Q&A's

Q&A with Jay Valor

 

Jay Valor recently released his new song “Back to Houston,” and his career has catapulted in big ways on the back of it; including having the song added to a Spotify “Fresh Finds” playlist. We recently had the chance to check in with Jay and talk with him about the new song, the process for how his thoughts and ideas become the songs we get to hear, his most favorite song that he’s ever written, and much more!

www.jayvalor.com

1. Tell us a little bit about your new single “Back to Houston.”

I wrote this song about a past relationship, where I gave up so much just to make it work. I left my hometown and everything I knew, and I got lost in someone else’s world only to come up empty handed. I gave everything while she gave little to nothing. Then I found out that there was someone else in the picture as well. I was devastated and felt like I was lost on another planet. I decided to leave and go back home. Being back with my family and loved ones in a familiar world that was mine felt incredible and washed away so much of the sadness I was feeling. I realized I was right where I belonged.

2. The song carries a strong message about the importance of a trip back home to reconnect with what matters most. With everything going on in the world today, why did you most feel that this was a message we needed to be reminded of right now.

I think it’s important to never lose sight of what matters most. Life is unpredictable, and it’s very easy to lose our way. I feel like we should never let go of the things that keep us grounded whether it's family, friends, our passions, or home. Don’t sacrifice who you are for anything or anyone else.

3. How do you feel this song represents you the best as far as showing where you’re at as an artist and songwriter today, verses in comparison to when you released your 2016 EP Born to Run?

Well, I was in a different place in 2016. I was going through my parents’ divorce and was dealing with the life changes that came from that. When I wrote the songs on “Born to Run”, I was the product of a broken relationship and was writing from that experience. The songs moving forward have more to do with relationships of my own, and experiences that I’m directly responsible for.

4. For your longtime fans, as much as you’ve grown in these areas, what traits will they notice carrying over that are the thread that binds the past with the here and now.

Passion, devotion, commitment, and the creativeness to put those emotions into words so they feel like they’re living in that moment with me.

5. You’re the sole songwriter on “Back to Houston.” Tell us a little bit about your songwriting process.

Funny enough I kind of feel like I’ve never written a song in my life. My subconscious mind just takes over at the strangest times, and it’s like word vomit on the page. I’ll wake up at 2am, pick up my guitar and start playing a riff I came up with earlier and sometimes just sing the entire song like it had already been written. Then I’ll truly find out what the song is about a couple months down the road and it's always about personal experiences with the details well hidden in the lines. My subconscious mind is pretty much my therapist. It’s hard for me to just sit at a desk with a guitar and say “alright, we’re writing a song today”. Every time I try to force it, I never really come up with anything. So, it’s strange but I don’t really have much of a conventional process.

6. Do you ever co-write?

No, I’ve never co-written a song from the ground up with anyone, but I have helped other people finish songs they’re stuck on.

7. What does it mean to you that “Back to Houston” has recently been added to Spotify’s “Fresh Finds Country” playlist?

I am beyond humbled and blessed to have been added amongst so many incredible artists.

8. Is this song a stand-alone single, or do you have plans to include it on a bigger project in the near future? An EP, album, etc?

My intention was originally to drop an EP. However, I feared that the connection between the songs and the listeners might be lost. I really want to take “them” on the journey through each song with me. Each song is very different, and I don’t want those emotions lost. I want for them to really feel like they are living in each track. One could easily consider each song a stand-alone single.

9. What can we expect to hear from your upcoming songs/releases that “Back to Houston” doesn’t give to us that will add another layer to who you are as an artist? Is there a song you’re working on that you’re most excited about sharing with your fans?

Each song shows different struggles I deal with, so they all peel back the layers of who I am. “Back to Houston” showed one of many different sides.

“Reason You Left” is a song I’m extremely excited to share. It’s my favorite song that I’ve ever written. Just so you know, this song shares no relationship with “Back to Houston” in any way. It’s the song I relate to on a much deeper level than anything else I’ve ever written.

10. What is the best piece of advice that you can offer an aspiring songwriter/artist just trying to break into the music business?

No one has your best interest at heart like you do. 

Be very careful with who you trust.

Be as self-reliant as possible and never stop learning new skills. In the beginning, it's normal to need a little help, whether it be with recording, mixing, mastering, videography, photography, etc… However, work towards learning to do those things yourself as best you can.

Also, never measure your success by where other people are in their journey. Things take time, don’t be discouraged. Make sure you have a plan/roadmap that leads you to where you truly want to go to avoid wasting time walking blindly.

Believe in what you’re doing and just keep moving forward. Enjoy every single step of your journey and always live in the moment.

 

Learn more about Jay Valor by visiting his official website at:  https://jayvalor.com/

 

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