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Jay Dee Releases Her New Song "Smiling Face"

Hailing from Richmond Hill, Canada, Jay Dee has established her band as a high-voltage and spell-binding group. She has played at festivals such as Wintersong, Markham Village, Markham Ribfest, and has also graced some of Toronto’s premium venues such as the Hideout, C’est What, to name a few. She has recently released her debut EP, “Smiling Face”, featuring four original songs that transcend one particular genre. Jay Dee is a live act that is sure to impress with her versatility, creativity, and boundless energy.

BuzzMusic is excited to share Jay Dee’s new single, “Smiling Face”, the title-track on her recently released EP. This energetic single is an example of Jay Dee’s genre-bending versatility. Beginning with a peppy ukulele chord progression, this is punctuated with slide guitar, an upbeat drum beat, and of course Jay Dee’s polished and uplifting vocals. At once there are hints of folk, rock, pop, and even bluegrass, with Jay Dee’s vocals almost reaching a yodeling quality at some points. This danceable delight of a tune is sure to impress with its unique charm simply radiating from each chord.

Listen to Jay Dee's latest new song and EP "Smiling Face" here.

Hey Jay Dee! Great to chat with you! Could you describe your background and how you became involved with songwriting and music?

Thanks you too! I started singing at the age of 6 and from there was trained in Classical singing and my major in university was Classical voice and jazz trumpet. However, I always felt that as much as I enjoyed singing classically, it didn't hit me deep in my soul. I started singing in original rock bands as I have always loved rock music and have had a variety of original rock bands. I was even in a rock/pop cover band. But I didn't feel completely satisfied. I was always writing (I was really into poetry) and wrote all the lyrics in the original rock band I was in but I realized rock wasn't the only genre that my voice wanted to explore.  I am just a fan of music in general and am constantly diving into different genres and my voice reflects that. I am not necessarily trying to sound like a particular artist or fit into a particular genre, it's just what comes out when I write a song. I started writing even more when I started my first year of teaching elementary music (8 years ago) and have not stopped since then. 4 years ago I started seriously spending my time going to music open mics in which I met a ton of talented musicians that eventually became part of my band.

Being from Richmond Hill in Canada, how would you describe the music scene in the Greater Toronto Area?

I feel the music scene in the GTA is growing tremendously which makes me incredibly happy and privileged.  The open mics in Richmond Hill, Markham, and Stouffville are what encouraged me to keep writing and focus more on getting my music out there. Hosts like Kevin Ker, Derek Christie and Shane Joseph really motivated me to keep writing and performing. I have performed at a variety of festivals like Songs Under the Stars in Richmond Hill, Markham Village Music Fest, Markham Rib Fest, Taste of Stouffville, Wintersong in Markham, and was part of the Guinness World Record of the world's longest concert located in Stouffville coordinated by Epidemic Music. If it wasn't for these festivals and open mics I would not have met the incredible musicians that perform with me off and on the record such as: Todd Larter, Mark Stratton, John Shisko, Peter Han, Steve Frise, Michael Guinane, Michelle Rubinov, Tyler Reznick, and more. 

Your music uses sounds and aspects from several genres. How did you develop this mixture or was it something that always came naturally to you?

Yeah as previously stated it's been something that has come naturally to me and has surprised me along the way. Growing up watching my mom sing country music I thought, "Ugh country, that will never happen". Not that I didn't enjoy my mom's singing; she is one of my biggest inspirations, but country music just wasn't my thing. Then one day 15 years later I picked up my guitar feeling emotional and out came a song that sounded like country. And that is one of the many genres that have made it's way to my voice. I like to think I blend a variety of genres and this is just what happens when I write. "Smiling Face" for example is more of a quirky folk song and that's just what came out when I started writing the lyrics. I have a lot of new songs that are not on Spotify yet but I perform continually in live performances that blend folk, rock, and even jazz. I have a lot of different sides to me as a person and I think it's important that my music reflects that. I just let my songwriting tell me what genre it wants to go to. 

Would you say that there is a particular meaning or message behind your new single “Smiling Face”?

I was first inspired to write "Smiling Face" when I was on the subway in Toronto 8 years ago and just saw how a lot of people looked incredibly unhappy. I then felt inspired and wrote this song in my office during my first year of teaching, which just took me five minutes to write. The lyrics are not saying that I expect everyone to smile, because everyone has the right to feel upset or just simply feel like not smiling in that particular moment. It's more about the fact that I feel we need to try and not dwell on the little things in life that we let take over all the positive. There is always hope in times that we feel are hopeless. There is always someone out there that loves us. There is always a bright side when everything feels dark. Life is a gift and precious, and we need to embrace all the positive moments that come our way because they are always there; even if we need to look a little closer.  My simple song's secret mission (well not so secret now) is to put a smile on someone's face; especially during the chorus. I always get asked during my, I guess, almost yodeling part in the chorus if I did this on purpose. Honestly, it just happened without any outside influences; it somehow just came out of me. And for some reason I am unable to reproduce it in any other song. I feel if I made someone happy during the chorus, even if they are laughing in confusion, I have for that moment sparked happiness and that's why I wrote this song. 

Congratulations on your recent EP release! Is there anything in particular you have planned for the future?

Thank you! I will be working to build my following on Spotify and other platforms. I will be playing more and more shows. My upcoming shows will be for a fundraising event for WWF at King Henry's in Richmond Hill on March 23 as well as a show on April 4 at The Hideout in Toronto at 8:30 pm. And there will be plenty more after that and will be continuing to look for more and more shows/festivals to play.

I will also be working on creating a lyric video for "Smiling Face". In the summer I plan on releasing a single called "End of Time", a very personal song about my parents. I plan on making a music video for this song with my parents featured in it as well! I also plan on trying to get my songs on radio and just to continue writing and performing. I look forward to what's to come next.


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