Jay Mel isn’t afraid to take risks.

The Youngstown, OH rapper bends, breaks, and burns the rules every time he steps into the
vocal booth or on stage. With songs like “In and Out”, he slides infectious pop hooks over
cleverly catchy verses. His refrains are radio-ready while his raps possess an undeniable
grit and gusto. Instead of resorting to the same tired vernacular, he makes a conscious effort
not to cuss. Rather than penning more jams about partying, his son serves as his biggest
musical inspiration. Now, audiences worldwide are going to have his name bumping in and
out of their speakers.

Even though he began rapping at 15, Jay officially embraced his gift in 2010. A local radio
station, Jamz 101.9, held a contest for “Best Local Rapper”. Jay submitted a blazing cut
called “Envy” and won by a landslide. As his prize for winning, the station flew him to New
York for a meeting with Island Def Jam. That meeting quickly inspired the creation of his
first official mixtape Who Is Jay Mel? The mixtape caught a flurry of local attention due to
fresh, fiery sound that wasn’t exactly pop or hip hop—it was simply Jay Mel.

Jay describes that style best. “I want to make chilled-out, good time music,” he says. “I try to
write memorable hooks, while adding a little more grime to the verses. Pop hip-hop is the
most casual way to present it.”

His pop hip-hop hybrid comes to life during “In and Out” from Who Is Jay Mel? The track
rises with sharp, slick quips before snapping into a massive chorus. One original song, “She
Won’t Leave Me”, functions as his “song for the ladies”, and it’ll make more than a few
girls fall in love. Meanwhile, “Live It Up” is something of a declaration of fun for Jay with
its sunny, carefree bounce. “When I found the beat, I wrote the song in an hour,” he
reveals. “It’s something people can get into and feel that they’re a part of. Once it starts, it
keeps you going.”

Jay keeps going too. Rather than relying on one producer, he scours the Internet for
different beats and producers in order to create a different track every time. Also, when
he’s looking for inspiration, he doesn’t have to look any farther than his family. He goes
on, “My son is my direction in terms of what I’m doing with my life and what my music leans
towards. I make music we can both be proud of together.”

Armed with his mixtape in Spring 2010, he began booking local shows all over his
home state, carving out a fervent fan base because of his incendiary and unpredictable
performances. He’s shared the stage with B.o.B in addition to other national acts. He also
built a memorable performance style. “I like to interact and entertain. The interaction with
people is what I love the most.”

Ultimately, Jay is going to interact in a big way once his forthcoming debut drops. He’s never
going to cease evolving and challenging the status quo either. He concludes, “I have my fun,
party side. I have my struggle side. I would just love for fans to relate. I’d love to see the
music change their attitude or feeling. Most of all, I’d love for people to be able to listen to a
song and pull something from it that applies to their own lives.”

So, after all is said and done, Who Is Jay Mel? He’s your new favorite rapper…—Rick Florino

Copyright © Jay Mel MMXII