Here to deliver the second single off of his debut EP “Before I Go”, Bay area artist Jay Kayze dives deep with a song inspired by identity and the effects it has had on him growing up. Being biracial, Kayze’s experience with identity is complex and in his new single “You Heard”, he relinquishes the pressure of correcting the narrative that others create. Choosing to own his own power, the new track challenges the criticism he has faced about ‘not being black enough’; by putting other people’s assumptions to rest, he chooses to focus his energy on himself, his music and his personal growth. Originally recorded in his friend Koste’s living room, “You Heard '' presents a music video shot in Joshua Tree, CA featuring model/influencer @litzxrubi.
“The feds can’t even spell how much I make, All the fences, I unchained / Link by link, I built a name” - “You Heard”
In the music video, we follow Kayze through a series of epic performance shots in the desert; perhaps his most memorable video yet, model Rubi stays loyal by his side from beginning to end. The aesthetic introduces summer vibes and a light, airy aesthetic in contrast to his heavy lyrics. Despite the obstacles that he has faced in life, we witness acceptance and a newfound strength on Kayze’s face as we follow him through a larger than life, arid landscape almost as if to communicate growth among emptiness and resilience amidst emotional drought.
A rapper, singer and multiinstrumentalist, Jay Kayze coins himself as the ‘artists artist’. Versatile, skilled, and highly methodical in all aspects of his craft, the Bay Area native is now producing music out of Los Angeles, where he still nurtures the experiences from his time in the Bay Area music community. Kayze uses his platform to talk about his personal struggle navigating a bi-racial upbringing, while also bridging the gap between his love of language and instrumentation. Kayze is no stranger to hard work, stating “My mom raised me by herself. No food stamps, no government checks, nothing.” Kayze adds, “My father was not allowed in the state. I watched my mom work 80-hour weeks, and I saw her turn a college retail job into a Vice President-level role at a Fortune 500 company.”
Drawing inspiration from J. Cole, Anderson .Paak, Childish Gambino, and Chance the Rapper, Kayze embodies the swagger of a more enriched generation. Kayze showcases a fearless blend of Old-School Hip Hop/R&B combined with New Age Rap and Pop, noting “I grew up listening to Lauryn Hill and the Black Eyed Peas with my mom, and Busta Rhymes and Dr. Dre with my uncles.” Having already performed alongside some of his childhood idols including Nas, Rakim, and Too Short, Kayze has amassed millions of streams across Spotify, Soundcloud, and YouTube. With co-signs from legends DC Young Fly and The Game, the sky is truly the limit for Jay Kayze.