Published on February 6th, 2023 | by MuzikScribe


Unapologetically Jayye Michael


Let’s hop right into this lead single, “Never Be“ — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition? 

“Never Be” is so special to me. When my producer sent me the track, I had an instant connection with it. Prior to writing “Never Be,” I didn’t really have much songwriting experience; I guess you can say it’s a gift from God. “Never Be” was based on an experience I had with a particular individual. We were on and off for a few years, and it took a series of events for me to realize the situation I was in was honestly not good for me and I had to let go and cut all ties from them. I love them from a distance till this day, BUT they must know that we could never be what we once were.

Of course “Never Be” comes courtesy of your still forthcoming solo debut — What all can you reveal and / or divulge about upcoming said body of work?

My upcoming project is going to be magical for sure! My EP can be described as a piece of work with elements from the ‘80’s, lyric composition from the ‘90’s, and a slightly nostalgic early 2000’s vibe. It’s an old school meets new school kind of thing. One thing I love about my producer is he’s able to take many of the elements I love from past decades and modernize them. You guys will not be disappointed with the music I have coming.

As a songwriter, when you sit down to pen your lyrics where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from any and everything! I tell the people around me to not be surprised if they hear a song written about them or the experiences they’ve had. For the most part, lyrics pop into my head at random times and I kind of build off of that and piece all the puzzle pieces together. Most of the time I don’t really know what or who the song is actually about until I’m actually in the booth recording.

Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for Jalen Clemons?

I’ve always had music flowing through my veins. I mean, with a family full of musically inclined individuals it was only natural for me to eventually lean into the gift God has blessed me with. I wasn’t always into singing publicly though. At one point and time, I hated singing in front of people mostly due to me not being confident in my vocal abilities. One random night during December 2020 I uploaded a singing video to TikTok solely because I knew this was what people wanted and I wanted to gain followers. Little did I know that posting this very video is what would give me the fire I needed to engulf myself into pursuing my musical dreams. The things that people said about my voice, like how it either made them cry or feel happy, made me feel like maybe this is what I was meant to do. If my singing alone could help people feel good about themselves or make them cry from the many different emotions they’re feeling at that point in time, imagine how I can make those very people feel when I step on a stage to perform. I feel that in a way I’ve prepared for the path I’ve decided to walk on since I was a little boy. I’ve always danced and lip-synced to my many different inspirations dreaming about being on stage and setting it on fire. Now is my time to show everyone what I’ve got. This is only the beginning!

Now where exactly do you hail from? And growing up there, who all, your famous mom notwithstanding, did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

My strongest musical influences are all of those who emerged in the ‘90’s. Of course my mom and her girls [SWV] are at the top of my list! My mom’s solo record Hot Coko is also one of my biggest musical influences album-wise. You also have people like Usher and Bobby Brown, who influence me when it come to letting loose and showing what exactly you got when it comes to tearing up the dance floor…Beyoncé, who influences me when it comes to having a dominating stage presence and completely embodying whatever song and / or dance you’re doing…and you even have GUY, Tevin Campbell and Brandy, who influence me vocally.

Because of you being the son of the living legend herself, Coko [of SWV fame], was it always in the plans for you to literally follow in her giant footsteps?

It wasn’t the plan at all! I was actually on a set plan to become a dentist. I was in a 2 year program in high school for dental assisting, and graduated as an entry level dental assistant with my x-ray certification license. My heart wasn’t truly in dentistry. I honestly decided to pursue it because it was something my family wanted due to my being a first generation college student. I also decided to go through with becoming a dentist due to how much money they make, but what I had to realize is that money is not what is going to buy you happiness. When I went to college to really embark on the dental path, I found myself completely uninterested and was having extreme mental health difficulties due to my heart not truly being into dentistry. Eventually me and my mom had a talk, and I let her know dentistry wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life.

Do you have any specific fond memories / fave stories or anecdotes coming up the offspring of the one and only Coko?

The fondest memories I have growing up as the son of a living legend is simply hearing her sing around the house. She has a powerful yet soft angelic like voice and it always made happy.

Has your iconic mother given you any valuable words of advice in regards to forging a career path in the music industry?

The one piece of advice that my mom has given me is that I needed to learn my voice and realize what I can and can’t do with it. She told me to not go around trying to sing like the next person; their riffs and runs aren’t mine. Once I took that in and really started to practice my craft and realize the different techniques to use to accompany my voice, I started noticing improvement in my vocal abilities.

In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

My sound is old school meets new school. I love having different elements of past decades throughout a song and mashing it with elements that are associated with the modern new school. My style can be considered as androgynous. I like to describe myself as that due to me not having any rules when it comes to conforming to social norms. I wear purses, nails, make-up and crop tops, all while loving a good tailored suit, a pair of combat boots and sweats. I call it balance.

Switching gears here…

What do you feel will be the ultimate key to your longevity?

Being different and staying true to myself. I feel like a lot of people who take on a career in the music industry lose themselves and they forget where they came from. They forget where their seed was planted, and the different minerals and nutrients it took for them to sprout and grow into who they currently are. Being my true unapologetic self is something that I feel that the public will gravitate to, along with being vulnerable musically and giving it my all when I step up on a stage.

What do you want people to get from your music?

I want for people to be able to relate and feel for my music. I write about many experiences that everyone has…from men, women, gay folks, straight folks; anyone who listens to the music I release is going to relate to it in some type of way.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B?

Um, I won’t say that I’m unhappy with the current state of R&B…but I’m not going to say I’m necessarily happy about it. I’m more so bored. In my opinion, R&B isn’t what it used to be. Nobody makes albums anymore, and it’s a bit disappointing at how society has become so used to accepting mediocre lyrics and songs. I’d love to be one of the ones who brings back that feeling people once had when they listened to music from any decade up until the early 2000’s.

Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

Outside of music, I actually model and do YouTube! I’d love to walk runways in N.Y.C. and Paris fashion week. I’d also like to get into a bit of acting. I’d love to be a part of a teen coming of age series.

To date, what has been your greatest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

To date, my greatest career moment has to be having my song played on the radio. It’s so surreal to me when I get in my car and I hear my city playing my song on the radio. It gives you a feeling of gratitude, and makes me realize that everything I went through when it came to recording that song created the outcome of it playing on the radio.

What’s an average day like for you?

My average day consists of vlogging! I am a YouTube-r, I’ve actually been a part of the community for 5 going on 6 years, and it definitely changed my life. I’m usually always editing some type of YouTube video or reel to put on Instagram or a TikTok to post. I’m also a gym rat, so I try to go to the gym every morning also.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

I love interacting with my supporters! I try to respond to every comment I get on my social media platforms, and I always encourage them to speak to me if they see me in public. Lately I’ve been getting recognized a lot more while I’m out and about, and I always make sure to treat my supporters with respect. Although I am still in the very early parts of my career and the best has yet to come, I wouldn’t be where I currently am if it wasn’t for them showing me nothing but love.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

My favorite part of the music industry has to be the actual art form of it all. I thoroughly enjoy the beat-making process, and the lyrical components that go into making a genuinely good song. Something about being in the studio really puts me in a good mood, it almost gives me a euphoric feeling because I’m able to let my creativity loose. I also love letting it all go and losing myself when performing, and I enjoy the interviews, too. My least favorite about this line of work is honestly the criticism. I can take it much better now versus when I was younger. I used to really get in my feelings about the negative things people would say about me on the internet, but now I brush it off because I know that those things would never be said to my face. Remember, folks, hate isn’t a good look!

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Be like Nike and just do it! Seriously if you want to sing, start posting videos to social media. Oh, you want to write for people? Start creating demos and send them out. Take initiative, be consistent and really put in the work to pursue your dreams! Also, remember that it may not happen as soon as you want it to, but your time will come!

Lastly, what’s next for Jayye Michael?

Well, I plan on releasing my EP sometime this year. I actually go into the studio soon to finish recording the last few songs. I’ll also be accompanying my mom in her reality show with Xscape titled ‘The Queens of R&B.’ The show is set to come out sometime in March on BRAVO. I’m also walking in L.A. Fashion Week  this year!

Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?


Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?

I just want to say to whoever is reading this to stay strong, be you and keep that consistency pushing! No matter how hard you want to give up, keep pushing; your reward is coming!

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