Jayd Ink is a Jamaican born singer and songwriter from Toronto, Ontario. Just days before our communities entered a state of pandemic, Jayd released her latest offering Bound By Nothing and has been flourishing since. The songstress has been blossoming in the virtual world – gifting her fans and followers with live performances on Instagram along with an acoustic guitar cover to her song “Tension.”
Leading up to Bound By Nothing, Jayd was featured on the Canadian TV show “The Launch” where she broadcasted her talents nationally and impressed the judges/mentors. Continuing her on screen visibility, Jayd was also seen performing with a live band on CTVs morning show before capping that of by strutting across the center stage runway at Toronto’s Fashion Week.
Jayd Ink tells us that she recorded a majority of this 6 song project in Queens, NYC with Mike Classic and Kaui. “I would label Mike as the executive producer even though he wouldn’t take that title but he has a lot to do with the overall producing on this project. He’s also an artist so it was easy and a lot of fun to work with him,” she relays.
Stream Bound By Nothing below, and check out our full interview with the singer/songwriter.
How have you been handling the state of emergency so far, and what have you been doing during quarantine?
Jayd Ink: Well I just a released an EP a few weeks prior so it’s been keeping me busy with finding new ways to promote the project solely online. Other from that my lifestyle hasn’t changed much. I usually create at home. I’m a homebody so it’s not a big transition.
What does your latest album title Bound By Nothing mean to you?
Jayd Ink: After winning my episode on “The Launch” in Toronto I thought it would give me some leverage to finally get funding for my next project so I took some time off from releasing music so I could focus on that but I was unsuccessful, twice. I was just trying to put things together behind the scenes in general but it became frustrating. I didn’t want to wait for the perfect opportunity or the ideal situation any longer so I decided to release it on my own. No big premiere, just me and the people who enjoy the music I make and hopefully I gain a new fan.
Bound By Nothing is really about trusting your next steps. It’s about being free from old patterns, unfulfilling relationships and persevering through the unknown.
You’ve referred to “bound by nothing” being a mindset on your Instagram, and explained that you fell out of love with music and felt stuck. How did you overcome that?
Jayd Ink: Being an independent artist you wear a lot of hats and the business of music can be a bit overwhelming at times. I would leave the city and fly to NYC just to lock myself in the studio to create. Sometimes I feel stagnant in Toronto, unmotivated. I had to change my mindset, get better at managing my time, (always a work in progress) and overall just trusting myself.
How did the album art come together?
Jayd Ink: I wanted the cover to be simple, I wanted it to look like a symbol of some sort like an art piece. I designed it purposely without the name because I felt the image could stand on it’s own. It took me a few days to perfect it, I wasn’t sure how it would be received but I liked it so it was a go.
There are sprinkles of Caribbean dancehall vibes beautifully executed all over this album. Where did you draw the inspiration from?
Jayd Ink: I’m originally from Jamaica so I thought it would be fitting to give listeners that side of me other from my regular R&B melodies. Some of it was by accident and some was un-purpose.
When did your love for Dancehall music start and how has it grown over the years?
Jayd Ink: I’ve loved Dancehall music since I was 5. I’ve been singing songs I shouldn’t be singing from time. I honestly don’t listen to it as much as I use to. I don’t go searching for the latest riddim but If I’m at a party I’m always waiting for reggae to come on.
What did you do on this project that you didn’t have the confidence, or maybe vulnerability, to execute before?
Jayd Ink: It would be blending reggae with my R&B sound. Years ago when I was in LA I had a meeting with a “famous” rapper’s manager and he asked me why I wasn’t using reggae in my music since I’m actually from Jamaica….and in my mind I was like, “That’s a good question.” But the way I looked at it seemed too easy, like it was expected but really nobody knew that side of me unless I told them – plus I never thought about it as strongly until he mentioned it.
It takes a lot to execute a record like “Darkskin,” what do you want your fans to take away from a song with so many levels to it?
Jayd Ink: It took me 3 years to release “Darkskin” because I couldn’t pass the second verse. I was very emotional because I knew what had to be said but a part of me was still dealing with it. This song is very deep and vulnerable and I hope it sparks conversations, I hope it changes someone’s perspective on beauty. We’ve been conditioned to see beauty one way for too long and I hope it also makes someone’s day.
What are you most proud of with this new body of work?
Jayd Ink: That I said fuck it, I’m not waiting on nobody or the perfect opportunity. Second, I feel good about the flow of the project. I purposely placed each song in that order so I hope the listener enjoy it like I do.
I know Twin produced on the song “Tension” – how was it working with him and what other producers did you collaborate with?
Jayd Ink: Yea that’s the homie. He produced a few others – “Galaxy” and “Sweet Conversation.” It’s a breeze working with him. I like that he trust my ideas and that he’s always open to suggestions. “The Most” – Jordan Manswell. This was my first time working with him. I love his production, he’s really dope. “Privately” – Dan Bravo, he’s from Norway. We connected through Soundcloud and since then we’ve been working. This is one of my favourite songs! “So Many Ways,” “Sima,” “Darkskin” – Kaui, he’s one of my favourite producers to work with. We always have a good time. He’s also an artist…he’s the guy singing at the end on “Darkskin.“
Has being on the TV show, The Launch” affected your creative process since?
Jayd Ink: No, I wouldn’t say it did. I’m still creating how I usually do.
What challenges do you face trying to tackle the music industry from Toronto?
Jayd Ink: Mann….sometimes I feel like I don’t fit into the industry here. It’s weird cause a lot of people feel this way at times but nobody talks about it out loud, they either move to LA or hibernate and make music. However, I feel every artist deals with this in their own city it’s not just Toronto.
How will you spend the rest of quarantine, any cool roll outs planned?
Jayd Ink: Well….I won’t be giving away any rollout plans you just have to wait and see, but I’ll be using the time to record new music, finish old ones. Doing a lot of reading and learning new skills.
Have you started thinking about how you’re going to follow up this project?
Jayd Ink: I have a few things in mind. Hopefully this quarantine will be over soon so I can expand these ideas but for now I’ll work with what I have.
Stream Bound By Nothing on streaming platforms, and follow Jayd on Instagram for future releases.