Co-Authored by Entertainment Editor Kelly Gibson
Some artists searching for their big break need state-of-the-art equipment and a working team to help them find their footing.
Jana Jennings, also known as JAYDOT, is not your typical rising artist. Only needing the support of his laptop and headphones, the 20-year-old Penn State sophomore is making his name and tracks known around the globe, one emotional and pumped up remix at a time.
Jennings is a self-taught and virtuosos economics major who has a passion for writing and producing his own music. If you haven’t heard of him yet, now is your chance to before the world does. In honor of a new track the artist is releasing internationally in the upcoming week, titled “Stories,” Valley decided to meet up with the rising star to hear his own story.
Born in Philadelphia, Jana was only seven years old when his passion for music ignited. He taught himself how to play many instruments including the piano, guitar, bass and cello. From there, his interest in music only grew stronger as he began to learn the his own style for composing songs and making his own tracks.
Most recently, the artist made waves around the world when he released a remix of a popular song by R&B artist Kehlani, “Preach” with fellow singer Ambré. The track currently has over 41,000 listens on Soundcloud and that number is continuously growing. You can check out the track for yourself here.
While JAYDOT is receiving success and praise from his growing fan base (over 2,000 followers on Soundcloud and Twitter), his biggest critic is definitely himself.
“I honestly hated everything that I made for at least 3 years into making music, but something kept pushing me to keep going. I’m definitely too hard on myself,” Jenning says. “I didn’t even see it as a career for a while. But then I had the opportunity to work with other singers who reached out to me, and that’s when I realized people really like my music.”
Jennings describes his music style as emotionally driven. He starts out with an instrumental melody, and then add samples from other songs to create an interesting composition open to interpretation by the listener.
“With every track I put out convey a message tell a story of your own personal experience,” He says. “Telling a story without words is definitely what I love to do the most.”
His latest track, appropriately titled “Stories” will be released to the public via a music blog based on Vancouver. It will be one track as part of a compilation album with various artists around the world, and will surely give Jennings even more global exposure.
While Jennings is striving to not be so hard on himself while creating music, he says that he is overwhelmed by all of the support he gets from his friends and family. However, his greatest source of guidance comes from his manager, friend, and fellow Penn State student artist, Josh Pascale.
Pascale, who goes by Bosh Dotti, is a Penn State senior and has worked as Jennings’ manager for the last half of the year. The two instantly connected through a mutual love of their music.
“We met last year when we started making music together. We’re at the point where we can be totally honest with each other, which is the most important thing with making music,” Pascale says. “Sometimes, I’ll be sitting in class and we’ll send each other links to what we’re working on. You’ll get back a few paragraphs of feedback so fast. It’s great.”
However, while the rise of his talent is as promising as his multiple recording contract offers, Jennings one day hopes to take his economics major into play and start a record label that helps other rising artists tell their stories.
“I just would love to bring music, art and any other creative media all together in one place,” He says.