• Tallie Spencer

Upcoming DMV artist Jay Hollywood masters unorthodox approach to rap

"My main message is hope that others learn that they are their biggest enemy and that you can only fail when you stop," Jay Hollywood said in an interview with Remixd Magazine.

If there's one thing to know about upcoming artist Jay Hollywood, it's that he gives his audience a creative and fresh delivery every time. With his unique sound and dope melodies, the rising star has the ability to switch it up when needed, while also staying true to his versatility as an artist.

The hip hop artist doesn't fit into a specific category of rap, which ultimately proves as a testament to his talents that showcase how he is able to master various sounds. Jay Hollywood is a force to be reckoned with and it's no doubt that his talents will take him far.

His latest mixtape project "I Just Need A Light," is a perfect example of how he combines his creative expressions with a versatile delivery. Some of the tracks, such as "Last Orison" even feature a hint of his Jazz influences.

In a recent interview with Remixd Magazine, the Maryland native says that he wants his music to serve as an inspiration for others.

His sound can be described as timeless, as Jay Hollywood's unique rhythm definitely brings something new to the game and makes him an instant stand-out.

"All in all, I hope my stories can provide comfort or set a vibe," Jay Hollywood said. "Whether they think, dance, or laugh, I hope that moment is timeless and I’m thankful for being heard."

The talented artist has extreme potential and has a sound that most people will be able to vibe to in any occasion. Keep reading to learn more about Jay Hollywood's musical journey and background.

What city are you from and where are you based now?

I am from PG County, Maryland and I am currently based in New York.

How did you get your artist name Jay Hollywood?

My artist name is Jay Hollywood. My real name is George but even my mom has never called me that. Majority of my life I’ve gone by Jay or JR (like Jay-R). My artist name came from best friend. We were discussing my old rap name and she brought up the fact many people started calling me "Hollywood" when I moved to New York. I liked it and I think it’s perfect because it’s all about perspective -- which is a major theme in my music.

Did you always know that you wanted to be an artist? At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music?

When I was younger I always knew I would be an artist, but I would say November 2015 is when I decided to actually go all in and pursue my dreams.

Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?

Absolutely! I was raised by a single parent (my mom) and she taught me very young that nothing is handed to you and you have to be your own boss. She is also very religious and had me in church since I could walk. She worked for herself and I always admired that and I believe her work ethic inspired my everyday drive. I want it to be known that my father was sort of present but ultimately, you know how that goes sometimes. Besides that, the music they played while I was growing up was very much old jazz (Al Jarreau, Curtis Mayfield) or classic R&B/Soul (Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Michael Jackson). I think they always tried to play songs with meaning, my mom would never really play hip hop unless it was like Will Smith. I think it made me look at my music with intent and understand that music with purpose can be timeless.

How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you? What genre does it fit into best?

I would say I am a new age hip hop artist. I would define my sound as extremely versatile as I try out many different sounds so it is hard to describe. I am trying to master all the sounds I enjoy but mainly with a core of hip hop. You may hear Jazz influences on many of my tracks because that’s probably the music I enjoy the most.

What ultimately inspired you to dedicate yourself to a music career?

I’ve been making music my whole life and it’s the only thing my brain revolves around. There was no escaping it and I could not live with myself not going 100% towards the goal. My brothers and I decided we would chase this full heartedly. I don’t plan on letting them down and I don’t plan on being anything besides great.

What’s one reason you are passionate about music and what inspires you to make it?

Music gives anyone a platform to express whatever. The power of music is endless and that in itself makes me passionate. There will always be new something new with music and we have the ability to create raw energy. What inspires me to “make it” is my brothers. We believe in ourselves and I have seen the power of having faith. I can’t see us not making it.

Who would you say are some of your main musical influences?

This is a hard question because I feel like my musical influences changed throughout years of my life. So this is probably like a timeline while growing up: 50 Cent, Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Alicia Keys, and T.I. Then from like last decade: Drake, SZA, Wale, Isaiah Rashad, XXXTentacion, and Lil Peep.

What are some of your music career goals for the future?

Once the world calms down, I wouldn’t mind doing a small tour. I really want to see other parts of the world and meet some of the people who support me. Long term music goals, I could see myself writing for others and potentially bringing more rap music to Broadway.

Tell us about your most recent project. What is it about and when did it drop?

I just dropped my last mixtape I Just Need a Light at the end of February. This project is mainly about the trials and tribulations of a troubled young artist mind looking for answers within and all around.

What was the inspiration behind I Just Need A Light? And what has the response been like so far?

The inspiration behind that project was actually trying to make more songs with some young DMV legends I know. I also felt inspired by some of my unreleased tracks and decided to express some of my more current experiences. The response to this tape so far has been amazing. A standout song from the tape is “Block Function” with A$HY BLACK THUG and everyone is requesting a video for it so stay tuned!

What are some projects you’ve done in the past that you are most proud of and why?

I am most proud of my first project World Full of Colors. It took me so many years to finish it and I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone involved in that project. It was the first step in so many areas of my life. I performed it so many times before it came out that when it did, people already knew some of the songs. It was humbling and made me excited to start working on more music.

What do you have coming next? Are you working on any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for?

Right now my main focus is visuals and a new project that I recorded during the quarantine. I think I let many of my raw emotions out while trying to have the most fun as possible. That’s the best way I can describe this new tape without just simply calling it wavy. I plan on releasing The Quarantine Pack sometime in June as well.

What message do you hope fans take away from your music?

I hope my fans know I appreciate them and genuinely care about them. My main message is hope that others learn that they are their biggest enemy and that you can only fail when you stop. People will all have an opinion but believe in yourself and build a solid foundation. All in all, I hope my stories can provide comfort or set a vibe. Whether they think, dance, or laugh, I hope that moment is timeless and I’m thankful for being heard.

You can follow Jay Hollywood on social media @luvjayhollywood. In the meantime, check out his latest release below, and be on the lookout for his upcoming project The Quarantine Pack, coming out on June 19th.