Jay Starks' Music Speaks with the Heart of a Soldier
We love raw, unfiltered, unapologetic music! The kind of stuff that makes your grandma leave the room. When we looked for a dose of "that real", in the independent scene, Jay Starks came across our radar. Under normal circumstances we'd have more to say, but after listening to Jay Starks both on wax and in person, we thought it best to let the experience speak for itself.
Jay Starks Speaks:
Growing up in North Tulsa it was a lot of what you saw in movies; like Fresh or “Boyz N the Hood.” I saw a little of everything growing up. Gangs were the biggest part, I grew up with a family majorly affiliated with Crips, so street knowledge kind of came with the territory. I grew up in what we call the Nitty (Northside) off 49th probably one of the roughest areas in the city, literally grew up 2 houses down from the Trap House and violence was second nature. Growing up my foundation was solid, but expectations were still set at a minimum. It was either go to school & skate by or play sports, or hustle. My parents were on my ass so I picked up football & turned street smarts into a legit hustle. I used to flip candy, music, anything legit I could get my hands on I learned how to flip so I could make money the right way. I played football up until high school when I got hurt & started working. Around that time my poetry had picked up, I had always been good with words since elementary. But after football was done for me & losing both my grandparents within my time at high school my pen & pad were the closest things to me along with friends who saw my wordplay skills. I grew up on west coast music Pac, NWA, Nate Dogg, Warren G, Ice Cube...but my influence was taken over heavy by Midwest Chicago/Ohio sounds like Twista & Bone Thugz N Harmony. Along with down south artist like Chamillionaire & Luda my style out of Oklahoma is different to say the least. I was solid and going strong with my art until 2013 when I lost my little brother to gang violence. After that I left for the Air Force, stayed consistent with writing & recording. But with my lifestyle change, it has been a journey getting back to the artist I was. And now I'm in the studio working on 3 projects at once to bounce back & show my skill!
Interviewer: How and when did you start making music?
Jay Starks: I officially started recording in 2008 with high school friends we started a label called Street Poets.
Who were you early inspirations, and how have they changed since Then?
Early inspirations were Currensy, Chamillionaire, Twista, Ludacris, T.I., ---Recently they've changed to, Rexx Life Rajj, Kid Cudi, Travis Scott, Ace Hood, Nipsey Hussle, & still Currensy my vibe mellowed out a lot more as you can tell lol.
If you could work with anybody who would it be?
If I could work with anybody...Big K.R.I.T. or J. Cole hands down. Lyrically, production wise & persona wise nobody in my opinion can touch them
What do you like most about the industry?
The thing I like most about the industry is the diversity. People are making bigger lanes for artist we might've never thought to listen to 10 years ago.
What do you hate most about the industry?
What I hate most is the simplicity & urge to push EVERYTHING. Basically online sensations & 1 hit wonders. Don't get me wrong some of these newer younger artist are dope, but they get 1 hit and the industry “fucks-em up.” Artist now are getting screwed because they want that quick check. Back in the day studying the industry artist had to put more into it but they learned the game in the process. Now days the industry just hires hands for artist to do everything & while it seems cool, the artists are getting screwed out of money & not learning anything on top of that.
What message do you want to send with your music?
I just want people to relate to my shit. Not so much get a message “cus” I only rap about what I know & what I relate to or went through. Not everybody can relate so as long as they can vibe & understand & respect my story that’s all I need.
What's the biggest challenge you face as an independent artist?
The biggest challenge is just staying consistent. But when you come from nothing & go through the military, all you know is to keep moving forward. So really the biggest challenge is myself if I don’t get out of my own way.
What else would you like your listeners to know about you?
I want my listeners to just know the real me. No filter, no bullshit. I talk about cheating, being cheated on, being shot at & stabbed, catching cases & almost being indicted with a federal crime at the age of 21. From that, to losing my brother, grandparents...EVERYTHING. If I can tell my story to one person & show them how I came up & it helps in some way, that’s good enough for me.
Where can they listen to your work?
Find me on Sound Cloud under JayStarks8905
New visuals being finalized
Google play will be uploading new singles may 2018 stay tuned!