Written by Brittany Shawnté
Another spotlight for you all today! As always if you are or represent an upcoming artist, designer, producer, etc., and are interested in a feature on the blog, please email me with a request!
Today on The Spotlight, we have hip hop artistJaybird! Hailing from San Diego, CA, Jaybird got his start in music very early. Growing up in a musical family and influenced by his own father’s R&B group, “The Isles,” the rapper started singing at the age of five. However, all wasn’t easy for him. “My parents were divorced, though both stayed in my life,” he said. “My mom always kept me and my big brother in nice neighborhoods, but because of that, money was tight.” Holding on to faith and family, Jaybird acknowledges his upbringing is what made him a stronger artist.
When he was eight, he fell in love with hip hop, and went on to pursue it as he got older. “I would always rap in the lunch time cyphers at my old high school, Rancho Bernardo High School,” Jaybird recalled. “Every time I would rap, there was always a huge crowd watching and cheering me on.” After recording his first track, “Put Your Hands Up,” at 15, he knew that rapping was something he wanted to serious pursue.
Jaybird got the chance of a lifetime as a part of the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher, which he acknowledged as “a dream come true.” “I always said, ‘One day I’ll be there,’ and God put me there. I will forever be thankful. That was definitely a blessing,” he said of the opportunity. In June the next year, the artist released his mixtape, One Shot. “On One Shot, I just wanted to give the world a taste of what I can do, what I stood for, and where I’m coming from,” Jaybird said. The project was engineered by RJ Colston, who works with Dr. Dre. The rapper also worked with a few up and coming producers, as well as Sendak from the band We Are Sirensto complete the tape. One of his favorite tracks is “Daygo,” which has a Houston feel to the beat. “When I first heard the beat, I got really excited because I’ve never written a Houston style flow before,” he said. The funny part is that “Daygo” is a Texas style track written about Jaybird’s upbringing in San Diego!
Currently, Jaybird is working on his EP which will be released under Zobe Records. In terms of what he feels separates him from the many other artists out, he said, “I dance to the beat of my own drum, I don’t rap about things I don’t do, and I don’t degrade women with the B word and the H word.” He’s definitely an artist on the rise to be on the lookout for, so be sure to check him out!