Indie singer-songwriter Jay Moussa-Mann breaks away from old constructs into new era with her music
A brand new pop album themed around the idea of breaking up with the constructs that held Jay back for years
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Growing up in a conservative community meant that Jay self-censored her songwriting all her life. “I was scared of being anything. Of being my true self” she says. “Scared of stretching my vocal range in case people who liked the soft folk stuff didn’t care for it, scared of writing pop songs because that might be seen as too commercial, scared of talking about my experience with racism in case my white friends and family got upset. I had spent my whole life, putting aside my emotional needs to make sure I wasn’t offending anyone, especially the evangelical church I grew up in. I was discouraged from wearing anything ‘too revealing’. I had struggled through awful bouts of anxiety and depression because of situations I was encouraged not to talk about, in order to ‘show love and forgiveness’ to others. I was quietly disappearing.” Enter 2020. It was a massive wake up call for Jay. “Covid hit, I got really sick, at home, then I had long Covid for 9 months. I sat and watched people I thought I knew make insanely racist comments online, churches were trying to break rules to get people to meet together, calling masks ‘persecution’ while the virus was still rampant, meanwhile my Facebook feed was full of Trump supporters. I thought, screw this! I’m going to go and make the music I’ve always wanted to now. And I’m going to wear tiny, little gold shorts. Bye!”
After being awarded the Do It Differently Fund through UK charity Help Musicians, Jay worked with ingenious producer Patrick Jordan (Young Rebel Set, Cattle & Cane) to create a 10-track pop album. The album includes “American Tennessee,” one of the first songs to be recorded, which has since made it to the semi-finals of the International Song Writing Contest out of 20,000+ entries, won Track of the Week on BBC Tees and was in the roundup of BBC Introducing Tees Best of 2021.
Jay has lived quite internationally, spending most of her childhood in Turkey, studying as a teenager in Sevenoaks, UK, taking a year out as a TV trainee in Copenhagen, then back to Turkey for a bit before finally ending up back down the road from Stockton in Middlesbrough. The album has one or two nods to moments of Jay’s past life in Turkey, “One Summer’s Day” a coming-of-age track about a romance that never happened and “Seventeen” journals the feeling of being 17 again through dance-pop lyrical mix of Turkish and English, bringing together Jay’s two cultural identities.
Jay Moussa-Mann the album comes out on CD and all streaming services on the 14th February Valentine’s Day 2023. You can follow Jay over on her YouTube channel @jaymoussamann and Instagram @jbmoussamann
Born in Stockton-on-Tees, UK, Jay had her first radio play in 2018 when Bob Fischer played her on BBC Radio Tees. She has since had tracks played on Tom Robinson’s Mixtape on BBC 6 Music and was accepted onto Sage Summer Studios in 2020 before going on to be awarded the Do It Differently Fund through Help Musicians in 2021.
Source Jay Moussa-Mann
November 25, 2022 5:07am ET by Jay Moussa-Mann