After having developed an impressive resume over the past 10 years, JAYLIEN is ready for his turn.
From gaining recognition for his work after working with Akon to building a clientele featuring the likes of Chris Brown, Cody Simpson, Cheryl Cole, T-Pain, LL Cool J, Quincy Jones, will.i.am and T.I., to name a few, this multi-talented musician has a foundation built on experience, but is fueled by a passion for creating music of polish, quality and emotion.
His new EP, Summer’s Over is available today (July 15) and throughout the seven tracks, he captures what could be a highlight reel of the summer months, curating the season’s finest moments we all seem to wait all year for, while also boldly declaring it over by the time listeners arrive at the closing title track.
The production on the project was handled by the artist himself, with JAYLIEN hand-selecting six other producers to lend their talents. Being an artist deeply involved from the boards to the pics alike, JAYLIEN is strengthened by those he brought in to collaborate on the project, and takes full control handling all of the vocals, offering an important authenticity behind what he is building.
The project’s first track, “Hotel Costes,” reflects his first time in Paris, providing the listener with a luxurious vibe that balances its downtempo and pop moments just right. Throughout the project, a clear theme that presents itself is summer (i.e. temporary) romance, how to navigate wisely through the temptations of summer while also living in the moment with your heart on your sleeve. These fledging romances and partying isn’t met without conflict, providing an all too relatable fact that eventually summer ends and what’s left behind is a beautiful mirage of what was and what could have been.
In addition to perfectly pairing his production choices with his vocals, JAYLIEN uses vivid, storytelling lyrics to provide a unique depth and complexity to songs that also double as club anthems. Overall, Summer’s Over marks a welcome introduction to JAYLIEN’s solo work we already can’t get enough of.
How long have you been doing what you do? How did you get started?
Well, there are many answers to this question but I started producing music around 8-9 years old. My uncle bought me Fruity Loops the full version when I was like 14, I made beats all through high school for local acts. I moved to NYC a month after high school graduation to start this journey as a career. So you can say I’ve been doing music a long time but professionally it’s been 10 years.
The music started from having parents who both produce, write songs, record and sang at various functions around the Midwest. Growing up with musical parents definitely shaped my musical roots. Gospel/Christian music is my core. I started playing the clarinet in fourth grade. Then high school switched to saxophone and marching band all four years. After high school, I attacked my music production career head on.
Is there an early memory you’d like to share about getting into your craft, such as when you realized this was more than just a hobby or a passion?
As a kid growing up in St. Louis, all I did was want to play basketball. I wanted to go to UNC for college, then go pro. But it’s hard to play ball early in the morning, or at night when people are sleeping so I needed a hobby inside the house. First it was video games, but I have a huge family so sometimes we had to take turns, whereas music was always the thing I could do 24/7. I was the only one in my family that did music. As I became a teenager and got better at it, I became obsessed. It became more than a hobby once I was a junior in high school and I realized I probably wasn’t going to the NBA.
How do you describe your sound / what you do to people you haven’t heard before?The JAYLIEN sound is fresh, it’s soulful, it’s advanced. It’s a combination of everything that influences me, some would say hybrid. I take elements from things I love, hard drums, 808, church chords, dance synths, tempo changes, etc. My sound is a rollercoaster ride for your ears.
Who are your influences? What is some advice that has stuck with you?
My influences are Gospel greats like John P. Kee, Israel Houghton, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Commissioned, to popular music greats like Quincy Jones, Pharrell, Timbaland, Max Martin, Kanye West, The Dream, Rodney Jerkins, Scott Storch, to the indie geniuses James Blake, Bon Iver, Francis Farewell Starlite, Sampha.
Advice that has really stuck with me, and I have to really thank him if we ever meet, is a tweet that Noah “40” Shebib tweeted back on November 26th 2011, “If you build it, they will come.” That has always rung in my spirit, especially because I remember Drake from MySpace. I feel like I watched the whole OVO come-up happen. They really built something.
What do you hope people take away from listening to your music?
I just want people to know that I’m a true artist. I’m not a pop star or a rapper, or a singer. I’m an artist who creates music and my style is very driven by what I feel. The emotion you feel at one of my live shows. After you listen to my songs or see me live, I want you to leave saying…I felt all the emotions, all the feels & I really like what he stands for.
Tell us a little bit about what concepts or themes that reoccur in your new project?Summer’s Over EP is a dope introduction piece. When I got with my team, they brought to my attention that a lot of my music had a theme. And in this case, a message to the women in my life or who have been apart of it at some point. I’m a lover, I’m a romantic or hopeless romantic, I study women and sometimes I care too much. Most of my songs are about girls for sure and the wide range of their emotions or their effects on me.
What was your creative process like for this project? How did these songs make the cut?
This project honestly wasn’t planned. Last year, I started releasing music, just as another creative outlet for myself. We started with “Hotel Costes” song and video that my partner Stephen Garnett & Blessandsee directed. Then I released the song “Summer’s Over” & after the great responses from the people that heard it, it kinda went on from there. I make songs for other artists for a living so when it came time to do a project for myself, it was ON.
The production is very important to me, no matter if I made the track entirely or I had a beat idea from someone else and added to their foundation. I wanted everything to sound a certain way. I recorded songs at home, I recorded songs inside a car, anywhere I could record when I didn’t have a studio. A lot of songs didn’t make the cut, because we wanted this to be just the introduction to open doors for the following projects.
What are you hoping to accomplish next in your career?
Next in my career, I just want the Lord to bless me with progression. Whatever that means to him, I want to touch people and put good into the marketplace. I want to influence and let people from my hometown know that we got another leader from the city. I have a movement called BLESSANDSEE that you will see a lot of as my career progresses. I want BLESSANDSEE to be a household name. Whether it’s in the music space, fashion, technology, film, Christianity, etc…just remember, BLESSANDSEE.