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Rising Stars: Meet Jayda

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jayda.

Hi Jayda, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
In the city of Seoul, Korea, there was this little girl who was quirky, emotionless, extremely shy, yet extremely curious. She barely spoke or acted in front of people including her family and cousins. She showed very little emotions or expressions for herself that her parents started to worry and think if she had any conditions like autism. So they took her to the doctor and the doctor said her body is perfectly normal and he would consider her condition as excessive shyness or a selective mutism. Her parents were relieved yet still concerned about how they will help their daughter to get better. So they introduced her to this instrument called piano because they researched how art often helps young children with their inner states in a beautiful way. She encountered piano for the first time, started playing, and….possibly falling in love.

She never felt this strong force that was captivating the inside of her soul. She dreamed about performing on the stage. She didn’t know exactly what and how she would perform, but she certainly knew it would be something with music and dancing. The passion quickly grew and it seemed like there’s nothing more important in her life than playing piano, singing, or dancing as her selective mutism seemed slowly but surely became subtle and eventually disappeared.

And yes, that little girl was me, JAYDA. Because of music, I started to learn how to be comfortable with myself in front of other people. Because of music, I started to express myself confidently without any difficulties. Because of music, I decided to come to the other side of the world, America all the way from Korea by myself at the age of 19 without family. Because of music, I started to realize there’s something bigger than myself…

To pursue my dream as a music artist, I came to America without any hesitation. People around me kept asking and asking that if I’m scared to cross the sea completely by myself…. alone. I was only 19 years old. And I kept telling them again and again that I’m too excited to be scared. I’ve met so many friends and so many great people along the way of my journey in America and I’ve never ever regretted my decision to come here even though I nearly haven’t seen my parents and my family over three years. I knew(or at least my gut knew) that I needed to follow the guidance from the above to find the purpose in my dream.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Music to me was sort of a lifesaver in a way I didn’t even notice. How powerful and deep it was, I’m still in the search of “my” truth in music after many years since then. It’s a gift that I found my calling at such a young age, and it’s a curse that now it’s completely up to me to find the real connection between me and music, through highs and low, ups and downs… It’s a constant assignment of my calling and it’s nearly just started.

Sometimes, I’m so overwhelmed and frustrated with a creative process of music. I just don’t have any clue where to start to make a song. Sometimes, it happens so quickly that I’m thinking “Did I just write a whole song like that?” and sometimes it takes forever that I just want to give up and slap its face as if the song was a human. “That” fluctuation and the randomness of the creative process when it comes to art, I’m still trying to get used to it. The misconception that people have is some people are born-natural artists and their products are made so easy effortlessly. But what I’m really starting to see is that making art takes discipline and patience way more than your God-given gift. Without them, you will just be a dreamer, not an artist.

I’ve also had lots of insecurities in the past from the bigger scale to smaller scale and from my personal things to my career things.

“What if my English accent shows up in my song?!” “This production doesn’t sound like Kanye so I must be a shitty musician (after only making music for two years)” ”What would people think about my new hairstyle?” “I’m too short to wear these types of clothes and I’m gonna look like a humpty dumpty.” and so on and so on…. The voices never stop. Fortunately, I finally made peace with myself regarding these matters. It’s normal to feel this way but I decided to not give its power over me so I simply let it pass through me.

At the end of the day, it’s really “you” to decide if there’s going to be any obstacles in your life. It’s “you” to decide if this road will be a bumpy or a smooth ride. Not you, not him, not her. YOU. But at the same time, I’m not expecting a smooth ride at all and nor planning to have one because it’s no fun. I love attractions and roller coasters and been to many places like six flags. And I noticed that some of my favorites were the ones that had the most ups and downs that almost made me throw up, but in the end you made it and you’re just grateful to be alive. I want my life to be like that.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a music artist. But at the same time, I’m everything. I sing, dance, song-write, make a production, and create all visual/non-visual content around my brand. There’s no really one box you can be in. As a matter of fact, life is full of boxes you create. And for the most part of my life, I struggled to squeeze myself into a box that I should be in and how to label it. I eventually came to a conclusion that it was unnecessary to do that and I felt liberating and free.

Becoming an artist was a completely different journey than just “doing” music in my life. I was a musician almost my entire life, but I really think that I just started to become an artist in what I do because I finally realized what makes me different from others. The stories I have, the journey of mine, the experiences I’ve got…. those are the things that “I” can only deliver through my music and that’s what makes me an artist. When I stopped copying others’ stories, that’s when I knew I’m different from him, her, or anybody who’s next to me.

I feel that oftentimes, we forget to realize how unique and special life we have individually. You are one unique individual being that’s having a unique individual human experience. Everything is so personal and that’s why there is art.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
“Know thyself.”

This is my motto and I carry this very meaning in everything I do after I realize that life is a completely personal experience. I believe that success is one thing when you finally align with yourself on a deeper level. People see it as success, but I believe it’s just a fine alignment between yourself and your reality. Oftentimes, people are confused with the meaning of success with wealth. We highlight material things but overlook the true abundance in life. We neglect our blessings that are in front of us because we’re too busy to chase the things that don’t exist.

If I don’t know myself, I am simply not aligned with my reality. If I’m not aligned with my reality, I cannot see the things that I believe and value clearly.

Everything happens from within.

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