Jayse Vegas has managed to keep both himself and his music front and center during a time when performing is increasingly more difficult. As he drops his new single “Energy”, Vegas is already planning on releasing more material in unique and inventive ways to get it in front of the public. I sat down to chat with Vegas about his new single, his work with drag performers that continue to inspire him, what it’s like dropping brand new material during this truly revolutionary time.
Michael Cook: You have been releasing lots of content during the quarantine, from weekly releases to digital content this summer; how have you been managing to stay inspired during quarantine?
Jayse Vegas: I had plans to make this year “my bitch”. Turns out, 2020 is a true power vers (laughs)!
All jokes aside, I did have plans to create and distribute as much content as I could this year. In January, I even opened an Only Fans to generate more money for my projects. I even picked up an office job, where I did a lot of data entry work. I wanted to put out the bodies of work, in the style of mixtapes, or EPs, and as many music videos as I could. I started making and saving a lot of money. When Covid hit, and took over life as we knew it, I divided my earnings, chose the projects I wanted to pursue the most, and used whatever emotion I was dealing with to keep the momentum going.
Where I draw my inspiration from during these times, is no different from where I drew my inspiration from before. I write, create, and perform my emotions. Whatever I feel goes into my music. When I feel a lot of emotions, I fix myself with work. Having a drive, and work ethic like I do has kept me going. I know how to adapt quickly, and I know how far a dollar and a dream can take me.
MC: Tell me about the single “Born Again” that you dropped this summer
JV: In August, I released four music videos, one of which was to my song “Born Again” – and I had no intentions of doing so. I chose the song once I got on the set of the video. I had been planning to shoot a video for, “No Mercy”, but I wasn’t feeling the vibe with the costumes. However, “Born Again” is one of my most popular songs, especially on Apple Music, so I’m not mad at my decision.
A lot of my discography is inspired by conversations I’ve had with myself. Songs like “Stay”, and “Go Together” – “Born Again” is no different. Although the songs are disguised with lyrics that might come off as passionate and towards a lover, the structures are made up of honest moments that I’ve had with myself throughout life.
MC: Tell me about the single/video for “Energy”
JV: The video was shot at 3 Dollar Bill, in Brooklyn, New York. I wanted to bring the viewers back to the experience of being at one of my shows. I really miss performing, and passing along great energy through my art on stage. As for the single, I’m releasing a new version of my song “Energy” for the video. There’s a cool beat drop and dance break now and the song is remastered with high quality.
“Energy” is about reminding yourself and others to be consistent with the energy being carried around us. “Keep that energy”, can mean a multitude of things, and that’s my favorite part about it.
MC: You have a new single with Aja dropping and have worked with Honey Davenport on several projects as well. What has the drag community meant to you personally and your career and how have they influenced it?
JV: As I said before, the nightlife has played a huge role in my journey, and a big part of that comes from the support of the drag community. They have influenced me to be more of a go-getter, and work twice as hard as I thought I could. They’re the closest thing I see to representation on TV for people like me, and I personally appreciate their dedication to their art.
MC: You have an upcoming project for National Coming Out Day. What can you tell me about the project?
JV: National Coming Out Day is right around the corner!!! I don’t have anything too special or crazy planned. I’m releasing an acoustic version to my song “Stay”, with a small visual. I’ll be doing a special live show on Facebook, where I’ll be talking about my coming out experience, performing songs, and giving away merchandise.
MC: What do you celebrate the most about yourself and what do you encourage others to celebrate about themselves?
JV: I celebrate everything about myself. I truly have found self-love and acceptance like I’ve never experienced before. I would encourage others to find ways to get to this mental state. There’s so much power in believing in yourself, and loving yourself. It’s all you need to accomplish your dreams.
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