21 Nov Bassist Jay White Interview
INSIDE THE MUSIC MIND OF BASSIST, JAY WHITE
The Music Industry is full of creative people. From the musicians on stage playing bass guitar to the artists that make the posters that the promoters use to get people to the music venues. All the different people involved in making the music industry work have skill sets to be celebrated.
With Music Minds interviews, we are dedicated to finding talented people in the music industry and shining a light on their stories. From musicians to road crew, photographers and stage designers, we wan’t to know what draws people in to music as a passion, as a career, perhaps even a burden.
Getting “Inside the Music Minds” allows us to get to the beginning of the journey of some of the worlds best musicians and music industry professionals. In this edition of “Inside the Music Mind” we are joined by Jay White.
I met Jay White through the steel pan player and composer Jonathan Scales. Jay had been working out of New York before moving to Nashville to join the touring act for Amos Lee as well as Robert Randolph. I have had the pleasure of performing with Jay in The DAB Sessions (formerly Jam Just Happened) and know first hand that Jay is not only an amazing musician but also an amazing human being. It’s my honor to interview Jay White and share his story with you.
MM: SO WHAT WAS IT THAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MUSICIAN?
JW: I’ve been making music as far as I can remember, since 2 3 yrs old. My dad is a master musician and my entire family plays/sings so it’s definitely just in the blood.
MM: IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A GREAT MUSICIAN?
JW: The elements of a great musician is always listening, always learning, and the confidence in the listening and learning you’ve done will show itself MIGHTY in execution.
MM: WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INSPIRATIONS OF ALL TIME AND WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST OF THEIR DISCOGRAPHIES FOR PEOPLE THAT ARE BEING INTRODUCED TO THEM?
JW: My dad Jeffrey White he started this for me. It’s a lot of classics on YouTube with him on bass for Timothy Wright as well as his own albums with his choir. My brothers I grew up with are the best I know still. Cory Henry and Carlin White. I got to hone my writing and production skills through them. YouTube them both and be blessed. My fav album from Cory is “best of me” Twinkie Clark she’s another gospel icon of the Clark sisters. All things clark sisters and twinkie Clark u can find everywhere. “The masterpiece” is my fav. Check her phenomenal organ playing on YouTube. Bilal incredible vocalist who literally changed my life when I heard his sound. His debut album “first born second” is still a classic. Prince, who don’t love prince right? Lol. Victor Wooten he’s the goat of bass and huge influence on my playing. “A show of hands” the ultimate Victor album. Marvin Gaye (“I want you” album is my fav) and Donny Hathaway (“everything is everything”is my fav album) are the ultimate singers, I get my crooner vibes from them. Ok I’ll stop cuz I can literally go forever.
MM: IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A GREAT SONG?
JW: Elements of a great song is first have a great story. A catchy hook or melody that lingers way after the song is finished , and if you can be musically interesting in a way that’s not in the way or diminishes the song but helps tell the story, U can’t go wrong. Also simplicity goes a long way.
MM: IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A GREAT ALBUM?
JW: Elements of a great album is great songs period and great production would be a plus but my favorites are not the best in production.
MM: WHAT WAS THE FIRST ALBUM THAT REALLY GRABBED YOU? WHAT WERE THE SPECIFIC THINGS ABOUT THE ALBUM THAT MADE IT SPECIAL FOR YOU?
JW: Hmmm I don’t know if I can remember the first but early album was Kim Burrell “everlasting life” I never heard nothing like it. The songs were incredible, the musicianship was A1 and I was sure I never heard nothing like it. Everlasting life introduced a new way to play/song gospel music and infused the elements of jazz fusion and gospel perfectly. We never heard a voice like that either. Every participant on that record is a hero to me.
MM: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE PEAK EXPERIENCES OF YOUR CAREER? ANY FUN STORIES YOU CAN SHARE?!
JW: The peak has yet to come being that I’m in my launch now. It’s soo many great moments ill just pick one. Amos lee band , Sold out red rock amphitheater with Colorado symphony. It was the most beautiful night ever, the sound of heaven and a sight to behold. I’ll never forget it.
MM: WHERE DO YOU SEE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IN THE 30 YEARS?
JW: I never thought about that I’m such a in the moment guy lol. But I believe it will continue to evolve. Music will always be the soundtrack of life and because life embodies all, so will music and the industry. I’m optimistic about the business and the new ways of doing the business. Change is good and things are changing!
MM: FOR THE SERIOUS MUSICIANS OF THE WORLD, IS THERE A REAL PRO TIP YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE, BE IT AN EXERCISE, A LICK, A PRACTICE HABIT, LIFE ADVICE, ETC.?
JW: Yes my advice would be simply believe in yourself. Whatever you do, do it with your heart and believe in it. Faith is the key that unlocks the door. I would say be consistent, practice don’t give up blah blah but if you truly believe in what you’re doing the bi product is doing all those things that falls in line with your belief. You are who you say you are!
MM: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG MUSICIAN THAT WANTS TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN?
JW: Just do it, it’s nothing stopping you. As far as I know I’ve always been a professional musician.
MM: WHAT GEAR ARE YOU USING THESE DAYS? FEEL FREE TO SHOUT OUT SPONSORS, DISCUSS NEW ADDITIONS OR FAVORITE OLD GEAR. CAN BE YOUR MAIN INSTRUMENT, ACCESSORIES ETC.
JW: Music man basses forever, daddario strings and my latest addition has been pevey speakers they still rockin like they did when I was a kid.
MM: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE VENUES TO PLAY IN THE WORLD? FEEL FREE TO SHARE AN EXPERIENCE THAT MADE IT SPECIAL
JW: Red rocks it’s jst breath taking. Wrigley field and citi field has been a dream since I was kid. I’ve played incredible castles in Europe, Germany and Italy. I don’t remember the names of hands but just unbelievable. I’m reminded on how truly blessed I am to do this for a living.
MM: IN ALL YOUR TRAVELS, WHAT IS THE BEST MEAL YOU EVER HAD?
JW: Lol wow I can’t answer that honestly but I just came back from Italy so I’m all about that right now. I had this seafood pasta dish with the bread and the wine the whole presentation was amazing… down to the desserts.
MM: HAVE YOU DISCOVERED AN AWESOME RESTAURANTS WHILE ON TOUR THAT YOU WANT TO SHOUT OUT! WHAT MAKES THEM SPECIAL?
JW: Memphis Tn I was recording there and went to this soul food spot called daisy’s EVERY DAY! They changed the menu daily so every day was an experience.
MM: HAVE YOU DISCOVERED AN AWESOME HOTELS WHILE ON TOUR THAT YOU WANT TO SHOUT OUT! WHAT MAKES THEM SPECIAL?
JW: Wow lol definitely had some lavish experiences eau Palm Springs in palm beach Fl comes to mind. It’s paradise it sits on a beach and it’s just… paradise. Great food, great staff, and just overall great experience
MM: COFFEE, TEA OR JUICE?
ABOUT JAY WHITE
JAY WHITE : MUSIC LOVER
A New York City native shaped from a rich heritage of artistic influence. Jay White spreads a message of love universally for all through his masterful expressions on the drums, bass, percussion and vocal performances. An encompassing blend of R&B, Jazz, Country and Gospel form the rich musical tapestry that has come to be known as the “Jay White Flavor”. As a music ambassador with the band Jonathan Scales and Fourchestra, Jay has shared not only his music but his humanitarian self with the world, educating and assisting underprivileged communities as far as rural Asia earlier this year. Jay has performed with such renowned artist as Damien Escobar, Bokante, Macy Gray, Michael McDonald, Rita Ora , Karen Clark-Sheard and the legendary gospel pioneer Elder Timothy Wright. Jay names his father Jeffrey L. White, Twinkie Clark, Fred Hammond, Prince, Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway as his major musical influences. Jay is currently touring with Robert Randolph and preparing to release his 3rd recording project. You can find his latest release “I am Okay” everywhere now. Jay resides in Nashville, Tennessee where he continues to expand his musical footprint.
Want to keep reading? Check out Music Minds’ interview with Keyboardist, Swatkins.