Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The LGTBQ Chronicles: Five Questions with Jay Arseno - Take it From the Ashes

Jay Arseno at Boardner's
His voice and style are cool; and his stage presence is quite inviting, but his style is what it gets the attention from the crowd.

From his style of rock n' roll and techno, but it's with his guitar that his voice shine. Jay began his career in his native Baton Rouge, Louisiana; by singing in a church; but he became inspired to become a singer by listening to the cassettes and C.D's his parents and sibling bought.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Jay with a round of five questions, I hope you enjoy and in the meantime if you want to listen to his music, check his soundcloud channel:

Jay: I was inspired to become a musician when I was about 5 or 6 years old and I fell in love with music. My parents and siblings would always be playing cassettes and CD's when I was growing up and would encourage me to sing along with whatever was playing. That’s how I figured out that I had a decent singing voice and that I could carry a tune pretty easily.

Jay: The most difficult part of being an indie artist is taking on the challenge of promoting yourself. Unless you have representation through an independent label or a marketing team behind you, you have to do everything yourself along with being the artist. Sometimes the biggest challenges aren't in writing the songs, but promoting the songs and getting them heard by the right people.

Jay:I am personally not a big fan of labels. I believe that artists should be appreciated for their work and not be judged by who they are personally, especially when it comes to their sexuality. When you look at a painting or a sculpture, do you immediately ask yourself, ‘I wonder if the artist is gay or straight?’. No! You appreciate the fruits of the artist’s labor that are right in front of you. I believe the same should apply to music and that people shouldn't be concerned with labels. 

I pour a great deal of myself into my writing and my music, whether it be from personal experiences that I would like to communicate or stories that I come up with. I believe that my personal identity and sexuality are two sides of the same coin in that one cannot exist without the other. By writing from my personal experiences my creativity is fueled by both my personal identity and my sexuality in some cases. 

However, I leave the interpretation of the work to the listener that hears it. That’s the whole purpose of art in whatever form it may be, to create a personal experience for the ones who are witnessing and experiencing the piece that is being presented to them.

Jay: The process of producing my own music has ups and downs, as with anything. There will be times that I can start writing and finish a song in 30 minutes. Other times it will be days before a song is finished. It really is a case by case basis, but I thoroughly enjoy every second of it

Jay: I believe that social media has allowed otherwise unknown artists and causes a global platform in order for them to been seen and heard by millions, if used properly and in a dedicated fashion. As an artist, you don’t necessarily have to rely on a record label to create a fan base and for your music to be distributed and heard worldwide. The power and resources are there, as long as you know how to use them to your advantage. I have personally used social media to promote my own music by creating a Facebook artist page, twitter, and music networking sites like Reverbnation, CD Baby, Tunecore, YouTube and many others in order to become a internationally distributed singer/songwriter. With all these resources available to artists today, it also becomes virtually impossible to really stand out, but that’s the price we pay for the ability to create and manipulate our own destinies in this age of technology, I guess.

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