and alternative rock artists like Neil Young, Fleet Foxes, MGMT, Radiohead, and Grizzly Bear. I had a conversion experience after attending a Bassnectar Festival a few years back and produced my first electronic track the next day. I explored lots of stuff in the EDM World like Dub Step, Techno, Deep House, and Future Bass. My biggest influences now fall into what I call Chill EDM, Indie Electronic and still some Future Bass. Artists that I really look up to are Kasbo, Odesza, Jai Wolf, Seven Lions, Droelloe. and Porter Robinson. I feel like their songwriting and melodic composition makes them stand out in comparison to the more sound-design focused producers.

4. On to the release, was there any inspiration that sparked the song? Can you give us a little insight on your creative process? How you met Danni Carra, and what working together was like?

The song was heavily inspired by listening to artists like Jai Wolf and Kasbo. The goal is to include my indie/alternative influences into my music so, to capture that emotion, I started this song by writing a chord progression on the guitar. While working on this track, I went Electric Zoo in New York City where I saw Hippie Sabotage absolutely kill their performance with a ton of live electric guitar. As soon as I got back home, I started to experiment with adding electric guitar into the song.

The story of the song is also important to me since it represents an experience of self-exploration and introspection. These types of experiences have been really important to me throughout my life to help solidify my identity and keep me steady on the journey towards becoming the best version of myself.

Regarding how I met Danni, she recently collaborated with a friend of mine, MRVLZ, and he and I just put out a track together in November. After I heard her sing on the MRVLZ track, I hit her up on SoundCloud and it was pretty smooth from there. We’re actually working on another track together right now as well.

5. Do you have any big plans to follow up your release of The Reason? Any shows/releases you'd like to talk about? Anything planned for 2019?

Yes, lots of big plans! 2019 will without a doubt be my break out year. I already have half a dozen songs lined up so will continue to steadily release music once a month. I’ve been working with a mentor for the last few months and have seen a very quick improvement with what I’m doing both quality-wise and stylistically. My technical mixing and production skills are always developing but what I’m most excited about is feeling like a can write coherent and memorable songs that express what I think and feel in a compelling way.  

Get to know Jason a bit more below…

1. If you could spend a day with any musician dead or alive who would it be and why?

Porter Robinson because his vision, authenticity, and passion for his music is so contagious.

2. What would be your dream festival/show to play?

My dream festival is EDC because my goal is to make my indie electronic style relevant in the big stage EDM world.  

3. Tell us about the craziest experience you've had since starting your music career.

I recently released a song that was specifically influenced by an artist, 4AM, whose production I had been studying for a little while. Low and behold, I logged into my SoundCloud one day to see that they had liked and reposted the track without me ever reaching out to them about it.

4. What are some of your goals for 2019, were you able to accomplish most of your goals for 2018?

For 2019, my goal is to grow my brand through getting support from official Spotify playlists and certain YouTube channels. This  will help expose my music to new markets I haven’t reached yet as well as give my brand credibility.

Another big goal of mine is to inspire other creative people to pursue their passions and become the best version of themselves. I plan on continuing to express this through reflections and content that I regularly post on my social media.

5. If you could collaborate with any producer/singer who would it be and what style song would you make?

I would collaborate with Chelsea Cutlet because her voice is perfect for my style of music.

6. If you could go back and give yourself some advice what would it be?

I would tell my younger self the importance of discipline and resilience.

7. What's something that helps you get over creative block if you ever experience it? (Lucky if you haven't)

I actually never experience creative block in the traditional sense of sitting down and not being able to write anything. Whenever I sit down at my computer, I always have ideas and inspiration to keep working. The problem I experience though is managing distractions in my life that keep me from being able to sit down. The best way for me to handle this is by being disciplined and sticking to a routine. Things like exercise, yoga, meditation, proper sleep, reading, and journaling all help to keep me focused so I can keep up the output of one new song a month.

Be sure to follow Jay Bird on instagram @jayb1rdmusic to stay up to date with what he’s got going on!