I started working in the performing arts industry after attending Colgate University in 1981. My early work was as a personal manager.
The last several years have seen an r&b surge with the return of singers to center stage over the DJ/producer focus of hip-hop. To be sure, hip-hop is certainly far from dead, but it did seem as if r&b was, for almost 20 years. But with the surge of the Urban influence in music about life, love eternal, and love lost, there is a new crop of soul singers enjoying great success. Artists such as The Weekend, John Legend, Sza, and Miguel have all opened the door for the next phase of r&b music re-invented.
Jay Lyricz is one of those emerging artists whose smooth vocals and strong lyrical content about life and love, harkens back to the days of Motown. Growing up in the poverty struck area of South Memphis, Jay Lyricz taught himself how to hold notes by listening to artist like Michael Jackson, New Edition, and Chris Brown.
Born Antonio Pruitt in the early 90's, Jay grew up with financial challenges as his mother struggled to make ways to keep a roof over the heads of the family. Forced to take matters into his own hands, Jay Lyricz decided to get into robberies which would lead him to incarceration for 14 months at the age of 16.
After serving his time, Jay decided to start writing music where many of Jay's family and friends told him that he was an amazing singer and writer, and should pursue a music career.
He was introduced to Tre Ez, a local artist out of Memphis, who would have a profound influence on Jay's dream of recording music professionally. But, when music wasn't paying the bills, Jay turned back to the streets to deal drugs and eventually after facing hardships of living in Memphis and sleeping on floors, couches, or wherever he was welcomed, a career in music seemed out of reach.
It was when Jay was with his uncle, who was looking for a way out of the drug business, that he made up his mind of not taking no for a answer in the music business.
He was tired of just recording street music and wanted a song that would change his life and the people in it. He would go on to auditioning for "The Voice" at the age of 19 and didn't make it because he didn't have the image of a singer and had stage fright that was noticeable.
Knowing that he needed a hit song, Jay Lyricz collaborated with talented producer, Brandon Christian, to record "Make it Go". Knowing that dance music is popular in the city of Memphis, Jay saw this new single as his shot.
"Make it Go" is packed with melodic harmonies and club energy and is already growing a massive following in Memphis. With a new management team in place and the development of his live stage performances, Jay feels confident his time has come to take his place along the side of some of music's brightest urban/r&b artists.
Q&A With Jay Lyricz
Q) One of your singles is called, "Make It Go". What's the meaning in the song for you and what do you want people to take away from the message?
A) Its a fun song for women to go out and just have fun to and let go of everyday problems.
Q) You are from Memphis, TN? What was it like growing up in Memphis, and what's the music scene like there?
A) Its basically a rap populated city in my eyes and R&B doesn't get a Lot of credit me personally I listen to more rap then R&B it gets me going lol.
Q) At what age did you know that a singing career would be your calling?
A) At the age of about 7 or 8 I would watch the Jackson 5 and dream so much that I think a spirit of music came in me - LOL. I was shy as a kid, so I never put it out there.
Q) Who were some of your influences in music as a young kid coming up, and who do you like now out there?
A) My first favorite is Michael Jackson hands down. I listened to a lot of Chris Brown's music coming up and I still do, but now I'm tuned in to The Weekend and Tory Lanez.
Q) We are all unique artist, but if I were to compare you to any singer on the music landscape right now, who would that be, and why?
A) I'd say my style is closest to The Weekend, maybe even Trey Songz.
Q) What's your goal with your music and where do you plan to be five years from now with it?
A) My plan is to win some Grammy's my first and second year go platinum every single time and by the age of 28 I want to get into becoming an actor.
Thank you Jay Lyricz for allowing our readers to learn more about you and we look forward to hearing your music in a big way soon!
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The Return of R&B
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