“I believe that if you claim to be a real “artist” you should be able to dabble in any musical environment”
Can you guess who I’m talking about she’s raw, she’s real, has pure talent, and can rap circles around some of the many female rappers that we have today; you still don’t know well then let me help you out since you’re a little slow and its ok. Her name is Jayy Starr, born June 4, 1989 in Inglewood and was destined for fame. Recently I was lucky enough to get to do an interview with Jayy Starr and well, how about we let the interview speak for it’s self.
Who gave you the name Jayy Starr?
Well, I guess you can say I was born with half and adopted the other half (lol). My first name is Jessica, so everyone I know, friends and fam, call me Jayy. Then once I started doing music heavily and performing a lot of people started calling me superstar. Around this time I was still going through possible stage names, trying to find one that fit my identity perfectly. So I finally thought one day, “Hey, why don’t I use my nickname Jayy and something else” then I remembered “superstar” and put two and two together. Now the rest is history.
Is there anyone you look up to in the music industry?
There’s a few people actually. First and foremost my grandmother. She was heavy in the game back in the day on the gospel world. Has an album out and all that. Her group was the LA Gospel Jewels. Then after her Ludacris, Queen Latifa, Da Brat, Will Smith is my biggest influence, just so many people. Basically anybody promoting positive and doing well for themselves.
Who helped you get your name out there?
I’d have to give most of the credit to myself. I’ve always been a real business minded person since a young age so I’ve always asked questions and used knowledge from people that knew the industry I wanted to be in. I used every online outlet I could once I got the internet (lol) and just grinded. Recorded songs on my computer mic and posted them on various sites and oddly enough people actually those songs. When I listen to them now I laugh, I was wack (lol), but they must’ve seen something in me. I started learning the ropes with networking and eventually met a lot of different people that helped here and there, which lead me to meet even more helpful people. So on and so forth. Now I am where I’m at now with my wonderful team Hot Beetz Universal and HarveyFunn Entertainment.
Growing up in a single parent home surrounded by gangs, was music your escape from all the drama?
Yeah it definitely was, but I was young you know so I didn’t stray too far from the trouble. I was a real bad kid, smart as hell. Always had advanced courses in school, honor roll, special writing programs, the whole nine, but danger was fun to me back then. Whether it was in school causing ruckus in class, stealing from the local ice cream trucks and liquor stores (lol) or throwing rocks at gangmembers or police cars with my little “crew”. Once I realized music was my true calling I simmered down A LOT.
Have you been able to work with any big artist? I actually have. I was approached by Tyght Whyte’s management Max and Tyght is a southern artist who has a single coming out and the two features on the single are myself and Hurricane Chris. So we all parlayed and talked the politics. I got in the studio laid my part down and the rest is history. The record should be dropping soon. Also, thanks to twitter (lol) I’ve chopped it up with Reed Dollaz and we’re going to get a hot track out to the people soon as well.
What made you turn to raping and not be a typical female singer?
(lol) I started off singing, in the church with my grandmother at a very young age. I went to all the conventions and quartets that different churches would have and sang. They loved me, but you know around like 9 years old I really started to put my pen to the paper even more, but this time with a beat. I fell in love with all things hip hop. It wasn’t the bling or the cars. It was just the music. I was infatuated with the words. Imagine me this 9 year old little girl with pigtails sitting in the middle of my grandmothers bed with her old tape player listening to the classics. I grew up in a home surrounded by music, but it was mainly gospel or the oldies like Al Green, Minnie Ripperton, who happens to be one of my favs, The Temptations, The OJays, Frankie Lymon, Diana Ross, everybody in that era you know, but the first rapper I ever really listened to was Cannibus. His wordplay is unlike any other. So I was this young kid listening to his music, learning his lyrics and dissecting them, actually understanding what he was talking about. I wanted to be the female version of him growing up. I didn’t care about how successful he was or not. I just wanted to rap like him.
What’s your personal rap style?
I don’t really think I have one set style. I believe that if you claim to be a real “artist” you should be able to dabble in any musical environment (genre), adapt, and come out with a hit. That’s what I do. I try not to stick to one set genre because I want everyone to be able to enjoy my music. For those that might not like rap, maybe they’ll like one of my pop joints you know. I’m pretty versatile and that’s what you have to be to have longevity in this industry because it’s constantly changing. What’s hot right now may be old news tomorrow.
With nicknames like “the princess of Hip Hop” and “West Coast voice of the youth” do you feel that will be hard to live up too?
Eh, I don’t think it will be. I mean right now I have one foot in the door so I’m having fun with it and I know once I’m fully in that’ll be when the real pressure is on from holding those titles. Critics and naysayers will be hard at work trying to prove I’m not, but I’ll keep a level head and continue putting out hot music for the people. You know there’s always going to be someone saying the “not’s” and “Can’t’s”, but that’s just life. I can’t have everyone loving me, it wouldn’t balance out with the universe (lol). It would kind of creep me out. I’ll definitely do what I do though.
Being a pretty lady like yourself I know a lot of guys would like to know if you are spoken for or not. So are you in a relationship or is your main and soul focus your music right now?
(lol) Oh geez. Well technically I am super single. No ring on it (lol). I am on the other hand dating. Pretty much testing the waters. There’s like, so many attractive guys out there and being in this industry I have access to ALL of them (lol). So I’m seeing what’s good for now and keeping my options open until I’m ready to settle. Like the song says “girls just wanna have fun” (lol) and actually dating kind of sparks my song writing. Different experiences are where I get some of my best work from. Don’t get it twisted though I let them all know my primary focus is music and family.
Other songs by Jayy Starr