26 March 2014

Meet Cameroon's Youngest Yet Very Talented Artist - JAY JAY.

Hi guys,
This sizzling, young and talented artist is JAY JAY. He made his big official debut into the Cameroon Music Industry last year with the release of his first single “ZANGELEWA”. It immediately made buzz all over the internet, clubs and with Cameroonians international. It took no time for this 20 year old to become a household name and today he is counted amongst the top artists in the industry. I call him my ‘baby’ because he is just like a little brother but can I just say he has the mind, soul and brain of a 40 year old? Throughout the interview I was just like Woow, Woow, WOOW!!! Just read -on and See what I mean

-         Hi Jay Jay, how are you doing, hun? Thanks for accepting to do this interview with me.
Hello Alison, the pleasure is all mine J

-         Who is Jay Jay?
Ekiinyoh Emmanuel-Jonathan Ndinayi are my real names, I am a 20 year old, singer, songwriter and producer. I went to PNEU Bamenda as a kid, then to Sacred Heart College Mankon secondary education and did high school at PCHS Mankon. I’m presently a law student at the University of Yaounde 2.

-         Woow, so you are a Sesan.  Talent, brains and just 20 years old, talk about being blessed!!!! How will you describe yourself in 3 words?
Noisy, bold and noisy lol.

-         Lmao, can’t stop laughing. Why the name Jay Jay?
JayJay is the abbreviation of my name Jonathan. It’s supposed to be just one “Jay” but I decided I should double it cuz it sounded better that way lol.

-         Great choice!!! How long have you been in the music industry?
I’d been lurking around for a while trying to understand how the industry functioned before jumping in but I realized I can’t understand a great deal looking from outside, so I jumped into the game in 2008 and it has been my life since then. That makes it 6 years.

-         That would make you 14, when you started, woow! Has music always been something you have been passionate about?
Yes from a very young age music has always had this unexplainable power over me. Music has more influence over my thoughts and deeds more than any human does. Some call it madness, I call it passion.

-         Lol I call it passion + a calling, definitely not madness *smiles*. What made you decide to pursue a music career and what did your family and friends have to say about that?
I decided to pursue my music career because I wanted to live my life doing what I love and know best, rather than something I am passionate about just to earn a living. I believe that if you love what you do for a job, then you won’t have to call it work. Life is too short to give up my chance of living my dream. My family especially my parents were very sceptical about my decision but decided to support me for two reasons; They had seen how dedicated and serious I had become ever since I started frequenting the studio, dedication they never thought I had because I virtually never cared about any other activity that much and secondly on the condition that I did not drop my education to pursue music. In other words I was to continue with my career and my studies simultaneously, until I had my degree then I can fly which direction suits me best. The rest of my family embraced the idea and have been very supportive since then. They’re the best. 

-         Awww what an inspiration, I love what you said living your life doing what you love and not just for the money. Now that’s some star quality right there. Do you personally write your songs?
Yes I like working with my own inspiration so I prefer writing my songs. Most of my inspiration for writing is original, meaning it’s an experience and I am either going through or have gone through before. There are times it gets difficult to put how you feel in words but then I always find a way. Very little of my inspiration comes from stories or 2nd party experiences.

-         I now see why your songs and lyrics are very unique. How difficult was it for you to get a music director, producer and a team to work with when you started?
It was not too difficult getting the team given the fact that most people appreciated my music when I started but the difficult part was getting a dedicated and loyal team. I faced many instances of producers and event organisers exploiting my talent all because my team was not competent enough. I also faced lots of setbacks because of things not been done in time because the person in charge of that was too busy doing nothing and stuff like that. So actually the team was not hard to put together, but the right individuals were hard to find.

-         What an incredible answer!  It’s either you are super smart or you are an old soul. Since when did 20 year olds speak with so much poise? Woow Woow Woow!!!  How do you balance school and your music career?
It’s not easy but I take it as a challenge. When I’m not working on music, know I’m working on school work and when I’m not working on school work, know that am working on music. Every single minute of my 24 hours is allocated to an activity that concerns either school or music. It gets tough when I have performances both in and out of town, or exams coming up but the good thing is I have learned to manage my time and I know exactly when to do what. If faced with a situation of a clash and I have to choose, music will definitely be my choice because it’s my career. School will end someday but your career is with you, live along with. And for me it’s till death do us part lol. Also I enjoy being as busy as I am, because I hate idleness. I can be very mischievous if left idle lol.

-         Hahaha mischievous huh? Lol, but nicely said. Your first single Zangalewa (which I absolutely love) was a “hit” and made a lot of buzz in and out of Cameroon, what inspired that song and why the title Zangalewa?
The story in Zangalewa is actually an experience I had sometime back and an experience many of us guys go through even daily in life. I was looking for an experience many people could relate to. Zangalewa comes from the Bakossi word “Zangolewa” meaning “who sent me?” So the idea behind it is I’ve fallen for this girl to the extent am asking myself who sent me. “You di make my mind go Zangalewa” can be directly translated as “You’re making my mind think who sent me?”

-         Lol, thank God for this interview. I am bakossi and I don’t even know a thing. *Shame oo*. This is a silly question but what is the ‘Aleka’ dance and who came up with the idea? I love it by the way.
The Aleka dance is a move I put together with the help of a few friends, it was not really shown in the Zangalewa video because it has a song of its own which is to fully introduce the dance. ‘Aleka’ comes from the Banso dialect meaning ‘what have you lost?’ so the dance illustrates you looking for something on the floor. That’s how the idea of the name came about lol. What you saw in the Zangalewa video was a teaser of how it actually looks like, and the Aleka song and video drops this year!

-         Woow! Very interesting and creative. I can’t wait oo. How will you describe your music style?
Afrobeat with a blend of pop ;)

-         Who are your music muses?
Almost every good artist out there inspires me lol but if I have to narrow it down, the list comes down to Bob Marley, Jay Z, Jason Derulo, and 2Face Idibia. This gives a deeper meaning to the reason why I wake up every morning determined to sing for the world.

-         Which artists will you like to collab with and why?
I will love to work with Wiz Khalifa, I can’t think of any other rapper’s flow that I relate to like Wiz. I sooo wanna get on a song with him because I believe

-         Other than yourself, who is your favourite Cameroonian male and female artist?
My favourite Cameroonian male artist is Magasco. I like his uniqueness in style and lyrics. The passion in his songs is really powerful and his inspirations are always ideas everyone can relate to. He is definitely someone who gets me on my feet when he starts singing.
My favourite female artist is Gasha, I really don’t need to say much because it’s for the same reasons she is everyone’s favourite. Talented, humble, smart, polite, a million dollar smile and THAT VOICE! She definitely arrested me like a #MbereMbere


     Lmao soo true!! Do you think the Cameroon music industry encourages the growth of young & upcoming artists? How?

I will take both sides on this. Yes and No.
Yes because the industry is at a point where progress is very visible. We are beginning to touch greater horizons and some young upcoming artists who might have been feeling discouraged not seeing any bright future in the industry will be motivated to work harder. They finally have hope and this will keep them moving ahead.
No, because most of those who make up the industry that these upcoming artist see decide to form camps against each other. If competition is the justification for this then I never thought competition meant war. We have certain unnecessary beefs among us that don’t let us work together. This highly discourages upcoming artist because most believe we can do better as a family, and divided we can easily crash. Not to talk of an industry we still trying to setup and some artist who have attained some fame begin asking for money from young artists to do featuring. People have different opinions about this I personally do not condone with such at this stage the industry is. And I believe this barrier some artists put between themselves and upcoming artists scare them away.

-         Woow woow woow!! You are 200% right, thanks for your sincerity and mature stand on the matter; you are the first person to really call a spade a spade. Artists need to work together for sure. What is the most difficult part of being an artist in the Camer music industry?
The most difficult part of my career is exposure. Promotion is rather very expensive and we have less platforms and opportunities to showcase our music such as shows. When it comes to TV, local stations make it very difficult for videos to be broadcasted due to high prices for airplay. So it is really difficult because they are not helping promote us. Just a few have actually taken it upon themselves to provide as much support as they can to promote Cameroonian music.

-         I can’t believe people have to actually pay for airplay etc. This is insane. What can Cameroonians (bloggers, designers, PRs etc) do to help?
I think PRs and bloggers should keep posting our products and articles on their websites because it is doing much good. Also I will appreciate critical reviews by professionals. This helps me identify my mistakes and not repeat them. There are many Cameroon blogs existing at this point but very few with objective writers. This should be looked into as well. I wish to use this opportunity to thank the blogs for their support.
-         Woow you just keep surprising me with your level of maturity. You are so right about having a critic reviews. Most artists see it as being mean, wicked, and being a “hater”. I wish more of them could think like you. Critics are supposed to make you better. God bless your heart. Should we be expecting another single? If yes, when and what is it about?

Yes I will be releasing another single sometime this month. The title is confidential as of now and release date not set yet. But rest assured you will love it J
-         Ok oo, I trust you.What’s next for Jay Jay this year?
I am currently working on an album, due in December. A couple of singles and videos before then. And I will be doing a lot of collabos this year as well.

-         Can’t wait oo!!! Where do you see yourself in 5 years?      
Well in 5 years’ time I see myself having attained an international level of recognition and respect for what I do. Surrounded by the people who have been fighting for the same thing as me right now. I see myself also helping others to identify and cultivate their talents.

-         Woow, since the release of your single, I am sure you have had a lot of fans. How do you deal with your fans especially female fans?
Well I love them a lot, because the love they have for my music motivates me and makes me work harder. So I always make sure I keep them smiling no matter what and I won’t cease to do that.

-         Nicely said. Thanks soo much Jay Jay for this interview, this has been one of the most honest interviews I have ever had. I really admire what you do. Keep up the great work.
Thanks for the interview Alison. I really appreciate it. Luv ya. 

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