Jay “Blue Jay” Jourden - 10 Questions Music Interview
Jay "Blue Jay" Jourden is a multi-dimensional artist who has embraced singing, songwriting, performing, activism, producing, writing and acting! He has already recevied three nominations this year for "EP of the Year", "Song of the Year", and "Rock Vocalist of the Year". He was last year's winner of the "JMA's Vocalist of the Year Award" in Jazz/Blues. " Jay “Blue Jay” Jourden is a world-renowned producer and musical/vocal artist as well as an accomplished concert promoter/performer having worked on and help organize major concerts for The American Indian Movement AIM, Wounded Knee & The Longest Walk, The No Nukes Concert Series, Disaster Relief 96', The 40th Anniversary of Woodstock 1969-2009 “West Fest”, and many more. A great way to get acquainted with Jourden's undeniable talent is to check out his new song "Every Little Thing." Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it. My mother was a jazz singer in NY singing with all the great old school originators of modern American Jazz like Ornette Coleman, Randy Weston, plus many more. I was hooked into singing, live music, and the power of songs and arrangements at a very early age.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I walked away from a big deal to get signed by some very powerful people in the industry because I did not want to give up control of my life and career at that time. I walked away from a Ferrari and a ton of cash. That's a good thing because I might not have survived back then in my wild days with all the drugs and alcohol, etc. Today, I'd sign in a heartbeat and survive.
What has been the high point of your music path? I'm blessed to say that I can't say there's just one. One is the time I was introduced onstage by Peter Yarrow at my performance at The No Nukes Concert Series where I sang "No More Nukes" a song I wrote especially for The No Nukes people! Other favs were when I performed on the same bill(s) with Richie Havens, Steve Wonder, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Buffy St. Marie, and many others, at the AIM Concerts for The Longest Walk in D.C. Woodstock, NY, and several other places around the country. Then there was the time I hit the stage in front of 43,000 people, on the bill with my band back then, The Coalition, Johnny Maestro & Brooklyn Bridge, and The Cavaliers, at Flemington Speedway, Flemington NJ for one of the Ross Perot Rallies I produced when he was running for President!
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like? The songs come to me on the wind unless I have been retained professionally to write a song for someone or another producer as in commercials, etc. I always need to be inspired and the songs must be positive. Nothing dark or negative. Many times a song will just start flowing out of my voice and through my guitars or my pianos. On the wind. There has to be freedom and flow, and I never force or push a song to completion.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be? Making a living and building true organic fans and followers without that big money behind their promotion strategies. I know it's can't be easy, and it shouldn't. Yet it seems like it should be easier for good artists to break big quicker somehow.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why? It's got to be either Santana or Sheila E. I got to play with Sheila E.'s uncle Coke Escovedo a couple of times and recorded with Chango on their first album singing backup vocals and percussion. Latin Rock has always been one of my fav genres of all time to perform. Their energy and power onstage is supernatural, and it always ups my own game when playing with masters, and I always need and want to grow as a performer and a writer.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show? Rehearsals are cool and we treat them as a live show just having fun. Luckily, my band consists of highly intuitive, world-class, very experienced Artists so it's always a blast! One thing we do too is to change up our transitions from song to song and the order of the songs once we have a setlist down. I'm always writing and the band is always thirsty for new beats!
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it! Off our new EP, the song "Whispers On The Wind" is a song that actually took me several years to evolve and complete with different parts of the song coming to me at different times. It's also one of the few songs I really wanted to sound mystical and with the lyrics maybe a little more esoteric than I usually write so that was indeed challenging as I mostly try and write pictures songs with my lyrics and nay as many hidden spiritual subtleties.
What's coming up in the future? Right now, on September 5, up in Tennessee I'm heading to the 6th Annual Josie Music Awards where I'm up for three nominations! Song of the Year Jazz/Blues EP Of the Year Rock Vocalist of the Year Then.... the second half of our new EP MYSTIC LOVERS which will be an entire 8-maybe 10 song album! We also are planning to do some pretty good-sized shows next year splitting the bills with a variety of other nationally-known artists and other community and/or charitable events as they come up. I also have contracts for some film scores and a thirteen-part Television series in the UK with Global Film Studio!
Tell us where fans can access your music? Fans can stream on Spotify
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Find More Information, here's my website.