From being rejected from the industry to release of back-to-back hits, this is the story of John Jay, who the world knows as the dance-floor party starter. He is the founder of Independent Hits, a music label that provides a platform for young and aspiring artists to impress the world with their skills. In just one year, from 2019 to 2020, John Jay launched his own album along with nine singles. All his tracks received an overwhelmingly positive response from the pop and R&B fans.
He describes his journey in the following words, “I still remember when I first came into the music sector; people saw me as an alien. No one was interested in listening to my tracks. To be honest, it was sad, but it was my dream, and I could not just give up. Life has its ways to make things work, and the same happened to me. To all those people who find themselves in a similar situation, remember that nothing in this world is powerful enough to derail you from your path.”
Even though his music label and his solo music career are both on their way to success, he does not forget the challenges that he had to go through when he first stepped into the music industry. John Jay came into the industry with high hopes, expectations, and big dreams. He grew up with a passion and love for music and did not let his admiration for this industry face away.
Born in New York on February 24, 1987, Jonathan Jakubow, who the world knows as John Jay, was always fond of music. Listening to classical music helped free his mind from worldly troubles. He states, “Music was something that consumed me. It was a calling that my soul was desperate to answer. Listening to classical music completed me.”
His fondness for music was supported by his loving family, and they encouraged him to pursue music as his career. Jonathan was just nine years old when he started playing and composing classical music. It was an achievement in itself. He had the potential to succeed in the music world, and his family realized it.
Entering into the Unknown World
After completing his high school education from Michael Krop Senior High, he entered the Miami Dade College. However, as he wanted to establish a career in the music world, his family did not persuade him to go for further education. Instead, the young and passionate aspiring music artist set out to build an identity in music.
“When I entered the music industry, I was very excited because I was confident, I knew that my craft was powerful enough to impress anyone.” John Jay was always confident about his craft; he was aware of his potential, and there was nothing in life that could stop him from succeeding.
However, the young boy was unaware of the cruelties of the real world. Jonathan thought his elite skills and craft is all that is needed to succeed. He soon came across the reality of the industry, where even the most talented individuals had to fight to make a name for themselves.
He states, “Music is a form of art, and no one can respect artists other than the artists themselves. I was sure that things would fall in place once I present my work to the music labels and producers. But I was shocked to see that even in the music world, things were not that simple. It was so saturated that true talent was losing its charm.”
Jonathan was not one of those people who could give up on their dream so easily. He was passionate, confident, and, most importantly, determined. He was ready to face his failures because he believes, “failures are just a step forward towards success.”
In 2016, Jonathan founded Independent Hits. Instead of going to the artists, he decided to bring the artists to him. It was a long-short, but Jonathan was confident.
At the initial stage, the growth was slow, and he was able to sign a few artists under his record label. After a few months, Independent Hits grew into one of the largest playlist networks, with competitors like Digster and Filtr. The platform that was established to promote new music and artists was now working with several notable entities in the music world, including Jean Deaux, Jahkoy, NEVRMIND, Zayn, Bazzi, and Khalid. The music label acquired over 200+ playlists, 10+ million Spotify followers, and 6 million monthly listeners.
Through his music label, Jonathan acquired the popularity he was looking for, and it helped him lay the grounds for a career as a solo music artist. In 2019, he took up the stage name, “John Jay,” and started working on his releases.
It started with his first release on October 3, 2019, “Best Life,” followed by “So Numb” on November 6, “Run” on November 19, “Bring that Close” on November 29, and “Lowkey” on December 20. John Jay stirred hype among the pop and R&B fans with his album “Jaded” that was released on January 24, 2020.
Even 2020 is filled with his back-to-back releases, including “Back to You,” released on May 8, “Lifetime,” released on April 24, both featuring Courtney Bennett. He also released another single on June 19, “Eastside,” featuring Kyan Palmer. His back to back releases has got his global fanbase excited and hyped.