"To LA from Jhaye with Love!" Artist Spotlight (IXReverbNation Winner)
Who are you as a musician artist? What is your story?
I’m an independent singer/songwriter and music producer. I grew up knowing that music was what I wanted to do, and since the age of 6, I’ve been writing my own songs. I moved from Sweden (where I grew up) to LA in 2013, to study music and pursue a career as an artist.
A lot has happened since... I lost my brother to suicide in August 2017, and that dramatically changed my whole life, and everything I ever believed in, including my musical style. I stopped performing for a long time, and I stayed home most of the time, writing song after song... It was at the same time I started the music production program at UCLA, and for that I am forever thankful, because it has literally saved my life. I was finally able to produce and record myself at home.
It became a vital part of my everyday life, and has helped me stay sane and on track, and still does. In memory of my brother, I raised money for charity with my song “No More”, and that’s how bJhayenerous was born. bJhayenerous comes from my artist name Jhaye, and is just a name/concept for all of my charity-related projects, and was created to spread mental health awareness through music.
Who are your top musical influences?
I’m inspired daily by all different kinds of creative people. Some of my top musical influences from way back are Mariah Carey, Nirvana, Eminem, Whitney Houston, 50 cent, Destiny’s Child, just to mention a few. Today I listen a lot to Jhene Aiko, 6lack and Lana Del Rey.
What makes your music stand out in the music industry?
I think because I produce and write all music myself, I’ve created a unique sound. It’s hard to copy that. It’s my production, my words, my pronunciation, my tone etc. I also have the Swedish pop-culture to thank for catchy hooks. ;)
In your opinion, what is the future of the music industry, let’s say in 5 years?
Tough question... Unfortunately, I think that social media and visuals are taking over the music industry, which makes the actual music less important. On the positive side, social media can be a great marketing tool, and help independent musicians get heard by industry professionals, and reach fans they never would’ve reached otherwise.
What surprises you the most about the music industry? Frustrates you? Inspires you?
It frustrates me that people talk a lot more than they show, and the fact that I, as a woman, have to work so much harder than a man to be respected in the industry. My frustration goes hand in hand with what inspires me... so when someone tells me I can’t do something, I’m gonna do it.
What’s your Poison?
My depression tends to hold me back from doing things I normally would enjoy, such as meeting new people and networking. A lot of times I have to force myself.
How is your Music “your Religion”?
How is it not? :) I cannot live without music.
What are you creating with your artistry that changes the world?
Besides creating music, I have incorporated charity in my projects, to help people struggling with mental health related issues. I’ve been struggling with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and what not!, for a very, very long time, and I think it’s very important to talk about these things. After my brother died, helping other people was no longer just an option, but it became more like a force within me. I believe that my purpose in life and what keeps me going, is helping other people- through my music.
How has luck played a role in your career? Or not? What was your luckiest moment?
Honestly, I don’t think “luck” is a word that exists in my world haha, although I would say I’m lucky for being alive, and for growing up in a country like Sweden, and so on.:) However, when it comes to my career, everything I’ve ever accomplished is on me. I work harder than most people I know, and that’s what you have to do if you want to succeed in the music industry. No shortcuts.
What do you really think it takes to “make it” as an artist? List 3 important strategies.
NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!
What is your favorite life quote or philosophy that inspires you?
“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t” - Jerry Rice. That’s one of my favorite quotes, and it helps me a lot. When people tell me to chill or not to push myself so hard, I remember this quote and remind myself that there’s a reason why not all of us make it to the top.
5 years ago what would you have done differently in your music career?
Five and a half years ago I moved from Sweden to LA, and I had barely started my music career back then, if at all. And I personally don’t believe in regretting the past, because that’s part of your story. Without the past, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Some of my older music I would never release today, but I’ve learned from my lessons.
Where do you see your career going in five years? 10 years? Next year?
This year I’m getting a manager and a team, and next year I’ll be touring throughout the U.S. In five years, I don’t have to worry about paying the rent haha (hopefully sooner), and in ten years I’m able to work whenever I want, wherever I want.
Legacy: At the end of the day, how do you want people to remember you and your work of art?
I want people to remember me and my music as heartfelt, warm and relatable. I want my music to be played in people’s home, where they actually take the time and listen to what I’m saying. Don’t get me wrong, I love club music, but that’s just not who I am as a person or as a writer. I want people to feel what I felt when I was writing that song.