How did you come up with the name John Jay?
In 2007 I was in was at a school called East Field College in Dallas and after practice one day and there a University of Texas basketball hand book on the table (during the Kevin Durant era) one of the assistant coaches was asking what high school a certain player went to and one of my team mates said "I think he went to John Jay". i was changing from my from my practice gear to my regular clothes in my own zone, and as soon as he said "John Jay" I looked up and thought to my self that sounds cool and familiar .so i started free styling with it in my head and it stuck. After hearing Nas say it in the song "Half Time" it was confirmed.
Being that your mother was a stand up comedian did you ever think of following in her footsteps?
I actually did follow in her foot steps. I did Stand up Comedy For 3 years. The 1st time I got on stage i Bombed Horribly. I got on stage and forgot everything that i was going to say and it was silence for about 45 seconds but i felt like 45 mins. I was in the bathroom practicing like * mile and everything. But after that i was fearless to get on stage because i already experienced the worse case scenario.
When did you first gain interest in being a hip-hop artist?
Around 2007 I saw that My Basketball Career was going no where and i said to my self what can I do for a living and be proud of from Houston? In order to be an actor I would have to move to New York or L.A. and Hip Hop was always there so i went in that direction.
Who were some of the artist that were an influence to you?
It started with Snoop and Nas because that's what i grew up on. I remember being 7 or 8 listening to "Murder Was the Case". but by 06 Lupe Fiasco came out with "Food & Liquor" is when i knew Hip hop was something I had to pursue. I was highly impressed by the Concepts and how lyrically inclined the album was.Also: A tribe Called quest, and Little Brother also played a part in it.
What discouraged you from doing music in the beginning, which made you focus more on playing basketball?
The Self doubt and having the mind set that nothing I do is ever good enough.I still get caught up in making a good 1st Impression musically then time flies by. I focused on basketball in the beginning because that was the 1st dream since I was a kid I always wanted to Be in the NBA. and if you mess up in a basketball game the worst that wold happen is you'll sit on the bench. but if you mess up on stage as an artist all eyes are on you. basketball seemed like less pressure
After focusing more on your basketball career, you received a scholarship from Mississippi Valley State University, did you start for the team as a freshman while you were there attending?
No way, I was on the bench because I was a under sized post player. Every team I played for I asked the coach to let me play guard and they wouldn't let me so I had to play against 7 footers but i still held my own.
Moving from college to college, you were able to obtain your Bachelor's Degree. Was it a difficult journey to get your degree by moving around so much? What was your major?
Yes I Received my Bachelors Degree from Prairie View A&M University. Yes it was difficult because some schools will tell you you have to take certain classes and when you get to the next school they don't except them so you waisted time and money. but eventually I received my degree in Mass communication in 2010
Why did you decide to pursue music after receiving your degree?
Do you believe that your major of study is helping you with your music career?
I heard that you're a broadcaster for CNN, what type of broadcasting are you doing for them?
I know it might sound shallow but I had to ask myself did I want to make 25k a year of 25k a night. and by the time i received my degree the feeling of Hip Hop was already deeply rooted so it was hard to shake. Yes i believe my degree helps me with Music because i know how to edit videos so if it came down to it i could shoot and Direct my own Music video. I feel like the more stuff that you know how to do on your own the better off you'll be. No, I'm not a broadcaster i just do video editing. I sit in front of a computer all night
How do your co-workers react to your music career?
I don't tell my Co-workers about the music. A lot of them don't know i do music. I have the mind set of telling people about stuff after its already done and not while its still in the developing stages. I'll let a complete stranger know about my music before I tell someone I know.
There is an upcoming movie that features a track of yours on the trailer?
Tell us a little of how this all happened for you.When is the movie scheduled for release?
The movie is set to release in April of 2014. The way it happened was a Producer by the name of Gennesis7 was looking for artist to put on his compilation album that he was putting out at the time and out of all of the songs he chose that to put on the trailer.
Since your single is on the trailer of the movie, do you receive any special perks before the movie is released to the public?
Not as of yet. But Just knowing that I'm making progress with music is satisfying enough. I can always tell people that my song was on a movie trailer.
When doing these interviews I like to talk briefly about what's happening in the entertainment business. We all know how Kanye is after things don't go his way at these award shows. His most recent rant us about his Grammy Nomination. If I read correctly he's upset because he didn't get nominated in the "Album of the Year" category. What is your opinion on his ranting?
I can understand where he's coming from but I feel it will take people more than a year to Comprehend "Yeezus" just like "The Love Below". Whenever you have creativity in a piece of work for the most part people have to digest it let time pass and be able to relate to it years later, and he Was up against some tough albums like Good Kid M.A.A.D city. They can only nominate so many.
Kanye also brought discrimination into the conversation saying that of his 21 Grammy wins out of 53 nominations he has yet to win against a white artist. Do you think there is still a bit of racism at a few of these award shows when the categories include white artists?
Low key yes I Do because depending on which award show you watch you can tell who's going to win for example Macklemore is more likely to win at the MTV awards than at the BET awards. on the other side the grammy's usually vote on the song that had the biggest "impact". Alot of people didnt' understand Yeezus on the 1st listen. As you listen to it more and more you'll realize that there are layers the the concept of the whole album.
Now that we have come to the end of 2013, what was the craziest thing that happened to you this year?
2013 has been a very Mild year all i did was Work. I would work a 16 hour day come home at 2am and then work on music until 5am and do it all over again.
What are your top 3 goals for 2014?
My Top 3 Goals of 2014 would be to work With 9th Wonder and or Madlib, be able to tour and quit my day job make it to the BET cyphers
If there was anything that you could change about the music industry what would it be?
I would add more filters to separate the Good Music from whack music. I would also cut out the politics of having to pay people to do their job. as of now allot of the music sounds the same and because they have money they are able to make thing happen. and record companies are looking for individuals who are hot for the moment instead of a all around artist.
What helpful hints would you pass on to artists that are trying to make it in this business?
1st off have a good product. There are a high percentage of rappers that should go be janitors. Don't trust everybody. If an "A&R" tells you that they have a showcase and it cost a lot of money to get in don't trust it because its there job to find talent you shouldn't have to pay to be seen. and remember You're working on Gods time.
Any special S/O that you would like to give before we end the interview?
Shout out to Alief Texas
Any websites, links, or social networks links that you have for our readers to ask questions,
features, or bookings?
Yes, Reverbnation.com/teamjohnjay, Twitter.com @teamjohnjay
One last question before we end the interview. What are your Super Bowl predictions?
Name the two teams that will be in the Super Bowl and who will the winner be. I Believe the Seattle Sea hawks and the Broncos/Partiots most likely the Patriots will take it all the way.