By - Jan 1st, 2007 02:52 pm
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By Evan Solochek + Photo by Dan Kocka

With Robert Smith hair and a smooth yet commanding baritone that evokes a maturity and polish beyond his young age, Jayk is poised for big things. His debut album, everything ever, will be released any minute now, and yet Jayk has already landed a sponsorship deal with DC Shoes, toured the country from coast to coast and appeared on MTV2 and Fuel TV; not bad for a 22-year-old kid from West Bend. To hear more from Jayk, check out www.myspace.com/thatjaykwhosings.

1. What are your musical influences?

I’ve always really appreciated the bands that I thought were great at writing lyrically as well as musically: Death Cab for Cutie, Rachael Yamagata, Tegan and Sara, City & Colour, Decibully… Most recently, Imogen Heap has really struck a chord with me. There is a side of me that still loves metal and hardcore too.

2. What was your earliest experience with music?

Both my parents were involved with the church choir when I was very young; my father played the guitar and my mother sang. My dad was very much a jazz/blues guy, but he definitely had a lot of great classic rock albums. The first album I ever got into was a Yes album my dad kept in his collection. I remember being about 5 years old and I would sit in front of the record player and listen to “Roundabout” over and over.

3. What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?

The first real show I did was opening for Since By Man and Misery Signals. Apparently the original opener dropped off, and I was really worried that no one would like me. These were hardcore bands, for Christ’s sake, and I’m pretty much the furthest thing from it. I played like 5 songs and got the shakes really bad, but I got through it and with a very good response from the crowd.

4. How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?

I’ve heard myself compared to many things I like (Jeff Buckley, City & Colour) and many things I dislike (Jason Mraz, Howie Day, even Ryan Cabrera). I like to let everyone make their own assumptions about what they think they hear. I play guitar and I sing. To me, I sound like me.

5. Where were you a year ago, and where do you see yourself this time next year?

A year ago I was a struggling, inexperienced kid chasing what seemed like the impossible – no job and barely a roof over my head. Although I am now making giant steps in my career, it will always be a struggle to consistently create great music and keep everybody’s ears tuned in. By next year I hope to have settled with a record label that I am comfortable with, and be writing and recording more than I currently am; I’ve got a lot yet to say. VS

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