Jay Blahnik

  • MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
     
    What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?

    • Jay Blahnik: Music is, and has always been part of my life, since I can recall from my earliest and most fond memories. By the time I celebrated my fifteenth birthday, I had already wrote, produced and recorded an entire album; which consisted of eight (8) tracks. But over the past 10 years, I’ve really watched as the mainstream industry has used music, dance moves, runway walking techniques, mannerisms and vernacular that was created within, or inspired by the Ballroom Community; yet little or no recognition is ever given to the legends, icons and trailblazers who are the inventors. Sadly, NO money has come into this community either. I wanted to bring worldwide attention to our art; thus bringing a greater awareness of the Ballroom Community and appreciation for the artistic innovation that we create. My current album entitled, Boom Box, is a Progressive House and EDM album (or as others call it, audio musical theatre) inspired by the sounds and rhythms of the House and Ballroom Culture.
  • MuzicNotez: Your sound is unique and with powerful messages. Could you explain what House and Ballroom culture is and who or what were your musical influences, idols, or bands that helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
    • Jay Blahnik: Ball culture, the house system, the ballroom community and similar terms describe an underground subculture of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community originating in Harlem, New York during the Harlem Renaissance. Essentially its’ people who compete by “Walking the Runways” in a series of categories that seek to award the best in fashion, vogue/dance, runway walking and beauty, trophies and cash prizes at events known as balls. Most participants in ball culture belong to familial structures known as “houses”. This community is most noted for Vogueing, an international dance style that was made popular by pop music Icon, Madonna, in 1990. I have been part of this community for two decades and is recognized as a living legend for extraordinary artistic contributions in runway walking, fashion, dance performance/production; as well as for years of humanitarian work (e.g. creation of the Blahnik Scholarship Fund). As I shared earlier, my sound comes from my roots that remain grounded in this culture. For years, I was one of the premiere voices who hosted the ball events, identified as a commentator, around the country. My music has been used in NYC Fashion Shows during Fashion Week, played in clubs around the world and used in dance competitions/recitals, hair shows and fashion shows. I think it’s beginning to catch on…

      My album is dedicated to my idol, Janet Jackson, who is the lead musical and performance inspiration in my life. Her talent, style, and bravery to tackle tough socially conscience issues has helped make the world a much better place. She has opened doors for so many; it’s my little way of saying thank you to her.

  • MuzicNotez: What would you like your listeners to know about the Ballroom Community and what impact they’ve made on you?
    • Jay Blahnik: The Ballroom has given me a fearlessness and courage to create music, video and live shows that artistically celebrate my community. The Ballroom Culture nurtured an edginess to me, a side of me that is unafraid of any potential outcome. Particularly with music, because I’m doing what has never been done before (or at least done by a person who is actually apart of the community).
  • MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
    • Jay Blahnik: I would like my music and videos to be in constant/regular rotation of popular radio and TV broadcast. I like to work with more arts, heritage and cultural preservation groups, lecture or lead workshops at colleges/universities, advocacy and community-based organizations (LGBT studies, art, music, etc.), and more live shows. My ultimate goal is to top Billboard Charts around the world, earn a Grammy and produce chart-topping hits for other people. Lastly, I want to see my work housed at Smithsonian Institute and other museums around the world.
  • MuzicNotez: Could you tell us and your listeners what your proudest moments in your music career are/were thus far?
    • Jay Blahnik: My proudest moment was earning the Bronze Dance & Electronic Music Honor at the Global Music Awards (GMA) for American Thumpdalina (TSUNAMI THUMPIN Revolution Remix). The song has a message and I wanted the world to hear it!
  • MuzicNotez: Was there a specific message in your single “America Thumpdalina” that you were trying to get across to your listeners?
    • Jay Blahnik: I want listeners to be conscience of how laws, policies, stereotypes and “isms” hurt and divide us all. How they lead to violence and separation. The video opens with these words chanted from me, “Injustice blameless, soldiers nameless, war aimless and victories shameless. Though the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is no more, yet we still find ways to silence LGBT people, women, and other racial, ethnic, gender, and/or minority groups. Oppression of another oppresses us all! I used this law because it was reversed; which gives rise to hope. A hope that no one is treated unkindly based on anything other than their character. In the video I also say, “The damned and the doomed, the dead in the head!” Which is simply how I feel about oppressors.

  • MuzicNotez: A little birdie told me you were in the midst of launching an international contest. What is the contest geared towards and for those interested in participating, when and how could they sign up?
    • Jay Blahnik: Yeah, I am launching a contest entitled, ’30 Days of BODY.’ The idea came to me around the holidays after I had gained so much unwanted weight. I made a New Year’s resolution to workout and eat better, but it’s a real struggle. I know that I can’t be the only person experiencing this problem. So, I wanted to launch an interactive contest that would create an international support system for people who struggle daily without inspiration or encouragement. So to enter, you just have to become a fan of mines at www.JBlahnik.com and then post a video stating a 30-day goal that improves.
  • MuzicNotez: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
    • Jay Blahnik: More live shows, more radio and TV interviews and hopefully greater support from a larger fan base.

      Also…

      The SCM Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognizes the achievements of underground, independent and major Hip-Hop and R&B Artists, music producers, video producers, record labels and more. Please support both Izzi Infinity and myself by voting through the link provided as follows:

      Best All Around Photographer: Jay Blahnik
      Promoter of the Year: Jay Blahnik Entertainment
      Album/Mix Tape of the Year (Indie): Boom Box by Jay Blahnik
      Best Collaboration: Izzi Infiniti & Jay Blahnik (The Witch Doctor)
      Best Internet Radio: Ballroom Blog Talk Radio
      Best Radio Show: Ballroom Radio/Everyday PartyNetwork.com

      VOTE HERE:

      http://vote.scmaward.com

      Also,
      Please take one second and vote Jay Blahnik for “Most Played Song of the Year!”

      https://epoll.me/v/ACaE8_p5ido

  • MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
    • Jay Blahnik: Thank you to everyone who supported the album and those who were open to hearing this new style of dance music. Thank you to all the DJs who play, remix and share my music. Extra special thanks to my friends, family and fans who are there with me each step that I take on this road to success. Know that I am fueled by their love.

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