Interview by Samo Šajn

Dutch-Ghanaian musical prodigy Jay-Way recently released his long-awaited debut album ‘Island Forgotten’. Jay-Way pours his heart out on the 16-track album that demonstrates his genius creativity and skills with tones of hip-hop, pop punk, house, and afro beats. The intricate lyricism in this album invites listeners on a journey of a captivating exploration of self-discovery, love, compassion, acceptance, and notably vulnerability.

Jay-Way, your sound is very versatile and seems to be constantly evolving. How would you personally describe your sound and how it has developed over time?

My sound can be described as eclectic with roots in Hip-hop. I am a rapper before anything else but you will indeed hear different elements. My taste in music is very broad so I try to add whatever my personal playlists look like. The easiest way to describe my sound is alternative, but then again, they call anything alternative nowadays.

You just released your debut album ‘Island Forgotten’, what is the message and inspiration behind the album?

We are all on our own island, where you find yourself isolated from everybody else. That is the point of view I started writing from. I began writing this during the pandemic, when all of us felt isolated, just there with our thoughts and TikTok. I lost a friend to suicide during that time, that is what inspired the intro and I dedicated the whole project to him.

The main single of the album ‘Around You’, shows your ability to float easily between various genres and moods. Where does the love for all the genres come from?

That song is so special. I must credit my producer ‘Dayme’. We were listening to some Tyler the Creator, and some bedroom/indie pop. I love experimenting with music that looks like my playlist. My dad is a DJ so from a young age I’ve learned to appreciate different genres.

‘Island Forgotten’ has magnetizing, self-reflective anthems that will give you the feels, out of the 16 tracks, do you have a favorite and if so, what makes it unique?

My personal favorite must be ‘Dancing Different’. We really didn’t follow the rules with that record. All it has is a beat, no chorus, and 8 bars. But our voices in the background are so addicting to me. I love it!

Just days before the arrival of ‘Island Forgotten’, super producer Timbaland heard a snippet of your songs. Saying: “You got a vibe” and “Send me more.” How did you feel hearing such praise?

It’s so surreal. Timbaland is one of the greatest producers ever! To have him compliment me in this way is crazy to me. It lets me know that we’re really onto something.

You worked with none other than Snoop Dogg on the song ‘Summertime’, walk us through what must have been an unforgettable experience.

I did a chorus for Steven Malcolm in 2019 to a song called ‘Summertime’. Years later, I got a call from my A&R telling me that Snoop heard the record and that he was hopping on the remix. I couldn’t believe it. It took us actually doing the video for me to realize it. I won’t forget the moment during the shoot when he told us “A good song will create these types of

Are there any artists who were important to you in the beginning, or also nowadays, in terms of inspiration and creative process?

Michael Jackson for sure. The way he approached his artistry will forever be inspiring to me. From songwriting to showmanship. My cover art and outfits are mainly inspired by his looks. I’m on tour at the moment so I’m about to rewatch his Bad tour on YouTube to get inspired all over again.

Is there anything exciting you’re currently working on for later in the year? If so, what can fans expect?

I don’t like giving away too much because it creates expectations. Just know that there is another project in the works that I’m really excited about.