Music has been on our mind so we wanted to interview one of our favorite local musicians, Jay Warren. Moody, ambient, and pulling from lots of different genres, Jay's sound is smooth and we can't get enough. He was kind enough to come hang out with us at the Thread office (with his cutest toddler Winston in tow) and let us chat with him for a minute about what inspires his music and his outlook on life.
Tell us about yourself!
"My name is Jay Warren. I'm a singer and songwriter. I’ve been doing music full time since 2017 and haven’t looked back. It’s plan A-Z for my family and music is what I do and what I live for.
Who’s music inspired your own style?
My parents are from the Caribbean, so I’m first generation American and the only American artists I knew were Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Kenny G. Michael Jackson definitely influenced me the most at the beginning. As I got older and developed my own musical tastes, Kanye inspired me from a production standpoint. I think he’s one most brilliant producers our time has had. Also, Frank Ocean as a songwriter and Bruno Mars as a performer. I think he's one of the best performers that our generation has seen.
How Do You Express Your Sound?
I think it’s an interesting question because typically it’s express yourself which can be done through sound or your clothing or style your hair and stuff like that but express your sound is interesting because it assumes that what you have to say has to be expressed in a way specific to you. I write songs that express what I think I need to say and I would imagine that other people use their photography as their sound even though it’s not audio its how they express their sound and their self.
What has music done for you?
Music has allowed me to have a career. It’s allowed me to share a message with people that I normally wouldn’t have access to. I can talk to my friends and family and say hey I think we should love people but with music I can share that with everyone.
How do you carry on?
I have this belief, it’s quite pessimistic but I think there’s utility in it and it’s that life is suffering. That if you were to sit and do nothing that life would be pretty dismal. Even if you were to go out into the world with good intentions and do all of the right things, bad things are still going to happen to you. We can’t avoid the suffering that is life but what we can do is create a life that is worth bearing that suffering for. If I don’t have goals and dreams or something that I’m striving for, when cancer comes or a death of a loved one happens, I might as well give up when there’s no point in carrying on. But if I have a goal, which when I was single it was to make as much money as possible, and now is to create an environment that will allow my children to be as happy and successful as possible, it makes those storms worth weathering."
In September 2020, Jay released his debut album "Give Love" which debuted as number one on the iTunes R&B chart and is the first Utah artist to do so. Since then, Jay has released a holiday album with his wife, Annie Warren, called Winter with the Warrens. Follow him on Instagram at @jywrrn and stream "Give Love" on all music platforms. Click here to listen on Spotify!