DMCWORLD check in with exciting singer, rapper and producer Jay Das as he releases his new track ‘Stitches’…
Hi Jay, lovely to meet you. Firstly, could you tell us a bit about your musical roots? What music really inspired you, especially when you were younger?
Hey, it’s a pleasure as well. For me, music started with family. Both my parents were very fond of singing and I think I inherited their desire to be an artist. My musical inspirations are all over the place, the first big influence being Linkin Park, so I’ve always had a knack for blending genres., As a teen, I was front lining a metal band while squaring off in underground rap battles trying to emulate Eminem all while taking lessons in classical and folk music. Language or genre has never been a barrier for me when getting inspired.
How long have you been creating music?
The better part of a decade, Now that I think about it, I initially wanted to be a different sort of artist. I liked painting, sketching, and doodling as a kid, I was quite good at it. As I grew older though I began writing poetry. Since I was a shy dude, I found it easier to express myself in public through music and it helped me socialize. So when I was 16 I bought a cheap guitar and taught myself how to play watching Youtube videos of live performances. After that, I started to sing the words I wrote during lunch break at school and the rest was history.
How did ‘Stitches’ first come about? Did it start with the production?
The process for each record is different, but usually, it just starts with a vibe or theme that I just write and play on an acoustic guitar. Once the song takes shape, the production is built around the concept. Aiden is very familiar with how I do things, so we have an understanding of my unconventional ways. So he doesn’t stop me when I start doing death growls in an RnB song. If you listen to the song, you can hear it layered on the bridge section. Producing my own songs just gives me an extra avenue to express my eccentricities.
What is the song about?
Writing songs is sometimes a coping mechanism for me and I think I was just venting when I initially started writing it. ‘Stitches’ essentially is a POV on a toxic relationship. My own experience, those I have seen, and stories shared with me. We as a society don’t tend to talk about it, and thus the psychological scars often remain unnoticed. People remain trapped in such relationships, quite literally, as we see more often now and no one talks about it.
So the latter half of the song is about closure, acceptance, and ‘moving on’ because I feel like sometimes that’s the only remedy. How though? I have no idea because only you know what you’re going through. All I can say is, “Why don’t we try moving on?”
What is different about ‘Stitches’ from the rest of your repertoire?
I try to make each of my records it’s own story and experience. ‘Stitches’, still stands out in terms of its odd structure and production. I like experimenting with sounds and atmosphere and we didn’t hold back with out of the box ideas while producing it. It’s unique in its own flawed way. I don’t know how much or if anyone will enjoy listening to it but it was fun to make.
How was the video shoot and how did it come about?
Shooting music videos is always the trickiest part of being an independent artist. I’m always involved with every aspect of my music so a video shoot can either be really exciting or a headache. Thankfully, Guillermo shares my vision when it comes to visual storytelling. For ‘Stitches’ I had to perform at a gas station at 4 am, during the winter, in New Jersey. Trying to remain energetic and have that reflect on my face for hours on end can be a challenge. We tried to visually portray the ambient yet erratic nature of the song with a nonexistent budget. Most of it is actually shot in the recording studio, on the couch. The aim is to not make a Try Not to Cringe Video, I don’t know if we succeeded but I’m content with the effort.
Have you performed ‘Stitches’ live before? Do you plan to once it’s safe to do so?
I haven’t. Performing live hasn’t been much of a possibility recently. Even in the few online shows, I’ve done, ‘Stitches’ isn’t the first song that comes to mind. To be honest, with its dark sound and subject matter, I don’t see it being a part of my regular setlist but I have done acoustic versions of it for close, personal audiences, If it is ever requested though, I’ll surely oblige.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2021?
After what the world went through in 2020, I’ve grown an urgency to accomplish more. I have enough songs recorded to put out 2 albums but I plan on releasing one track a month throughout 2021, then see where it goes. I’m still treading new waters, so I want to learn with each release and maintain consistency. I plan on reaching a few milestones along the way and grab every opportunity I get. It’s on record now, so I can’t take it back. Let’s see if I can meet my own expectations.