We had the pleas­ure of sit­ting down with the tal­en­ted sing­er-song­writer Jay’D Wil­lis, whose debut single ‘Night Til Morn­ing’ is cre­at­ing waves in the music industry. With its dis­tinct late 90s and early 2000s vibe, the song cap­tures a sense of nos­tal­gia while infus­ing Jay’D’s unique touch. Draw­ing inspir­a­tion from icon­ic artists like Sean Paul, Wayne Won­der, and Ja Rule, Jay’D shares how their music shaped his artist­ic jour­ney and influ­enced his own cre­ation. Fur­ther­more, we delve into the chal­lenges faced dur­ing the record­ing pro­cess, the cul­tur­al back­ground that fuels Jay’D’s music, and his aspir­a­tions to cre­ate a last­ing impact with his music. Read on as we uncov­er the story behind ‘Night Til Morn­ing’ and explore what’s in store for Jay’D’s future releases.

Con­grat­u­la­tions on the release of your debut single, ‘Night Til Morn­ing’! Can you tell us a bit about the inspir­a­tion behind the song and what it means to you?
The song was inspired by party and night­life atmo­sphere of the Carib­bean, I like to describe ‘Night Til Morn­ing’ as a sweet memory, a story of how love, lust and how whenev­er you’re in the moment you don’t care about a person’s flaws.

The song has a dis­tinct late 90s and early 2000s vibe. How did you cap­ture that nos­tal­gic feel while still adding your own unique touch?
‘Night Til Morn­ing’ was all about bring­ing the feel­ing back of how us as people con­nect with music, for me per­son­ally the best era of music was the late 90s/ early 2000’s — you can’t touch it and the way it made you feel spe­cial. I wanted to bring that back with a mod­ern twist, as well as execute the per­form­ance with authen­ti­city and real feel­ings.

You men­tioned draw­ing influ­ences from artists like Sean Paul, Wayne Won­der, and Ja Rule. How did their music impact your artist­ic jour­ney, and how did you incor­por­ate those influ­ences into ‘Night Til Morn­ing’?
Hon­estly, as a youth all I can remem­ber is Ja Rule on the TV all the time, I really believe he set the path for artists that sing and rap today but really doesn’t receive his flowers for it. R&B, Hip Hop, Dance­hall, they all come in one. Without one there isn’t the oth­er, but the influ­ence Ja Rule has on music and how he has impacted mod­ern music today is undeni­able. Sean Paul, Beenie man and Wayne Won­der were pion­eers of my youth, they’re the soundtrack to my child­hood and I can only thank them for the influ­ence they have on my music today.

The music video for ‘Night Til Morn­ing’ pays homage to Beenie Man’s ‘Gal Dem Sug­ar.’ What made you choose that video as a source of inspir­a­tion, and how did you put your own spin on it?
The one thing I loved about music grow­ing up was the videos, the aes­thet­ics they’d bring. ’Gal Dem Sug­ar’ is an icon­ic record and I wanted to bring that same energy into ‘Night Til Morn­ing’ with my record hav­ing that nos­tal­gic feel, we had to deliv­er nos­tal­gic vibes with the video too.

‘Night Til Morn­ing’ is described as a groov­ing, suave, and sen­su­al hit with undeni­able dance­ab­il­ity. Was it your inten­tion from the begin­ning to cre­ate a song that would get people mov­ing and in a good mood?
Well I think every time you make a record it is import­ant that you feel some­thing. Without feel­ing what is music? In Jamaica music is life, sen­su­al feel­ings and dan­cing is a big part of the cul­ture so it was import­ant that the audi­ence felt that as well. With every record I write I just want people to feel some­thing. Wheth­er you cry, dance or laugh, if you feel­ing some­thing, then it’s a suc­cess.

As someone hail­ing from Jamaica, how has your cul­tur­al back­ground influ­enced your music­al style and the themes you explore in your music?
Grow­ing up in Jamaica music is every­where, school, a taxi, church, a funer­al even out­side! Music is a big part of your life as it is cul­ture, it’s has influ­enced me massively, as well grow­ing up hear­ing the older gen­er­a­tion play­ing Reg­gae at every func­tion. The best part about the Islands is music nev­er dies and and the old­est of old songs still get played to this day. I talk about Saint Eliza­beth and how life was in the coun­tryside of Jamaica, but it’s prob­ably one of the hard­est places to make it out of espe­cially in the music scene as the oppor­tun­ity is small.

Can you share with us some of the chal­lenges you faced dur­ing the record­ing and pro­duc­tion pro­cess of ‘Night Til Morn­ing,’ and how you over­came them?
The biggest chal­lenge about record­ing ‘Night Til Morn­ing’ was myself, I’m my biggest crit­ic and I just have to relax and let the music do the talk­ing. Ori­gin­ally ‘Night Til Morn­ing’ star­ted as just a free­style but I felt it could’ve been more, so it was all about turn­ing this free­style into a hit song and some­thing people could res­on­ate with. Through tri­als and tribu­la­tions I got there but it was all about self belief in myself and my pen.

‘Night Til Morn­ing’ is being widely received by fans and listen­ers. How does it feel to have such a pos­it­ive response to your debut single?
The response of ‘Night Til Morn­ing’ is crazy because I haven’t felt it yet. In my mind the work hasn’t been done yet and I need to keep work­ing and work­ing to get this song as big as pos­sible, but the love people have for my music means a lot and I hope the masses are ready because this is just the start. To debut inde­pend­ently under my own inde­pend­ent Label “Nos­tal­gia NBR”, and to be doing inter­views talk­ing about my record are things a young coun­try boy like me only dreamed of.

What can fans expect from your future releases? Will they fol­low a sim­il­ar style or will you be explor­ing dif­fer­ent genres and sounds?
I think the fans are going to be pleas­antly sur­prised with the next wave of music com­ing, and the vibes I’m bring­ing, stor­ies and more memor­ies. More music, more genres but still authen­tic­ally Jay’D!

Lastly, how do you hope your music, par­tic­u­larly ‘Night Til Morn­ing,’ will res­on­ate with your audi­ence and leave a last­ing impact on them?
I say it over and over again but I mean it when I say I want my music to be remembered forever, for it to be your throw­back in 10,20,30 years time, to be that soundtrack to many peoples lives, child­hood and adoles­cents. I just want to be the best ver­sion of myself I can be, grow with my music and my fans and always be there when the people need me.

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.