My buddy Jeff went to Full Sail University and is the owner of DIME Agency. He is always sending me new talent to listen to, and I enjoy chatting with him when we have the chance. A few weeks ago, he sent me a guy I wasn’t familiar with. When I saw he had appeared on American Idol, I knew he was the real deal. Then I started listening to him, and couldn’t figure out what impressed me more… his voice or his songwriting. He is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, so it makes sense he has such a soulful attitude about life. His voice is near pefection, and there is no way his work won’t be at the top of the charts soon. He’s that good. I am glad that Jeff introduced us, and I am excited to be sitting with him today. From American Idol to singing for fans at the mall, he is always performing. It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Jay McNeil.
Really digging the sound. Some might call it R&B. Some might call it “soul” music. What do you call it?
I call it Jay McNeil music. (Laughs.) I let the people listening interpret the genre.
How do you know Jeff Long?
He is my manager and I met him two years ago through from some friends that work in the music industry,
You recently appeared on American Idol. Tell me about that experience.
It was an amazing experience. I didn’t know I had four rounds before I eventually made it to Hollywood, but it was def worth the ride. I got to sing in front of four celebrity judges, so the experience was a step above my normal crowd.
Is your middle name really “Singer”?
No, my middle name is actually Reggie. (Laughs.)
Tell me about your relationship with Tyga.
My relationship with Tyga is in comparison with every other member of Young Money Cash Money Billionaires (YMCMB). The relationship is strictly business. Over time, we are becoming close and the relationship is becoming personal.
How did the hashtag #TeamJayMcneil come about?
I started it as a union identification for all my fans to show there support and to help recruit more supporters of my music as they publicly broadcast the hashtag.
Speaking of hashtags, there are a lot of social media outlets available. From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Instagram, there are a lot of options. Do you have a favorite social media outlet?
No, I don’t have a favorite. I love them all. Even though they can be very distracting at times, they still serve as a positive outlet in reaching out to people and displaying whatever it is you are trying to show/express.
You are currently living in Indianapolis, Indiana. I lived there for 10 years. There are a lot of great venues in the Circle City. What is your favorite room to play?
I honestly don’t have a favorite. I’ve performed all over the city and as long as people listen, it’s the perfect feeling and place.
What is the best concert you have ever been to?
I would have to say a Kid Ink concert which I opened for him. I opened for him in Bloomington, Indiana and in Lafayette, Indiana. He was very engaging with the fans and energetic!
What are you listening to when you are not recording?
My favorite song at the moment is “Hometown Hero” by Big K.R.I.T. I listened to this song every round of American Idol and it put me in a zone that I cant describe. The song is very touching and moving.
A lot of rap artists use profanity. Do you think that helps or hurts the quality of an album?
I think it depends on the artist and the fans.
Do you have a job outside of music?
No, music is my job/career.
Let’s go back to Twitter for a second. You have a ton of followers. How did you manage to connect with so many people?
I used several different marketing campaigns and added all of my social media info in every song and post.
Who is FBGM and how are you affiliated with them?
How did you meet Lil’ Chuckee?
An artist developer introduced us. We connected and released a track called “Rain On You”. You can learn more about that track on the Young Money Fansite.
All of your work is available for download on your website. Do you have your songs on Spotify and iTunes?
My 1st single on every distribution website including the ones you just mentioned. The song is titled “Victoria’s Secret”.
Do you write all of your own lyrics?
Yes, I write every song I record. I give my fans my all. In order for my fans to feel my passion, I must sing what comes from my heart.
Where do you find inspiration for a new track?
It just comes to me out of nowhere. Sometimes I can listen to a beat and immediately know what story the beat wants me to tell.
I haven’t seen you live yet, but what can fans expect from a live performance?
This year fans can expect a live band or dancers; maybe both.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I dropped my microphone once. When I dropped it, the microphone cracked. That was a awkward moment. (Laughs.)
I hear you like singing to girls at the mall. That is an interesting marketing technique. Tell me about your process when you sign to a stranger.
I pretty much reel the ladies in with my famous line, “I don’t want your number,” before they think about keep walking. I sing to them and most of the time if they have a Facebook page or Twitter profile they will connect with me on the spot.
You do a lot of collaborations. I am buddies with a guy in Chicago called GBOY MostRequested. He is blowing up in the Windy City. You two should connect. When you collaborate with an artist, how does that process work?
The process typically works via email if we are located in different cities or in studio if in the same city.
Record labels are fickle. You are doing things independent right now. Any room for a record label in the future?
Possibly in the future, but I have been trying to avoid label avenues. A deal isn’t what I am looking for.
Where did the “golden voice” thing come from?
I gave myself the name “golden voice” because no matter what, my voice is always beautiful when I sing. Nothing can happen to my voice because it is God given.
Got any big plans for 2013?
I plan on 2013 being my breakthrough year as a artist and I believe millions of people will discover R&B at a new level.
Thank you for your time, Jay. In all of the interviews I do, I always give the artist the last word. Go.
Thank you for having me. I would also like to thank all of your readers for the continued support. I hope you stay with me on my journey of music forever.
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