Zeke Jaye, is an innovator in his own right. He is a man of many talents including singing, rapping and acting. Born and raised in Queens, Jaye, like many kids, needed an outlet to escape the harsh realities of life. Since jumping into the music scene, Zeke Jaye has released three mixtapes, his most recent one entitled G.O.L.D. (Greatly Looking Over Defeat). All of his songs are written from life experiences. We recently caught up with Zeke Jaye and asked him a few questions about his career and how it started:
BLACK: What was the starting moment of your career?
Zeke Jaye: The starting moment of my career was in 2012 when I released my first official mixtape entitled JAYE (Just A Young Entertainer) in July. I released other mixtapes since then like two or three but at that time I was trying to find myself as an artist. My music and ideas were all over the place but with my JAYE mixtape I sat down and tried to put down a body of work that defined and introduced me and my sound to the world. Summer of 2012, I found myself as an artist and in October I started performing at open mics every Wednesday. That was the beginning of my music career. Since I was 7, I was an actor and dancer so I was already familiar with the stage and performing. It was just a huge step to add singing and rapping.
BLACK: You’re from Queens, who are some of your favorite Queens rappers?
ZJ: I always gotta pay homage to the greats from Queens like LL cool J, Mobb Deep, 50 cent. Lyrically I respect them especially 50 cent. I respect him as an artist and as a man. He is fearless and he has the mentality that “I’m coming for your head and destroy you if you even THINK about coming for mine”. So that speaks to me a lot.
BLACK: All of your songs are based from life experiences, which song(s) is the most special to you and why?
ZJ: I have two songs actually that are my favorites. The first one is off my recent mixtape entitled GOLD (Greatly OverLooking Defeat) which is available on Datpiff now. The song is called “Must Be Dreaming” and this one is about being so in love with the girl of your dreams it almost feels like it is a dream and waking up to that special someone every day got you unsure if it’s a reality or a never-ending fairytale. The song is pop/r&b and is dedicated to someone I care about. We shot the video and I directed it. It’s currently on YouTube now and it’s very trippy and dreamy. I wrote that song with pure love for the girl it’s about. The other song ironically is along the same guidelines but this is like “must be dreaming’s” dark evil twin. This is called Nightmare. It’s on my next project I’m working on now but this song is basically saying that if the girl I love is not next to me when I wake up I must be still sleeping having a nightmare. This song is very mellow r&b with a hint of alternative rock. It has a Drake/Partynextdoor feel to it. I sing and rap on this track and it’s like a vent track of how I messed up and now I’m realizing and suffering and in a nightmare.
ZJ: I’m motivated by a lot to be honest. Music motivates me so much because there’s so many different sounds, styles and genres all to be explored. You can do whatever you want and create whatever you want, there’s no rules to music. Music is like its own world inside planet earth. I am also motivated by my haters and people who doubt me. I am constantly hated on by people and instead of letting that stop me or bring me down it rises me up and say well damn its time to prove them wrong and I end up on top all the time by hard work and the grace of God. I motivate myself also. Not to sound cocky but I am in a competition with myself. I always try to make music better than my last song I released or recorded. My future Zeke gotta stunt on and outshine my past Zeke. But it’s all a learning process. God sends me through situations and puts obstacles in my way to test my faith and gives me new material to create music about.
BLACK: How would you classify yourself as an artist? How is your music different from others?
ZJ: I don’t call myself an artist really. I see myself as an entertainer. I sing, dance, rap, write songs, and act. I apply all of that to my music. Most artists these days don’t put a lot of time and thought into their music as a whole. Every song I record or create is an original piece that I already see a music video in my head for. I record the song while the video is playing in my head. It allows me to be more descriptive vocally. Every video I do has a storyline or mini movie aspect to it so that I can showcase my acting side and keep the viewer’s interest visually. I dance in all my videos which allows me to incorporate my acrobatic skills. I also add a little comic relief in the videos. On my live performances my energy stays on 1000 and I love interacting with my audience to make it feel like it’s a vibe session not a boring performance. People don’t have to watch me or listen to me so when they are I make sure they get a full show that they will never forget. This entertainment business is very strategic you have to bring your “A” game or you won’t be noticed. I love my craft and I train and embrace my God-given talents and combine them into one. I feel that’s what make me different and successful at what I love to do.
For more from Zeke Jaye, check out a sample from his Soundcloud.
And check out the video to his single “Must Be Dreaming”: