Jay-Way makes globetrotting hip-hop. It's a diverse sound with European and American roots, combining rap's rhythmic delivery with the progressive hooks of pop, the laidback cool of soul music, and the optimistic outlook of gospel. Tying the package together is a multi-lingual artist who's never been afraid to break boundaries or challenge conventions. Long before the viral singles "Happen Dappen" and "No, I'm Not Ok" made him a star at home and abroad, Jay-Way grew up in Amsterdam. He was raised by Ghanian parents who taught him to embrace the unfamiliar, and he quickly fell in love with American music as a child. From '90s rappers to grunge icons, Jay-Way listened to it all, developing the broad, multi-cultural musical tastes that would eventually influence albums like 2015's Jaynaysis, 2018's Teen Gohan, and 2020's No, I'm Not Ok.
He hits a new peak with Island Forgotten, an empowered and eclectic records that celebrates the very qualities that make him unique. "When I look at my career, I often feel like an outsider," Jay-Way says proudly. "It's easy to compare yourself to other artists and worry you don't have what it takes to sit at the cool table. But maybe that's just because you're on your own island."
Don't mistake Jay-Way for a loner, though. A frequent collaborator, he has appeared on albums by Ty Brasel, Steven Malcolm, Jude Barclay, and Jarreau Vandal during the 2020s alone, and even teamed up with rap icon Snoop Dogg to add depth, dimension, and dynamic West Coast flavor to Malcolm's 2022 remix of "Summertime." Released in the wake of Snoop Dogg's first gospel album, Bible of Love, "Summertime" is more than a partnership between three Christian-minded hip-hop heavyweights — it's also a validation of Jay-Way's meteoric rise, bringing him shoulder-to-shoulder with one of rap music's modern-day architects.
Jay-Way keeps that pen moving with Island Forgotten, an album that proves he's worthy not only of sharing the same space as his heroes, but of establishing his own territory within the hip-hop space, too. He's building his own inclusive community — a place where rap, rock, pop, and faith all meet… and everyone is welcome.