In terms of midwest hip hop producers, the pool of talent can at times be overflowing. Dayton artist Jay Chivs is a prime example of how an artist can part the seas and stand out. We sat down with Jay to talk about his hometown as well as how he feels about the state of Midwest music and the rap game as a whole.
The music environment in Dayton as a whole seems to be talented. How do you feel like you’ve carved your own lane within that scene?
“There is a tremendous amount of talent in Dayton, however everyone in the city with a lot of clout, well, I’ll be blunt. They suck. The music scene in Dayton is a popularity contest. I do decent numbers because I utilize social media properly. But I’m not too well known because I don’t associate myself with certain people. A lot of rappers in Dayton are into the trap and drill scene which is dope, but they lack bars and originality. However, there are some creative cats in the city who can sing, produce, and lay some smooth vocals down.”
Who do you feel has helped pave the way for Ohio artists towards a more commercial market?
“I can’t really say there’s been anyone who’s made it from Ohio that I believe have paved the way for me personally. But I am thankful for people like Cudi, Stalley, and MGK for putting Ohio on the map.”
Who inspires your sound?“Drake was the rapper who really wanted me to start rapping and he is my favorite artist so definitely him. I also draw inspiration from people like J. Cole, Big Sean, Caskey, Wiz, and a few others.”
Do you feel like your style emulates any you menionted?
“I most definitely have a style that’s versatile and is all over the place. It shows how I go from doing a 90’s style track and then dropping a trap song. I love music and as an artist I get to let my alter ego do what he wants. His mood changes all the time so every song is different but at the end of the day, the bars are there and each project is cohesive.”
What are you working on musically (and with who)?
“I am currently working on my EP Tarantino I’m aiming to have it out in September. I’ve got a track in the works with Cincy/LA rapper $teven Cannon and hope to work with Tre Stoner, Lashaun Ellis and Pryde this year.”
What makes your music stand out? Why should the Life Backstage readers take notice?
” I feel what makes me unique to hip hop is I’m in it for the art. I love experimenting with different songs. I’ve experienced a lot of different things in my life so I have quite a few things to rap about. Right now I’m turning my sound into something that’s creative, dark, and grungy, but I switch it up all the time so who knows what I’ll do next. I never want the listener to be bored or ever get to the point where they say ‘Hey you hear that new Chivs track? ‘Nah is it sweet?’ followed by a ‘I mean yeah, its some typical stuff you’d expect.’ I wanna keep my listeners on the edge of their seats.“
Take a listen to Jay Chivs and Steven Cannon’s “$pooky” below and let us know what you think on Twitter!