In The Spotlight: Jay Wud

I'm telling you, the coolest part of what I do are these spotlights! To be able to feature artists literally from all over the world is incredible to me, and something I dare not take for granted. As always, if you are or represent an upcoming artist, designer, producer, writer, etc., please visit our Features/Submissions page for guidelines on being featured on the blog.

My last spotlight of the day (check back throughout the week for more!) is Lebanese singer/songwriter Jay Wud! Inspired by artists like Prince, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Nivana, and more, his rock music is definitely amazing to listen to. Jay picked up his first guitar at the age of 13, after receiving one as a Christmas parents from his parents. It was at that moment that he knew that music was something that he wanted to delve into. "I began performing around Lebanon at the age of 16 with different bands," he said. "The first big show I did outside of Lebanon was with a band I played with at the time and was supporting Robert Plant in Tunisia." Being from Lebanon, Jay admitted, though, that the life there is rough, especially for a musician like himself. "I took everything I could from the good, the bad, and the ugly side of it," he stated. "I consumed it all and it made me who I am today."

After the war in 2006 in Lebanon, Jay moved to Dubai to focus on his career. The singer had collaborated with different independent bands in Lebanon, and but moving out to Dubai allowed him to focus on his writing and sound. He self produced and released his debut album New Blood in 2010, followed by a second album, False Utopia, in 2012. After releasing that album, he was able to perform a bunch of different shows to support his release, and was able to open up for Guns N' Roses in Abu Dhabi!

Jay's most recent single "Low" came at admittedly a very hard place in his life. The hardcore song goes inside Jay's mind a little bit, and he sings openly about being on the verge of breaking down in the track. The music itself is absolutely incredible! "The riff was just playing in my head constantly and the lyrics just came out," he said. "I couldn’t have timed it differently." Check out the official video below, and be sure to purchase "Low" on iTunes and other outlets.

In late 2014, Jay made the move to Los Angeles to begin recording his third album, which he is currently working on. The project, produced by Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, Papa Roach) and mixed by Mike Plotnikoff, will give "a mature, heavier, and in your face sound," according to Jay. There's no set release date just yet, but we can definitely expect the project this year! Jay is also working on two very big projects, which he couldn't disclose to me due to contractual agreements, but he plans to announce them very soon.

In terms of what sets him apart from other artists out now, he believes being from the Middle East and the issues he's seen there has an impact on his sound and music "I come from the Middle East which is packed with conflicts, politics, hardship and I’m the hungriest m*&^%#^&@^!r!" Jay said. In terms of his future in the entertainment industry, his goal is to branch out worldwide and have an impact. "My goal is to go global and be the first artist to break the region," I want to show the world what this region has to offer musically."

You can learn more about Jay on his official website, connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and listen to more of his music on SoundCloud and YouTube!

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