Interview by Musically United
"This song in particular is interesting because I just lost a best friend in Boston. He told me he had feelings for me and it turned into something completely different,” shares rising LGBTQ+ pop-star Jay Alan on his new single ‘Got Feelings’ The track has an infectious beat, it makes you want to get up and dance, the lyrics are overflowing with emotion and transparency. The lyricism is so detailed you are able to picture the exact moment in time when the friendship goes awry. To add to the whirlwind of ‘Got Feelings,’ the track was originally written about the personal experience of Jay’s producer, Travis Heidelman. With the recent events in Jay’s own life, he now “hears the song about himself” making it evident how relatable music can be despite everyone having a different storyline.
‘Got Feelings’ is a single off of Jay’s highly-anticipated EP set to drop later this year. “When I got my masters back for this EP, I sat back and took a moment. This is the music I have always wanted to make,” proudly shared Jay. He was quick to credit his producer, Travis, for helping bring the project to life. In the early stages, each song on the EP told a different story that came from their own place. After constructing the song order, the EP as a whole now “tells the story of falling in love and then falling out of love, what that feels like, and the arc of what a relationship is.” Jay adds a special touch to this EP by recording a track with a live band, which will showcase his effortless vocals even more. ‘Got Feelings’ is just the beginning, and listeners are now on the edge of their seats waiting to see how the story ends.
Jay’s upcoming EP and his music collectively comes from his heart and soul. “I really like to spend time with each one of my songs to get to know them and what I am trying to say, especially in the writing process,” mentions Jay. He considers the piano his “crutch,” and typically builds a song off of sitting down at the piano. He focuses on the lyrics first and foremost because “if the lyrics aren’t strong, then there’s no song.” When writing, Jay finds it helpful to go in with a specific perspective in mind rather than a situation or story in its entirety. Once a strong base has been created, Jay takes the next step of collaborating with the producer on the added level of instrumentation and production. Jay adds, “I think every song should be able to be stripped down to one instrument and one vocal, and it should have the same effect as an entire production.” Jay’s mindset allows him to create music that is well-balanced in all aspects, and instantaneously touches the minds and hearts of listeners and other artists.
Jay has his fair share of musical influences, such as Lorde and Frank Ocean. These two artists inspire him greatly because they are not afraid to go outside the lines when it comes to their music. They taught him to be more open-minded when it comes to creating. He learned there is a time and a place for ballads, and there’s always room for music that “is more playful and has interesting production.” Jay also respects the “villages” that work together to release Lorde and Frank Ocean’s music from the producers to the graphic designers. He has learned the importance of a strong team, and cherishes his own team’s collaboration on a daily basis. Jay gets chills at the thought of collaborating with Lorde or Frank Ocean, and would be honored to work with other artists such as Julia Michaels and Troye Sivan as well.
In addition to dream collaborations, Jay has several other items written on his bucket list. His ultimate dream is to be an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT) winner, and it is always in the back of his mind. Jay is currently attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA as a songwriting major, and takes great pride in his writing since that is how he sees his music. Being recognized for his songwriting, such as receiving a Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) award, would mean the world. Aside from being a musician, Jay comes from a theater background. “I would love to be on Broadway one day, and originate a score for Broadway,” said Jay eagerly. Jay is always taking steps towards his dreams, even if they seem unreachable at times. While on his journey, Jay will continue to “unapologetically stand for the LGBTQ+ community,” and strive to create music that expands a space for queer people to feel accepted, inspired, and loved.