Jesus “Jay Texas” Smith is part of the new generation of hip hop. Bringing multiple music genre influences in creating a unique musical style. He uses his own experiences of hardship growing up in a story telling songwriting style. With heart filled lyrics about a young adult finding oneself and learning how to take on responsibilities the world shows to all us, he uses his lyrical abilities to express to the listener you are not alone. He is not the average hip hop emcee who bases all his music on one subject or style. He believes we all share a different taste in music and why stay categorized in one topic when he can touch bases on what his songwriting abilities and musicianship will allow him to cover. So for those who have ever felt the weight of the world crashing down on them, have been in love or have been heart broken. For those who felt betrayed by love ones, has lost a love one, or simply enjoys partying with their best friends. I guarantee, you will be able to relate to story/song told by Jay Texas. So for those have never heard or for those who are current fans, I advise you to stay tune for what Jay Texas holds for the future of hip hop.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
JAY TEXAS: I’ve been writing music for 10 years now. I started in the 7th grade when I was 12 years old after watching the movie 8 Mile. I started writing 16 bar verses and used to battle rap the other kids at my school. I did this until I hit high school. During my freshman year of high school I stopped rapping completely and joined a metal band. Something about hip hop music at that time just didn’t interest me the way rock music did. Being in a band I had a greater understanding how each instrument created a song. I learned how to actually song write, oppose to just writing verses. I did the rock scene until my freshman year of college, that’s when my band broke up. I loved playing in a band, unfortunately being in a band you rely on everyone to contribute a part appose to you writing solo music. So I took this time during my early college days to start writing hip hop music. As a solo artist I’ve released one full album, went on a two week tour and gained a lot of success locally. I fell in love with the road so I’m hoping to gain more experience touring this year.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
JAY TEXAS: My music has always been an outlet to channel my emotions. Writing songs about problems I’ve overcome or struggles I continue to have. Listening to my music gives me a sense of accomplishment of hard times I’ve passed. It allows me to reflect and say “hey look where you used to be, look where you are now.” Whether I’m writing music to help myself, I know these complications I write about, other people go through them as well. I hope by releasing my music to other people, one could feel like they aren’t isolated in a situation and no one is feeling what they’re going through.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
JAY TEXAS: My songs vary from struggles of everyday life, finding love, having your heart broken, gaining friendships, losing loved ones, and party with your best friends. I do my best to write each song with something unique. If you listen to my whole album I don’t think you’ll find a song that sounds similar. Which I feel helps because a lot of artists or bands get stuck in a genre. They feel like they have to write only to that style of music which as an artist I don’t think we should. At the end of the day, your music will reflect you and your own emotions. So write whatever makes you happy before pleasing someone else.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who is your fan base directed towards?
JAY TEXAS: I think it’s hard to say because I have musical influences from so many genres. Personally I listen to so many styles of music. I found a way to appreciate and understand the vision of where each artist is attempting to do. I have extreme metal heads who love my music and old school hip hop heads who love my music. Which to me I feel like is better than having purely one style of fanbase. Once you find out your music is played only by hipsters, old school hip hop heads or whatever sub-genre of people like to place labels on, you feel pressured into making music they want to hear. Like I said previously, at the end of the night I want to write and perform music I like to hear. So if you come to my show and see a mixture of hip hop heads, metal heads and hipsters I feel like people can hear my music more than just me being a rapper. Because I really don’t consider myself a rapper, I always say I’m a hip hop musician.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influence?
JAY TEXAS: My musical influence range to what kind of day I’m having. I love to listen to bands like The Wonder Years, Man Overboard, Vanna, A Day To Remember and Fall Out Boy. On the hip hop side, I love listening to Eminem, Drake, Mac Miller, Grieves with Budo, and Travis McCoy. I pull a lot of influence from these artists or bands because I believe they make good music. Doesn’t matter what style, at the end of the day you just know good music. A band like The Wonder Years and Man Overboard helped me write better lyrics. The way they sing, paints a picture and somehow transports me in the middle of the song. It somehow makes you feel, this song is about me. Which I hope to influence on someone else one day. If it wasn’t for Grieves and Budo during college I don’t know if I be writing hip hop music right now. At the time I was so heavily influenced on being in a band I wanted to start another rock band after mine broke up. But once I heard Grieves and Budo I was like “Oh Sh*t, this is hip hop. This is what I want to make.” The way Grieves and Budo work together in created a whole song, it’s not just some instrumental with a guy rapping over it. It’s a full sounding band with a guy dropping some amazing lyrical content.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
JAY TEXAS: I’ve always described my music as real music about real life. Because ultimately that’s what I do and want to do. Write music that people can relate to, reflect on and dance too. I do my best to write deep lyrics but at the same time play them with instrumentals that make you want to move. I could be the most deep heart poet on stage, but at the end of the night I don’t want to leave anyone sad. I want to people to listen, understand, learn and have a few jokes and dances along the way.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
JAY TEXAS: I feel the way I write my music helps me stand out in the hip hop community. In hip hop you’ll see a lot of sloppy song writing; the verses have nothing to do with the chores and so forth. If I’m writing a song about overcoming life that’s what the song will be about, If I’m writing a song about partying with my friends that’s what it will be about. I’m concerned now with my flow and lyric delivery than punchlines and metaphors. You can hear countless songs with punchlines and metaphors but at the end of the song, what the hell was it about. Although every now and then I’ll write a song with punchlines and metaphors, I really try to do my best writing actual songs and not just the dopest verse I can deliver. I feel my style is unique and people have been showing me a great response. Plus I feel like I give a great live show, now a day everyone can steal your music for free online. It’s the live show people pay money to see.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
JAY TEXAS: I’m currently working on my next mixtape “Stories About Home” which is still underway of writing so I don’t have an expected release date. I’m hoping to have it out before April. In April I’m scheduling my next tour which will be all throughout Texas for two weeks. I’m speaking with some people and hopefully landing a gig at SXSW in Austin, TX this year. I have the El Paso Comic Convention in September. I’m scheduling myself to tour for two weeks every 3-4 months this year. So I’m praying everything works well and I have a better year than last year. I’m also in the process of recording my first music video, as of now we got a story board written up. I’m just waiting to shoot.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
JAY TEXAS: My goal/ my dream is to one day book a full US tour. I want to have each night booked with a couple hundred people and those people know who I am and know my music. I’ve been chasing that goal since I was in a band. I feel I’ve accomplished more in one and a half years as a solo artist than being in bands for five years. I do see the rise in fans and friends I’m gaining in other cities. I’m hoping to expand and gain a larger audience this year. I know it’s going to take constant touring and a lot of hard work to accomplish my goal but everyday I’m pushing myself to work harder for the opportunity not everyone is given. Ten years from now I still see myself writing and recording music. If it’s for just me or in front of an audience I don’t quite know yet, but music will always be a part of me. I don’t see myself ever stop writing. I hope ten years from now I’m still doing Jay Texas but hey life is weird. A year and a half ago I was struggling to find a hip hop promoter to throw me on a local show and now I’m trying to find promoters to book me out of town.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
JAY TEXAS: Listen to my music at:
Follow on twitter and instagram at: xjaytexasx
Watch videos at:
Email me about future shows, projects or fan mail at:
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