Award-winning musician, Jay Johnson, moved to London at a young age where he began to discover his passion for music. Initially, his curiosity influenced him to start learning the cello. Later, he ended up learning the guitar and eventually wrote his own music.
Jay Johnson originally planned on becoming a doctor, but when he began busking and performing for live crowds, the life of a full-time musician captivated him. He released his debut EP called, “The Dark Matters,” and has released 2 singles since then: “Forget It,” and “In The Past”. Jay’s new single, “In The Past,” is a chill rap song that includes features of the early hip hop music that inspired him from a young age. The introduction of the song is groovy and chill; it’s a gentle beat combined with plucks of a guitar.
Jay Johnson also introduces a speckle of new sounds in the backtrack, giving “In The Past” a piece of his musical personality. He shows off his artistic style with gravelly vocals echoing in the background. Lyrically, he sings about living in the past and the relatable unease of aging. The accompanying music creates serene and mysterious energy with its soft beat and gentle strumming. The general tone of “In The Past” is soulful and relaxing.
Listen to "In The Past" here.
Hello Jay Johnson! Wellcome to BuzzMusic, we’re excited to have you here. Can you tell us about your inspiration behind your single “In The Past?”
Hi, glad to be here. Thanks for having me. The main inspiration for In The Past was my journey from childhood to adolescence, particularly the events in my late teenage years. The gradual loss of innocence that comes with understanding the world a bit better was the catalyst for this song’s creation and I tried my best to encapsulate the emotions I felt as I went on this journey. Events that led up to writing this song include me leaving home at 17 and have to find various ways to survive in the city to which I owe a large part of my identity. These events certainly matured me in a way that’s recognizable to both friends and strangers, as I’m often told that I’m mature for my age.
Growing up you were inspired by many successful artists including Bob Dylan, Paolo Nutini, and Ben Howard. Can you tell us how these artists have influenced your music and your overall creative process?
Being influenced by such artists inspired me to constantly work on my craft and keep experimenting with music and sound. It also made me place musicianship at the core of my career, and to value it so highly that I'm constantly looking for ways to improve. As it’s also possible to track the growth of these artists over time through the music they released, I like to think of my music career as a showcase of my experimentation in sound. An experiment that is sure to last my entire life.
We know that you found your love for music at a young age. Can you describe how your music has evolved over time?
Over time my love for music has grown into something that I recognize as an intrinsic part of myself. No one and no other practice has been in my life as long as music has so for me it’s what gets me out of bed in the morning and what makes me excited for another day. I was 8 years old when I began playing the cello and though a lot has changed since then, my love for music is something that’s been consistent and has always grown throughout the years.
We enjoyed having you here with us on BuzzMusic! You have been releasing tons of music recently, can you tell us what we can expect from you in the future? Any upcoming shows or releases? I’ve got a couple more tunes I want to release then I’m looking to start working on my first album. I won’t give any release dates yet as my day to day life is fraught with multiple responsibilities such as the live music venue I manage, the radio show I produce and the venues I engineer at. But one thing’s for sure, my music is something I’ll always find time to make. For me creating music is something I do to maintain an adequate level of mental health, after which my music career is my highest priority. The next release is on the 28th of February and the next show is on the 3rd of March at The Finsbury.