Thanks for sitting down with us. Tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Jay and I love writing music as a self theraputic way to help me deal with things I’m facing in life. I started writing music for myself because it helped me cope with my depression but gained followers over the years because they can relate to the pain behind my music. I hope I can touch or relate to one of the listeners on this show.
One thing that I like to know about musicians is… When did you have that defining moment in life that you knew that music is what you wanted as your life?
I started writing poetry as a kid. I wasn’t interested in transitioning from poetry to music until I saw one of my middle school teachers performing and rapping for us. It was at that moment that I decided I wanted to do music.
What motivates you, not just in music but, your daily life as well?
My kids are my main motivation. As I mentioned earlier I make music as a self therapeutic way to deal with my mental health. It helps me release alot of things I wouldve otherwise kept bottled up. Music helps me release that therefore I can be a better person and father.
When you start a new song… Where do you draw inspiration from? What does your creative process look like?
All of my songs are motivated by what I’m going through at the time I write and record them. There’s usually not process behind my music I just start writing to release once I find a good instrumental that matches the theme of the song I’m writing.
Keeping in mind that everyone obviously wants to be themselves… If you could swap yourself with another musician, who (alive or dead) would it be?
Kanye West, haha. That’s my idol and I would love to have all his insight on how he makes music from start to finish.
Have you ever performed live? If so, do you prefer performing live or studio life?
I’ve performed live a total of 3 times. I’m more of a private person so I like being behind the scenes as much as possible. I prefer the studio life over performing.
Personally, I think that there is too much social media out there to keep up with. I understand why it’s necessary but, too much in my opinion. What are your feelings on social media and trying to circumnavigate through all of it?
I think social media is a great tool to promote as an indipendant artist. The problem with it is that it’s always evolving and if you’re not keeping up with where the audience is, it can quickly turn to an outdated tool. I’ve seen the platform to reach the most audience go from MySpace, to Twitter, to Facebook, and now to Tik Tok.
How do you find that you deal with the inevitable writers block that comes with music production?
When I deal with writers block I usually have to take a break and come revisit the song again multiple times or go back and re write until I get the flow going again. Sometimes it doesn’t work and I finish writing songs months after I started them.
Do you mix and master yourself or do you work with an engineer / producer?
I bounce back in between an actual studio here in Omaha, but I also do some of. My own mixing and producing. It really came in handy during the covid restrictions being able to do things myself.
Do you prefer to be underground or is the mainstream something that you strive for?
I prefer to be underground. Mainstream artist are under to much pressure and are usually forced to release music that isn’t them they lose all creative control.
Who, Musically, are some of your bigger influences?
I grew up listening to NWA and Eazy E was my favorite from the group. Eminem, Dr Dre, and Kanye West are also some of my biggest influences.
How long have you been making music and, what do you like and dislike about your specific genre?
I started making music in 2005 but didn’t start taking it serious until late 2007. By 2014 I had found my style and had a good normal of followers and artist I was working with in my city.
Do you have a specific song that, when you hear it, just inspires you every time?
Kanye West’s Runaway, it reminds me of the performance he did when he debuted the song. The whole crowd was booing him because they were still mad about the Taylor Swift incident, and by the end of the performance they were all cheering again. It motivates me because it gives a strong message to keep doing what you do even in a room full of haters.
You’re bound to run into some haters these days, the world overall, sometimes feels to be negative. How do you keep your frame of mind and remain positive?
I try to ignore the haters, and I get alot. I remind myself of how far I’ve come and have to remind myself why I started, I never meant to make music for other people to listen to, I started because it helped my mental health. So if I run into a hater it doesn’t bother me because the music was never meant for them anyways.
I want to thank you for chatting with us. Is there anything you would like to add personally? Shout-outs?
I want to take anybody who takes the time to listen to music from independent artist. Also to make sure to follow me on the streaming platform of your choosing, I’m available in all of them. I want to give a shout out to my boy Sé Les who I just did a duo project with. Go check out Chivalry Is Dead, You Killed It.
Follow Jay by checking out his Link-Tree : https://linktr.ee/jaybalbuena