Jay Saint released his recent project, “ExCommitted,” that reflects on love and war in a language everyone can understand. Jay has written songs for Bad Boy Records and for Danity Kane‘s album, ‘Welcome to the Dollhouse,’ that enhanced his songwriting career. That experience allowed him to write his latest 11-track project. We caught up with the “Push Away” artist and discussed how he had the ability to write, what the impact has been, the meaning of his project, and more.
RESPECT.: How was it writing for Bad Boy Records? How was that experience for you?
Writing for Bad Boy Records was life changing. I got to learn from and work with people in the business who knew how to write hit records and understood why it was important. From that experience, I learned the formula to write catchy records by being myself as a songwriter.
RESPECT.: You worked on Danity Kane’s album, “Welcome to the Dollhouse” which reached No. 1. Were you able to reach your strengths in songwriting after working on that project?
Yes, it fell into my lap, but it wasn’t given to me. All the writers in Atlanta left to work on the project in New York for the opportunity to be on the album. They took the main writers and brought them to Atlanta and cut some of the records on the album while they were there. They had some great material with the producers and engineers. Every time I wrote in that environment I always thought about a climax – something that’s going to stick. That melody has to stick. If you didn’t remember anything, you would remember my chorus. The chorus ended up being Danity Kane’s ‘Pretty Boy.’ I wrote a few other things, but that’s one of my proudest moments. I was blessed by getting the opportunity to write and earn placement.
RESPECT.: Followed by working with Danity Kane, you had the ability to write your own 11-track project that was recently released. Tell us about the story behind it.
My project ExCommitted is about my relationships that didn’t work out. People didn’t want to fully commit. It made me grow as a person and know what I want from an individual. My relationships set the tone for this project. Once I got into a new situation, I experienced things with love that allowed me to see that there is a light in the tunnel. I explain it best as a realization of who I am from someone else by learning from myself and other people.
RESPECT.: You consider yourself an openly gay R&B artist. Do you have any advice for artists who are scared to be open?
Be yourself because your actual product is what people will judge you on. The sexuality won’t judge you. Your art will speak greater than sexuality for who you are as a brand. I don’t want people to solely pay attention to my sexuality. It’s the music that’s my art. You need to focus on things people should know you for. People can see a gimmick, but if you are real and walk in your truth and talent, you shouldn’t have a problem being accepted by being creative. By being open and honest with myself, I let my art speak for itself.
RESPECT.: The title of your project is “ExCommitted.” Define what that means for the readers.
I had commitment issues with my ex and had to accept what my relationship with them was. ExCommitted is about me committing to what I want in a relationship from the perspective of my authentic self. I needed to be committed to the real me. By the end of the album, listeners will understand that self-commitment is way bigger than the situation you are in. I’ve actually had people write me, telling me they’ve cried listening to certain tracks on the album. That’s the power of music and I’m just humbled that people can resonate with my music that much.
RESPECT.: ExCommitted leads with the single “Push Away” that has an island vibe. Did you want your project to pertain to that?
The album is not just an island vibe. You will hear a little bit of everything. It will go down the lane of R&B, electronic, contemporary, old school, new age, trap, and many more genres. I want to show how much range I have as a writer and how I can be a chameleon to all of these genres.
RESPECT.: What will 2020 consist of for you?
There will be a lot of visuals from the album. I’m also doing a show at SOB’s in NYC that’s in the making. I love writing so I’ll definitely be writing for a lot of well-known artists. 2020 is the year of sharing my art!
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