R&B artist, Jay Saint released his debut album “ExCommitted” earlier this month and get ready to find your next break-up anthem. Previously writing for Bad Boy Records and Danity Kane’s number one album, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Jay’s writing chops are proven. Now, he’s ready to step into the spotlight with his solo project leading with the single, “Push Away.”
Push Away is an island-infused bop proclaiming the end of a relationship, and the realization that it’s time to share your love with a partner that truly deserves it. This single sets the tone for the sound of ExCommitted. It’s a confident, bass filled vibe with hypnotic harmonies and breakup anthem worthy lyrics.
The Press was lucky enough to chat with Jay Saint during this exciting time in his career. We discussed what has shaped his talent as a songwriter, how he’s giving R&B everything it’s been missing and if he’s single — because it’s cuffing season!
Can you tell us about the first song you ever wrote?
The first song I ever wrote was in my dorm during my freshman year in college. At the time, I was listening to Mario’s “Go” Album. I was obsessed with his delivery and started to mimic the writing style. My nerdy side urged me to dig deeper and dive into the writer on the album, and writers that inspired them. I knew I wanted to take it serious after that.
How do you know when you have a bop?
I think I have a really great ear, but aside from instincts, I learned what makes a great song from great writers. I study all the successful writers and had the opportunity to work with the writer of Beyonce’s ‘Halo’ when I wrote for Danity Kane’s album. I remember her explaining how the B section needs to climax into the chorus. The melody has to stick. I make sure you always remember the chorus.
The Press readers are always trying to secure the bag! Tell us how you got the opportunity to work for Bad Boy Records…
After graduating college I decided to take a year off to figure out whether or not I wanted to pursue music seriously. I then started to figure out different ways to meet executives, A&Rs, and Producers. I purchased a contact list online provided by interns from major labels. I found myself at a Starbucks waiting for one of the contacts on the list to arrive and get his coffee. I followed him for three blocks and after the third block decided to run up and give him my CD. He listened to it and honestly the rest was history. Next thing I know, I’m in a writing session at Daddy’s House Recording Studios with Danity Kane.
Everybody knows Diddy as one of the toughest bosses. What was your experience like working with a legend like Diddy?
Although I only got the chance to meet him once, it was a very intimidating experience to say the least. Diddy is very cut and dry. There’s no grey area with him when it comes to music. It’s either a hit or it’s “wack”. The experience definitely made me develop tougher skin.
Now that you’re transitioning from behind the scenes as a writer, to the big stage as an artist, are you still open to writing for other artists? Is there an artist that you aspire to work with in the future?
I definitely see myself being heavily active in the songwriting scene. I’m always open to writing for major and upcoming writers. It’s a certain gratification that comes with knowing you wrote a song that’s successful for an artist. I would love to work with Rihanna. I think would make an amazing song together.
You describe yourself as the openly-gay artist that R&B needs. What is different about your vibe and your sound that R&B fans are missing?
I don’t think that my vibe and interpretation of R&B music has been presented by any artist, let alone a gay one. I also believe that it would be refreshing to hear a new perspective of the trials of love, especially from someone who isn’t afraid to share the truths of their sexuality.
How did you come up with the title “ExCommitted” for your debut album?
The title of my album originated from things I’ve experienced with my very short line of “Exes”. I touch on commitment issues both myself and my partners struggled with. It’s a journey through love, war, and self acceptance.
Your first single “Push Away” is the new break-up anthem. Can you tell us about your worst break-up and how you overcame it? What is Jay Saint’s breakup bounceback formula?
My worst break up was an “on and off” situation that extended over the course of three years. Breaking up with this person was hard because so many family members were involved on both ends. Breaking up with his family was harder than breaking up with him. I eventually got over the situation once I wrote a song about it. Writing has always been my tool for finding closure. So I guess my bounce back formula is my pen and paper.
Are you currently single, in a relationship or is it complicated?
I’m currently in a relationship and very happy.
Describe your ideal partner…
Without a doubt the person I’m with now is my ideal partner. I could dive into that but we would be here all day.
How has your family shaped your career?
My parents are incredibly supportive of my career. They are also extremely proud of me living in my truth. They are really my biggest supporters. Their support drives me to push harder to achieve more for myself. I don’t know what I would do without them.
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as a talented singer-songwriter who wrote songs that surpassed music. I also want to be known as the artist that paved a lane for male gay singers to be more open an comfortable in R&B.