Check out JAYTKAY on #SoundCloud
What drew you to the music industry?
Music has always been my main source for an escape.
I've been making music for 15 years, so I guess what drew me to the industry is finding worth in my own material, knowing I can hang with the heavy hitters. I have the ability to produce my own beats, write my own lyrics, record and master my own songs. I feel an anxiety when I come up with a new idea, until I can make that idea a reality. When I make music, I get a sense that it's what I'm supposed to be doing.
I want to share my craft with the world.
Who are you inspired by?
God, my daughter, my wife, my family.
Skoon Gang - Syracuse, NY
There is so much talent in my city.
I come from a band of brothers.
(Skoonie Gang) thats King Skoon, Jeff RO, Dean White, Banko Fresh, Wavvy Will, DeZy, Big C, Kye, Breel, Pedro, Saga Beats, CRB, HDJD, Brandon and myself.
We all have a unique story, with a bond that's lasted over 10 years
My Brody Kye in the feds.
So of course, we screaming FREE KYE!
Please explain your creative process
We have a new sound we describe as generational hip hop. Elements of all the dope eras we grew up too. For myself personally, that's what I aim for every time.
I make beats, so my creative process starts with an idea.
Without getting into too much detail, I literally start from scratch.
I write my own lyrics, press record myself, engineer my own vocals, over my own instrumentals.
I have and am still willing to collaborate with other producers and artists.
What’s an average day like for you?
As of late, I've been living on 5 hours of sleep.
I have a daughter on the way,
so I work 40+ hours to keep my wife fed and bills paid.
Im either working or working.
Clocking in or off the clock.
I'm more active now than I've ever been.
What happens on a day to day varies though. Just the other day, Jeff RO and myself released a song entitled "SKOONIE" where we made the beat, wrote the lyrics, recorded / mastered our vocals, and uploaded all in one day, that being my only day off. The whole gang is active. We really tryna make it as a squad.
"Skoonie" can be found on my Soundcloud.
We are currently shooting a music video for the song.
I've also been listening to our songs on repeat. Trying to figure out what I can do to make them sound as clean as possible for the listeners. We don't have a "million dollar studio."
We wanted to be able to do it ourselves.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
Not necessarily a hidden meaning.
Concepts vary for every song, and every project.
Collectively, Skoon Gang has created over 30 projects over the passed 10 years. We come from the "mixtape out the trunk" era. So we are still learning in this new digital age of music.
But even if any of our subject matter comes off as negative, our intentions are to always have a positive impact.
Do you collaborate with others? What is that process?
Recently we've been reaching out to artists out of state, asking them to send us any open verses they may have, with the promise to feature ASAP.
Tracks like "Mansion" & "Not A Hero" are both examples where I collaborated with an artist out of state. More features are in the works. Both songs can also be found on my Soundcloud page.
Skoon Gang has collaborated over the years with different artists in and out of the city.
For one album imapticular, we created a various artist project with different artists from Syracuse, where they sent us their top hits for the ladies. "For Her" the full album can be found on Datpiff, featuring over 20 different artists from the city of Syracuse.
My go to producers are Saga Beats & CRB (Skoon Gang) and Mazik of PA.
Dean White, King Skoon, & Wavvy Will also produce beats, as well as rap.
Each individual of Skoon Gang brings their own unique style. So when we are in album mode, the features are an easy pick.
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans
I'm not the type of artist that will scroll passed comments and messages. I show love in return to everyone.
Right now we are in the process of creating new logos for our merchandise.
Brandon, the frontman of our street team, myself, Banko & Will have been promoting our material on varies social media groups, interacting with fans and other artists.
Although we don't have any material on any major streaming platforms (other than ReverbNation, Soundcloud and Datpiff) we plan on getting material on all platforms. That way our listeners have easy access to the years of work behind our music.
We also have multiple YouTube pages where you can find music videos, Throwbacks, interviews, as well as behind the scenes footage.
What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? Why?
My favorite part of making music is being able to create with my brothers and hitting record. After 10 years, the chemistry is still automatic.
My least favorite part is when we have to stop and wait for the next open window. It use to be a dream, but now the goal is to make music full time. What we can achieve in a day, given months, weeks even.. the amount of music, the quality, would be next level.
I would live in the studio, again.
▪Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
Personally, no. I've never felt stage fright, and I don't feel anxious talking in front of groups of people. I thoroughly believe I was born to entertain and be on a stage.
Our music speaks to all different types of life. No matter your race, financial status, religion and different beliefs, we make music for everyone. I have nothing but love to give. That's why I don't feel anxious on a stage. The world could use more love. That's ultimately what our gang represents. Unity and loyalty, passion, chemistry, and elevation.
“We realized that no one of us could be as great as all of us" -Banko Fresh
Tell me about your favorite performance venues
I've been to hundreds of venues for shows, since I was 14 years old. I've been able to perform at some of my favorite venues in the city of Syracuse. My favorite experience for a live performance was standing on the field of Metlife Stadium. That was one hell of an experience. I told myself that day, that's where I want to be. On stage in front of over 20,000 people.
I crave it actually.
If I were to choose where to do a show in Syracuse, it would be the Carrier Dome.
The Lost Horizon, The Furnace, and Funk and Waffles were great venues to perform in. The Knights of Columbus (Oswego, NY) and the Westcott Community Center (Syracuse, NY) are two venues without a stage, but are by far my favorite to perform in. Just because it's so up close and personal. You know that people are there for the music, not just a big show.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your
Create your own path.
And know that its possible to create, with or without an engineer and producer.
Be passionate about your craft, don't second guess yourself, and don't be afraid to invest in yourself. Even when others tell you it's not worth it.
Be you and own every flaw.
Always look to elevate and keep your family close. There is nothing more important than family.
Everything you do in life has a ripple effect on others.
Patience could be the root of all chaos. If you can't learn patience, achieving what you want in life will feel like a burden. Stay strong and show love to others. For all you know, they could really need it.