Behind every artist exists a story that propelled them into the industry, whether by choice or as a refuge.
For Jay Scott, or ‘JAYNETO,’ as he’s known, a hip-hop and rap artist from Baltimore, Maryland, there is more than just sick beats—underneath, there is pain, heartbreak, and anger, which help ignites the fire Scott injects into every track he produces.
True Hollywood Talk spoke with Jay Scott, an up-and-coming music producer and artist from Baltimore, Maryland.
THT: How did you get into music? What was your inspiration?
Jay Scott: I got into doing music by my uncle tony who was a church organist. He played the piano and I was very intrigued by the sound of the keys playing. I was Intrigued by the keys playing because I loved how it sound sonically. It was as if the sounds itself were moving me swiftly, even though I was standing in one spot the entire time. I just loved it.
THT: Is there anyone you attribute your love for music to? Any inspirational figures?
JS: As I mentioned above, definitely my Uncle Tony, who is the inspiration behind all of my songs. Throughout this process, he has told me to FEEL the music. I have never not written a song and not felt what I was writing. Everything I put into my raps, I must go back in my mind and feel what happened—reliving those experiences. When I talk about things now, I still feel it, everything that’s happening around me to be specific.
As our conversation progressed, Scott began to open up even more about why music is such an instrumental part of his life and why his Uncle Tony has been more of a “father-figure to him.” Adding to Scott’s desire to feel what he is writing and performing, he shared that he puts feelings of “depression, anxiety, and anger” into his writing.
Unfortunately, Scott attributes his “short-temper” to past struggles involving bullying and his biological father, or as he recognizes him as his “sperm donor.”
“My real dad who I call my sperm donor, basically tried to kill me because he was drunk,” Scott began to explain. “He had me in a choke hold and I was terrified as hell. Growing up, I was never ‘popular’ because I was bullied a lot. In middle school I’d go into locker rooms just to be pushed around and made fun of.”
Scott referenced one time where “[he] had pee shoved in [his] face, just because they thought it was funny.”
“They used to laugh at my braids I had at the time because they wouldn’t reach my neck—my hair was short back then and my hang time was pitiful, ha!”
But despite the unfortunate circumstances Scott faced, he never let that stop him from accomplishing his dream of being a musician and sharing his sound with the world around him.
“I never really had a failure,” the artist told us. “Everything hasn’t panned out 100%, but everything has been a learning experience. I remember one instance where I had an opportunity to go and perform in New York for a big event and get a Migos feature for around $5,000. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the funds at the time, begging and pleading for some chance to make that happen. The individual who presented me with the opportunity was the first time I encountered a scenario where I felt I had dropped the ball on making something happen, but I certainly learned what to do for next time.”
THT: What would you consider to be one of your biggest “success” stories?
JS: The more I continued to make music, the more I was able to upgrade. I used to use a slide-up phone and record next to a speaker, producing song after song. A few years later I started recording with a colleague, K.I.D., who had a MacBook and a microphone with a light stand and a mic holder. The quality was certainly better than recording off a phone and using it as a speaker—but then again, I’ve been grinding, so I never expected to stay situated in one place.
Now, I use my bedroom as my studio and the quality of my sound is 100x better than what it used to be, allowing me to mix and master my own material. When I started, I didn’t have that opportunity. I do now.
THT: Recording and producing music in the 21st century can be somewhat of a challenge, as it is evolving rapidly. What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered along the way?
JS: The biggest challenge is to inspire and convince people to listen to your type of music. I plan to inspire people who do listen to the material I make. But I also want people whom are complacent in one genre to listen to me as well. They don’t have to like it, because quality is subjective. I just want them to listen to my message more than anything. I plan on doing that by putting it in EVERYONE’S faces when I promote my music. They’ll either listen or tell me to shut up, either one I’m fine with. They’ll at least know who I am.
THT: Recognizing today’s digital age and the rapid advancement of technology, what would you consider to be the most exciting part about writing, producing, and performing music?
JS: For me, the most exciting part about making music is listening to the mix. There are so many things you can do with an individual’s vocals. I generally like to have a deep voice effect or pan it left to right, while adding a distortion effect. It’s cool, but it’s time consuming to try and get that right mix down to the core. Quite frankly, artists and music engineers should never be bothered during that process. I’ve only ever performed a few times in cyphers and a few performances in my home state—they weren’t that exciting, but maybe soon that will change.
Scott also referenced some rappers he supports and looks to for guidance, including, but not limited to Kevin Gates, A$AP Rocky, Eminem, Denzel Curry, as well as some “underground rappers” like Nate Rose, Zero 9:36, Ryan Oakes, and Nic D & Clever.
But the reason Scott resonates with these artists relates back to those feelings of “aggression, anxiety, and anger,” he shared with us earlier.
“While each of these artists are all different, they all share that aggressive character trait,” Scott emphasized. “They also use that tactic on more calm beats, such as pop and R&B. While I’ve never personally spoken with these individuals, I look forward to that opportunity in the future.”
Nate Rose, according to Scott, is a talented musician, but at times “he can get aggressive, but I also like his softer side and prefer it over that aggressive side.”
As for Zero 9:36, “I can relate to him a lot, as we’re both aggressive and he talks about his personal life too, which is why he’s made my list.”
Ryan Oakes, on the other hand, “can switch up genres in a blink of an eye, which is dope because he’s unpredictable.” And Nic D, “keeps it real and he’s straight to the point,” which Scott plays into, because “[his] personality outside of rap is very blunt,” while Clever’s vocals are hard to match,
“I tried to get my vocals to match his one day, and it didn’t end well. I ended up straining my throat.”
THT: Let’s talk your newest track, “Closure.” How did it come together?
JS: The story behind my latest track, “Closure,” tells the story of a few women who broke my heart, critically. One of them was a relationship from high school. I received a text message one day containing a video of her having sex with another guy and laughing. I’ve always written songs about it, but never had the right beat to make it flow. That was until my producer, Todd Reyes played this beat this beat called, “All I Ever Wanted,” which were for my homies, Omeezy & Sensus. They wanted me on that song, but I didn’t like it as much, yet I loved the melody. A year later, we re-surfaced the beat and I told Todd we needed to redo this beat –within the next hour, he made what we now are releasing as “Closure.” It’s about that girl who hurt me, but I’ve gotten over that somewhat and added a few more women into the story (without naming names). I started with a catchy hook— “soon I’ll be pushing a rover, this conversation is over”. I really wanted something catchy, but also meaningful.
THT: What advice would you give to someone who may have endured (and survived) some of the struggles you shared with us, but also recognizes their own greatness to create a powerful sound to share with the world?
JS: Keep going and make it happen. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it—if you have a vision, follow that and do whatever you need to do to get there. Just remember sacrifice is a real thing and you’ll need to sacrifice a lot of things, depending on what you want to do.