Name: Petrus “Jay R” Johannes
Occupation: Student at IUM and Entrepreneur
Relationship status: Single
This week The Villager sat down with afro pop artist Jay R to discuss his rise to stardom, his quest to contribute to the music industry and getting his heart broken.
How long have you been doing music?
I began with my career in 2008, I recorded a few song but I don’t even want to liosten to those songs now because I’m a new person now and my music has changed along the way. Back then I did R&B, Hip hop because I was inspired by American Artists I came to understand and love African music.
What is the inspiration behind your music?
I’m inspired by everyday live, my live and ladies.
How did you link up Beyond Horizon?
A friend of mine introduced me to the co-owner Shiikwa, because he felt like Shiikwa would like the types of work I was doing. He was really impressed with my sound as it is something that has not been done in the industry thus far.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Northern regions of Namibia in Outapi Obalantu, I was a shy young boy who couldn’t even look people in the eye when talking to them. I have no idea how my life changed
What projects are you currently working on?
Working on my album titled “The music Me and You”. My management and I are busy talking to Maven records, a Nigerian based record label, so we do a musical project with one of their artists. We are also busy shooting music videos for the album so we make a DVD titled Jay R_the music me & you. The fans can expect greatness from me.
What artists have you worked with thus far?
Locally I’ve worked with Bertholdt, 2ko + Koxa, Neslow and Jay Antonio and internationally I’ve worked with celebrated Angolan producer Dj Dorivaldo and two artists from Botswana.
When can we expect to see your album on our shelves?
My manager and I are currently putting everything together and it should be released next month as we are just busy with the art work.
What does Sawale mean?
Sawale is my own African slang word meaning “come back”. It’s based on the story of my past relationship, I was walking and the word Sawale just rang in my head and I came up with my own meaning. I immediately went to studio and told Jay Antonio I wanted to do a song titled Sawale, I told him how I wanted the beat and the melody. I knew what I wanted and that’s what I did.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in the industry thus far?
I’ve learned a lot of things. Locally the kind of music that we do, we don’t have our own sound and its lacking in our industry and the kind of music we do does not have a message.
What do you do on your time off?
When I’m not singing I’m usually reading or travelling.
What artists would you one day like to collaborate with?
I would like to do a song with Gazza any day any time, his really working hard and putting his name out there internationally. Recently I uploaded a short clip from my Sawale music video on my Instagram page and when I woke up I found a notification telling me Gazza liked my video and that was a BIG deal for me. Most established guys don’t like what upcoming artists are doing, but he liked what I’m doing.
Internationally I would like to work with Diamond Platnamz and Seyi Shay as I think she is a beautiful woman not just with looks but also on the inside.
What you and your colleagues mean when you say you want to bring out the Namibian sound and how exactly do you plan on doing that?
¬We recently organised a workshop with Nascam, we are trying to come up with another workshop where we will be doing music consultations and training artists on how to do music that doesn’t dye out after two weeks. Basically how to do music with quality and not just the twerkyy twerkyy things people are doing now, also music with a message that can help build the nation.
What advice do you have for your fellow upcoming artist?
My fellow artists should believe in themselves, work together uplift each other and do the music that they want their kids and nation at large to remember them for. Music with good content.