Jay Dontay is a residential Tampa R&B artist with a sprinkle of rap. He began working on his first album in 2014 called Tipping Point, which can be expected by 2021. Dontay reflects the perfectionist so completely in his obvious unwillingness to release anything less than the best. In 2017, he released his first single “Again”.
Tipping Point is that classic, romantic R&B album you have been looking for; offering a tastefully arranged bouquet of 13 diverse love songs- with varying themes from heart aching relationships, gut wrenching breakup songs, and that regular in your feels old school vibe. Jay Dontay has always had vision, from his late childhood he sought a career making music, performing and touring the world. He longed to be the CEO of his own label, a boss from beginning to the end. “I love music, I have been performing since I was like 3, and playing drums since I was 2, so like when I first started singing I kind of like I exploded onto the scene, I was just everywhere.”
Dontay started performing at church events and grew his passion, spreading through differing venues in North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. “I take pride in my music. I don’t like to sound like everybody else. I’m not that guy who follows the current trend. I’m like okay, while everyone else is doing that, I am going to do this my own way. Eventually you get tired of trying to fit in. So you force yourself to make music that makes you feel good as an artist because the more you create for, what makes everyone else feel good, the more you start to forget who you are as an artist. So, yea, I take pride in my music because I know for a fact, if I like my music, someone else will, because I always make relatable music.”
In 2013, Jay moved to Tampa, Florida from North Carolina. Despite what his music may lead one to believe, he has had only one girlfriend in these many years. Or maybe it’s that ride or die R&B one of a kind we haven’t been able to find. After Jay and “Lady Luck” broke up reminders of their relationship trailed after him, displaying how memories attached to places, an address became a twinge of guilt or a shock of pleasure, and old friends caused awkward tension due to the change of one less. The dynamic is completely new, a dance everyone must learn, a new way to move. Lost in reminisce Jay’s melodies play from his heart, thoughts twined through days and bursts of passion, pumping notes through studio speakers, words crafted to remember the small moments frozen in time, lessons designed for each to define.
“After we broke up, I wrote the whole album in only a couple of days. There are like 10 songs that didn’t even make the album. I just couldn’t stop writing, just writing and writing, because love is a universal thing, so you really don’t get tired of it.”
Listen to find resounding lyrics such as “It’s crazy how the last time was our best time,” and “Where did we go wrong? And how did we get so weak when we were so strong?” .
“It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, because everyone deserves a chance to have love because if you’ve never experienced it, you’re really missing out. It’s just some people love differently than others.”
Learning from the past, Jay now believes to have a successful relationship everyone needs to make sure they can manage and be their own person before trying to create a life with someone else. This is what is needed to make the connection long lasting and worthwhile. Like the spark kindled with paper, oil and wood, to create the hot flames we all desire. As an independent artist, Dontay shares concerns over relationship partners’ ability to understand the drive of an artist and the time consumption involved, in addition for the need for balance, while also meeting everyone’s emotional needs.
While Dontay is no ghost on his local Tampa Bay talent scene, he admits he is working on social networking and just showing face at many and varying different events, all over the city. Dontay speaks on an opportunity to a pull up and play event, where he was able to perform his music in front of major, established A&R companies and so many more industry professionals. “I played one song and all the heads turned, that was it for me,” Dontay remembers, as he speaks about making some of his first major moves in the talent industry.
“You have to have good music and the people will come to you,” he adds.
Jay’s instant reaction to the meaning of happiness is instant gratification. And innocence. While his personal happiness is finding true peace. Jay believes in finding yourself and learning to understand and accept who you are completely is the only way to be truly happy. That’s how you find real peace. Separation from people, habits, events, and activities is warranted. Happiness is caused by selectiveness. Due to a torrent of problems in his own life such as 50 funerals a year, to parental issues and so much more, Dontay didn’t feel he found actual peace until overcoming his own demons late 2018. Making music as often as inspiration strikes, and pursuing every avenue to success to make his dreams come true, Dontay truly dreams of the showman’s life.
Jay Dontay has an old recycled song which said, “I always dream where I filled up the arena, where I look out to the crowd and they admire my genius. Then they take out their phones and turn their flashlight on, and don’t even turn it off until the end of the song”. True artists are like shades with a bright light of talent, pain and wisdom to give but without a filter too hard to take. A lampshade brings control to the display, and so artists tune the listener’s heart with their own woes and triumph’s so similar to the human experience of light and dark, pain and love, and the longing to share. Dontay emphasizes, “when you look at certain pictures where you see people perform, and all you see is a bunch of flashlights everywhere just recording? That feeling, and just hearing people singing your music, that’s where I want to be at. I don’t care if I only do that for one show, just that gratification that people are listening to your words, and your touching somebody enough to where they’re listening to it so much that they know the words, and it’s become like a part of their life, their story…if I could create a show like that, even just 1 or 2. That would be enough for me. Going on tour and connecting with people, that, that’s my ideal life.”
Jay Dontay recalls he has always been a little ahead of his generation, imbued with an old soul, he has answered questions from all ages for most of his life. “If you actually listen to my music I feel you will gain knowledge about love. Even when I was a kid I was like the love guru. Everyone came to me for love advice, or relationship advice. It was corny but it always worked out and at the end of the day. I just want to spread more love.”
Check out recent and upcoming EP’s, music videos, live shows, radio play sets featuring this ray of R&B sunshine, Jay Dontay. Music can be found spread across social media and all streaming platforms @jaydontay, with in person experiences, on 95.7 and 94.1 FM radio, as well as ClubSky and Whiskey in Tampa, FL.
Written By: Writerreyes