In collaboration with

As part of Amazon Music Breakthrough Artists 2024, in collaboration with Notion, JayO reflects on a decade in the music game, making feel-good hits and his stubborn Virgo traits.

Meet JayO, the Tottenham-raised artist turning contemporary tastes into chameleonic rap. Honing his multi-genre sound from the moment he opened his laptop and booted up music-making software, the singer, songwriter and producer had a massive 2023, recognised by a well-deserved nomination for ‘Best Newcomer’ at this year’s MOBO Awards.  

 

The accolades don’t stop there, either. Supporting Nigerian megastar Rema at the O2 Arena, amassing over 100 million streams on uplifting single ‘22’ and hitting the red carpet for GQ’s ‘Men of the Year’ party are just a few other pinch-me moments most artists can only dream of, but JayO experienced in 2023 alone.  

 

A relentless work ethic has got JayO to where he is today. Inspired by Channel U, the defunct TV channel credited for breaking UK rap and grime luminaries, the British-Nigerian polymath looks to the top to find answers on his own creative path: framing music around nostalgia and current scenes like Afrobeats. 

 

Rolling out the red carpet for what will be another fruitful year, the best is yet to come from JayO, who’s hellbent on making the impact he knows his music warrants.  

Where does your name come from? 

Why JayO? First and last name. First initial is J, second initial is O. JayO, simple as that to be honest.  

Where were you born? 

Born in London, Middlesex Hospital, to be precise, in Tottenham. 

What’s your star sign? 

I’m a Virgo. I don’t know much about Virgos apart from they can be stubborn, so... 

How do you want your music to make people feel? 

Whenever I make songs, I want to make it feel like ‘This is what I want to listen to right now’. No matter the lyrics or the type of vibe it is, just that I can be in a happy space when I’m making it. To feel good, I think that’s the main thing. You can feel good when you’re sad as well, which is kind of controversial, but ‘feel good’ as a whole essence. So not every song will be a ‘feel good’ song. It’s just about how you make it as a wholesong from start to finish, the beat included.  

Tell us a bit about your production? 

My right-hand man RZ is a producer and we’ve been together since like three. He had a brother who produces, so just seeing that around me has influenced me. And also seeing him learn how to produce has influenced me.  

Do you have a pre-show ritual? 

Before a show… Think. I don’t really do much. Maybe drink ginger or just be on my phone, TikTok or YouTube or watch a movie. 

What’s your main source of inspiration? 

Just being a kid, my right-hand man is a producer and we’ve been together since like three. Having a brother who produces and seeing that stuff happen around me, seeing him learn to how to produce, that’s influenced me.  

Do you have a message for your fans? What can they expect from you?

Life is just every day going harder. Knowing that you have to achieve. You don’t have to achieve something, but if you want to make yourself happy, you have to achieve what you want to achieve. I’ve been doing music for coming up to 10 years and I didn’t stop. A few years ago I used to document myself, just talking to myself on camera, just to see where I was. Now they pop up on my memories and I see them and I’m like ‘Yeah, OK. I’ve kind of reached where I was going. 

What’s on your rider? 

I’m not really picky with my rider, just as long as there’s tequila. Fizzy drinks, pineapple, sweets…

Which artist past or present would you choose for a collaboration? 

There are a lot of names going through my head right now. I’d say D’Angelo, and present, I‘d say Drake, to be honest.   

What advice would you give an artist starting out?  

Keep believing, keep achieving.  

Describe your music?

I don’t know what the word is, but my music feels like sort of a ride. Feel-good. A lot of sounds, elements coming into one, I’d say. And probably when you listen to my music, there are small things that you won’t notice hearing until the second or third play.  

Listen to the Amazon Music Breakthrough 2024 playlist here:

Related Articles

Amazon Music Breakthrough 2024 Digital Cover: Wasia Project

Reflecting on their rise so far for the Amazon Music Breakthrough UK: Artists To Watch 2024 list, in collaboration with Notion, Wasia Project share their pre-show rituals and enduring inspirations.

Amazon Music Breakthrough UK: Artists to Watch 2024 Digital Cover – Elmiene

Get to know the boundary breaking rising star as he chats about making people cry with his soulful sound, the eternal impact of D'Angelo and what it means to be chosen as one of Amazon Music Breakthrough UK: Artists To Watch 2024.

Amazon Music Breakthrough UK: Artists to Watch 2024 Digital Cover – Jazzy

For Amazon Music Breakthrough UK: Artists to Watch 2024, in collaboration with Notion, Jazzy reflects on everything from her rider and pre-show rituals to dream collaborations and biggest pinch-me moments.