Amsterdam native, Jeff Kesse, better known as, Jay-Way is not your average rapper. Typically, when you turn on the radio (which most people don’t even listen to anymore), you’ll find a plethora of songs in which the artist is only talking about sex or drugs. If this is what you look for in music, then Jay-way is not the artist for you. However, if you’re in the market for conscious lyrics, positive messages, complex storytelling, and fire beats, then look no further. Being influenced during the short time he lived in New York, his honest, poetic and straight lyrics, speak to an entire new generation, as well as older Hip-Hop fans.
Jay-Way isn’t just a random up and coming artist either. He’s put in all of the hard-work necessary to actually put prestige behind his name. After releasing his first single “Cool Kid”, Jay-Way put out his first solo project Jaynalysis, earning him the award for Best Rapper at the Glint Awards, only a month later. The accolades don’t end there either. In 2016, Jay-Way was chosen to be one of the (5) Encore Freshmen, releasing a compilation album. His first song from this project, “Happen Dappen”(definitely my favorite song), received 100K plays within the first week of release, went straight to number 1 in the Spotify NL Viral Chart and has gained over 2 million streams up to date.
Jay-Way clearly has an ever-increasing fan-base, but in addition to this, he must also, in the words of Cardi B, have “shmoney”, as he’s been rocking the stage with his own shows and festivals with his live band as well, opening up for artists such as KRS-One, Obie Trice and Rejjie Snow, in addition to doing a live performance for the radio show 3VOOR12 on NPO/3FM. Haven spoken with this talented artist (find the interview below), there is no doubt in my mind that he is destined for the top of the top, so definitely keep your eyes directed towards the skies (just don’t look directly at the sun) to see the constant rise of Jay-Way’s continued success.
I always start with the basics, so Jay-Way, where were you born and raised?
HOLENDRECHT HOLENDRECHT HOLENDRECHT (Amsterdam).
In my experience, most singers come from families who are, or were previously heavily in the music scene. Is your family musically inclined as well, or are you the music prodigy of the family?
My whole family loves music, but my dad has really been active. He has been DJ’ing for almost 40 years.
This might be a little stretch, but, can you remember the first time you wrote, or sung a song?
I can remember coming up with the most cringy rhymes and I’ve been in love ever since lol. I’m kind of killing it now, [Jay Way says, laughingly]
Who gave you the support to begin writing, and who did you play the early songs for?
My friend [who was an] old classmate from high school introduced me to freestyling, and then taught me how to write lyrics. I felt so proud when I let my classmates hear my first song! Embarrassed now though!
You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?
Situations! For example, I can have an argument with my mom right now and you’ll most likely hear a song about it. Listen to the first few lines on ‘Teen Gohan’. My favorite part is having fans rap lyrics back to me at my shows. Gets me emo all the time.
Your fans have definitely picked up on the DBZ song titles on album, Teen Gohan, so let’s talk anime. Goku vs. Naruto: who is winning? Also, what’s your favorite anime of ALL time?
It’s disrespectful to even think Naruto would stand a chance! DBZ is my life! ‘Death note’ had me! That and ‘Erased’ definitely in my top 3 at the moment.
Who are your biggest writing influences, and who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I LOVE FRANK OCEAN’s WRITING! Huge inspiration when it comes to songwriting. That guy is the best artist alive right now in my opinion. [I’m] so in love with Tyler the creator’s songwriting as well. Another big influence.
For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words
If I was to turn on your iPod right now, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
I’ve let plenty of people hear your music, and we all agree that we can’t wait for more! Are there any plans for new singles, or an EP on the way? What’s next for Jay Way?
OMG that’s awesome!! I’m super excited about the stuff I have in the vault right now! Can expect something on top of next year!