Jay Elle is a singer, songwriter and guitar player currently residing in New York City.
Jay Elle writes guitar-driven songs in the pop, modern country-pop, Americana, and singer-songwriter genres as well as acoustic guitar instrumentals.
Music was always part of Jay Elle’s upbringing, especially at family gatherings and celebrations. And at home, the radio was always on.
A musical cousin kindled Jay Elle’s musical curiosity when he showed him how to play a few chords on his guitar. But his lifelong obsession with the beauty and power of song accelerated when his aunt bought him a guitar of his own. According to Jay Elle, “I became more interested and dedicated more time to guitar playing and songwriting than other activities. I would get this spine tingling feeling when I heard certain songs, a blast of energy, like I could do just about anything. It felt hopeful and positive.”
The positive energy of music eventually lead Jay Elle to enroll at the Geneva Conservatory Of Music, where he studied theory, composition, classical guitar, and singing. But Jay Elle’s heart was more attuned to popular music, and he soon joined a band and was quickly immersed in blues, rock, jazz and pop. “I listened to a lot of guitar heroes,” says Jay Elle. “Between the rigor of rendering a classical piece as it was written, and the open fields of blues or jazz improvisation, I feel that the pop song format is ideal if you can bring some of these elements together to serve a great melody and meaningful lyrics.”
His passion for blues, jazz, and pop lead Jay Elle to relocate to the country where it all began, the United States. Living in New York City opened up a lot of musical opportunities. After meeting singer/songwriter/producer Margaret Dorn (Boz Scaggs, Judy Collins, Rosanne Cash), Jay Elle was soon playing guitar on her albums and co-writing songs with her. Jay Elle also worked closely with entrepreneur Bill Aucoin, best known for managing Kiss and Billy Idol. In New York, Jay Elle formed a jazz ensemble with composer/guitarist Byron Estep, who is perhaps best known as the executive director of Blue Man Group. Jay Elle’s time in NYC also lead to working with John Dubs (Front 242), who was instrumental in honing his production chops.
But although Jay Elle has been fortunate enough to work and learn from some important musical talents since landing in NYC, his focus, drive and passion has been creating and performing his own songs. In 2017, he released his first EP of original music, the critically-acclaimed Rising Tide, produced by veteran engineer Warren Schatz (Evelyn “Champagne” King, KC & The Sunshine Band, Vicki Sue Robinson).
Jay Elle’s latest release, the self-produced Ease Up, was mixed and mastered by Brent Kolatalo (Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Lorde) and features a collection of groovy, uplifting, guitar driven songs. All of the tracks present a positive attitude toward a life event that Jay Elle experienced or witnessed. With Ease Up, Jay Elle states, “I want to share optimistic and positive messages that focus on looking forward and moving on from imperfect situations. I’m optimistic about the future and I want to share that viewpoint.”
Whether he relies on pop, rock, or more intimate voice and guitar arrangements, Jay Elle obviously puts a lot of effort into crafting excellent lyrics with powerful messages. His latest release focuses on helping people feel good about themselves and the world around them. “I want the lyrics to be meaningful and energizing,” Jay Elle states. “I think there’s a need for simple, well-crafted messages that give people a positive outlook on life.” And those are exactly the kind of songs and messages that he gives us on Ease Up.