Jonathan Hay: The Insider Interview

Jonathan Hay sat down for this exclusive interview with The Insider about his #1 Billboard Jazz LP with Mike Smith. Hay really opens up in this must read story about survival and persistence.

Excerpts from the interview:

“I got into publicity, and I’ve done real well on that side,” he says. “So I’d always be in the studio, but I’d never be, like, ‘I’m producing music,’ until four or five years ago.”

[Jonathan] Hay used sometimes-controversial PR methods to get his clients exposure, like leaking an alleged affair while trying to promote Rihanna’s “Pon de Replay,” one of her first hits.

It was another PR connection that led to Hay’s current partnership with Smith.

“He actually hired me to be his publicist, and then he was, like, we should just produce music. We should get some rap features, and we should build our name — and that’s what we did,” says Hay.

In April of 2017, Hay and his daughter Iliana Eve were held at gunpoint in a home invasion.

“We were coming back to my place, and when we were coming up to the door, we were attacked from behind,” he recalls. “We didn’t even see him coming. And next thing you know, we’re thrown into my house, duct taped, he had a mask on … it was traumatic. We had guns all over us, the whole time we thought we were gonna die.”

That experience is reflected in the music on “Jazz [Deluxe].”

“All the songs come from that place,” Hay explains. “You’ll see songs like ‘Betrayal,’ ‘Paralyzed’ and all these different things. It comes from that home invasion, because I went to a real traumatic place, and I just got lost in the music.”

Read the heartfelt Insider story with Jonathan Hay.

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