4:11 pm - Sunday January 25, 7463

Meet Toronto’s Music Star JAY DAVIS HARMONY, The Queen of Soul in Canada …ready for music collaboration with any top African musician, searching for Mr. Right: an intelligent, spiritedly calm man willing to spoil her, love music and be supportive of her career * ‘My first major concert was at the Bamboo club downtown Toronto with artists like Culture and Mutabaruka on the line up’ * Performs on Facebook Live concerts and attract huge following on social media * ‘America is the biggest platform where any musician can get worldwide recognition’ * ‘My current Album ‘No Giving Up’ is titled track ‘No Giving Up’, being a song that is empowering, motivational; tells of dreams and aspirations in the music industry’ * ‘My models are singers like Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna; Beyoncé, The Beatles, Elton John; Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Dennis Brown; Gregory Isaacs, John legend, Etta James, R. Kelly, Prince’ *BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Foreign Bureau Chief


Meet Toronto’s Music Star JAY DAVIS HARMONY, The Queen of Soul in Canada

…ready for music collaboration with any top African musician, searching for Mr. Right: an intelligent, spiritedly calm man willing to spoil her, love music and be supportive of her career

* ‘My first major concert was at the Bamboo club downtown Toronto with artists like Culture and Mutabaruka on the line up’

* Performs on Facebook Live concerts and attract huge following on social media

* ‘America is the biggest platform where any musician can get worldwide recognition’

* ‘My current Album ‘No Giving Up’ is titled track ‘No Giving Up’, being a song that is empowering, motivational; tells of dreams and aspirations in the music industry’

* ‘My models are singers like Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna; Beyoncé, The Beatles, Elton John; Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Dennis Brown; Gregory Isaacs, John legend, Etta James, R. Kelly, Prince’

She is beautiful, charming, hardworking and creative in writing great songs that has been found to be inspiring. JAY DAVIS HARMONY, a Canadian musician famous as Toronto Star due to her music acceptability in the whole of North America is now called Queen of Soul. In this interactive session with GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Foreign Bureau Chief , JAY takes us through her adventure into music, latest album, how she is willing to partner any African artists on collaboration, Facebook Live concerts and why she is on the look-out for her Mr. Right…

NAIJA STANDARD: Jay, how long have you been into music and what inspired you into this calling?

I have been singing for as long as I can remember. As a child I started singing in church choirs. My uncle is the pastor of our church and later at concerts. One concert lead to another as fans from would spread the word and hire me for various functions like galas, weddings, parties, Government events. Whitney Houston’s the greatest love of all was my inspiration to be a professional singer. I envisioned myself performing stage in front of thousands of people; just like Whitney. Getting standing ovations for great performances and recognition of an undeniable talent. Whitney is my greatest inspiration.

NAIJA STANDARD: Who are some of the Music models that you look up to in your career?

I love great powerful singers. Singers like Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna, Beyoncé, The Beatles, Elton John, Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, John legend, Etta James, R. Kelly and Prince. These artists have had an impact on the music I write and perform. Some because of their ability to write hit songs, and others because of their performance styles, and their captivating vocal abilities.

NAIJA STANDARD: Certainly, you are gifted and talented in all manners of music as an outstanding entertainer, can you remember the very first time you played live on stage?

My first major concert was at the Bamboo club downtown Toronto with artists like Culture and Mutabaruka on the line up. It was very exciting, and the feedback was awesome, more and more encouragement to keep singing and performing. People loved my vocal range and my style and many could not get over my size, how small I was, with such a great big voice.

NAIJA STANDARD: What are some of the toughest challenges you have faced in the music industry?

Some of the toughest struggles I have faced in the music industry are: The lack of tangible connections to move my career to an internationally recognized level. Not having access to a great producer with great work ethics to carry a project through to completion in reasonable time frame. Independent artists like myself really does not have great support from people in the music industry. I am looking forward to changes in these areas.

NAIJA STANDARD: Since you live and work in Toronto, Canada, are there ways you may compare the music industry in Canada to same industry here in United States?

I have noticed that a number of artists such as Celine Dion and Deborah Cox have had their career skyrocketed to high levels after moving to the United States. and a few of the latest Canadian sensations like Drake, and the Weekend, are good examples of this phenomenon. I would say the United States has more support for artists. The talent shows and outlet for music here in Canada in comparison to the United States is in comparable, almost non-existent. Shows like America Got Talent are excellent ways for musicians to get worldwide attention and recognition in the US. Canada lacks such programs.

NAIJA STANDARD: As a Songwriter, can you take us through some of the best songs you have written so far?

My current Album is called No Giving Up. Its title track “No Giving Up”, is a song that is empowering and motivational. It speaks of dreams and aspirations and pushing on in life and more directly in the music industry. It is more like an anthem for me. It is a reminder to keep at it even when things are not working out the way I would like. A prominent line in the song is “there is no giving up on that something you want”. The chorus is a chant with the catchy and repetitive hook “No Giving Up, No Giving Up”. Fans love this song, and they relate to its message. Then there is the song, Gonna Be Alright. The message in this song is, no matter what is going on in the world or in your life, those struggles you face make you stronger and more beautiful in the end. That change is the only constant thing in life. Just like caterpillars turn to butterfly. Beauty can evolve from the challenges we face but no matter what “You’re Gonna Be Alright”. Gonna Be Alright is a very popular song at the moment amid what’s going on in the world today. Now, the song, Lip Therapy, is a playful spin on love making. It has a sexy tone, sexy lyrics, melody and beat. (you have to listen that one for details), It is the most popular performance song. whenever I perform this song people want it over and over again. Then there is All Gone another hit song with an island feel and R&B and bluesy melody. Lastly, All Gone was my first single radio stations all over Canada had it in high rotation. Hit #1 on the ReverbNation Charts in 5 days and stayed there for over 10 weeks. At the moment, I have two music albums and several singles available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and all other digital platforms.

NAIJA STANDARD: As an actor, can you let us into some of the movies you have featured in Canada?

Apart from the Disney movie “The Colour of Friendship”. I have done mostly plays and have been focusing mainly on my singing career.

NAIJA STANDARD: How do you feel anytime you are live on stage playing your heart out in music?

When I am on stage it’s like I am in another world. Everything seems right. I am doing what I love, and it feels heavenly. I feel like I am fulfilling my purpose, touching hearts with lyrics and soothing people with melodic medicine. I feel energized and inspired by something higher than myself. Surreal is sometimes not enough to describe it.

NAIJA STANDARD: Recently, you have been performing live on Facebook, what has the experience taught you?

From doing Facebook Live concerts I have learned many things including, how people can connect on a virtual level and support each other. How to captivate an audience I cannot see. I have seen how people genuinely appreciate the music I write and perform. Although I sing cover songs my originals are requested so much more. Sometimes, 5 times encore. Fans are typing the lyrics back to me and the feedback with the love button and comments are positively overwhelming.

NAIJA STANDARD: Do you see yourself doing a music collaboration with any top African or Nigerian musician?

I would absolutely love to collaborate with Kiza Kinene. I love her style and music. I also like Diamond Platnumz, he’s really talented. Actually, I was scheduled to perform in Tanzania in May of this year. I was looking forward to it too.

NAIJA STANDARD: As a Toronto Music star, you are looking beautiful, highly intelligent, what kind of man and qualities do you look out to for marriage?

I look for a man who will spoil me in every form of the word. He must be intelligent, calm spirited and self-reliant. This man must also love music and be very supportive my dreams and of my career.

NAIJA STANDARD: Take us through any of your music albums and unforgettable moments of your music career?

My initial music project was an R&B album. Although I had 10 songs finished; I was not pleased with the quality, so I didn’t release it. I then started another R&B/Soul album. That too was close to completion and was going well but the producer was taking a very long to finalize everything, so it didn’t make it to the mixing mastering stage. I finally decided enough. I wanted my music out there for people to listen and enjoy and find comfort in. I released a few of the R&B. Then decided to put the rest of them to reggae beats as I could easily find musicians to play what I want. I hired musicians and started the project of creating more songs and tailoring some of my R&Bs to the reggae genre. I co-produced all the songs (I knew what I wanted it to sound like). People gravitated to them and my music career was on its way to something great from there. Now I have 2 completed albums and several singles which I am very happy with. Most unforgettable moment in my career as a recording artist is the weekend, I went to Montreal to record an album and completed 8 songs within hours. The producer was in disbelief. I even wrote lines in many of the songs on the spot. Other moments that I will treasure are my performing at Massey Hall and Koerner Hall to a sold-out audience. The lights, the band, and the audience’s screams of excitement during my performance were incredibly satisfying. These venues are home to legendary performers like The Beatles, the late great Aretha Franklin, George Gershwin, Luciano Pavarotti, B.B. King, Patsy Cline, James Brown, and many others. Perhaps my all-time favorite moment though is meeting and hanging out with our now Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, at the Juno awards in St. Johns, Newfoundland. I’ve got some fun photos of the good times and interestingly our former Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne was also there.

NAIJA STANDARD: Finally, can Jay Harmony take us through her childhood, as in growing up in Canada?

As a child I remember focusing on school and music. Church was an integral part of my childhood. It was not a choice if I went or not. I had to go, and it was many times per week. I guess you could say it was as important as school. I read a lot. Everywhere I was I had a book. I remember that soap operas were not my thing. For me, the TV had to be on a music channel. Televised Concerts and great musicals were my movies. I would spend hours watching those types of shows. I would write a lot too; I have many poems and songs in books and on tape recorders. Some of which I have recorded as singles or a part of my albums and many that I will revisit to put to beats in the future and some which may not be any good at all; still I write. I get songs in dreams, inspirations on the go and some of my best songs were written in minutes. My childhood was a happy one I was not in need of anything financially or otherwise. Hmmm, I think I want to go back to my childhood where I, was not my responsibility. I guess most adults feel this way, at this time, in society. Most people would say I was spoiled as a child, but I loved it. I could be free spirited and focus on what brings me joy and my innate creative abilities. This is one of the reasons the man in my life has to spoil me.

NAIJA STANDARD: Can we call you: Toronto’s Music Star and Queen of Soul in Canada?

Yes, I think a lot of my fans would agree to those titles. I get that title from a lot my fans so, Yes. I do believe I have earned that.

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