A Musical Metamorphosis for Rapper, Songwriter, and Producer, Jay Light (formerly known as Music Bear Tony Banks). The Toronto based New Yorker has found fresh musical freedom in the electronic music world. His self-accepted, full-grown bear’s sound infuses melodic, electronic, and dance grooves with Hip-Hop flows and R&B stylings, resulting in creating a unique style that weaves its way through a multitude of genres.
In order to showcase his artistry, Jay Light needed to break free from the established cultural embellishments synonymous with the gay Hip Hop scene. He now has an ever-expanding vision of personal style and artistic evolution in the fashion and music worlds. No longer does Jay feel creatively stifled or the necessity to be anything less than his true and authentic self.
Jay cites Frankie Knuckles, Missy Elliot, Azealia Banks, and Hercules & Love Affair as some of his influences. This comes as no surprise as he states, “I fell in love with house music at a young age and have always been inspired by the mixture of sounds and creativity in all its forms. House music was created by queer people of color for the enjoyment of all. I want to make sure the electronic music community remembers that.”
“Last April, on a road trip, some hard truths really hit me! In order to be happy, I needed an absolute change in my career, so that I could fulfill my creative passion as an artist or just give up. I was fighting it for about a year and that trip forced me to really evolve beyond the box I was placing myself in. I knew what I had to do. Switch my style up, but still, stay true to me. Since I was a young child my house was filled with hip-hop and house music. It was urban radio at the time. I recall sitting in the dark with my sister just listening to Kiss FM and WBLS.
Hip-hop, the way I was doing it wasn’t fulfilling enough, and I was too old to chase trends. So Instead of looking to the future, playing catch up, I looked back towards the past to find my inspiration. The music that hit my soul. The music that hit the soul of everyone, no matter your age, sexuality, race, or gender. The sound that brought us all together. That’s when I started doing house music and electronic music mixed with hip-hop and r&b. I actually started writing and recording music on that trip, right in the bathroom of the motel. I haven’t looked back since.”
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