By David A. Mitchell
For John Wesley, pka JAyLIEN 2010, elation is highly anticipated. After all he has knocked one out of the park with his very first placement—the song, “Beautiful,” an international hit for Pop/R&B superstar Akon.
A turning-point in the career for JAyLIEN, the 21 year-old singer, songwriter, musician, who personally came up with his own unique and memorable nickname, recalls meeting Akon by chance while in Atlanta; not realizing what the future had in store.
“Not long after that meeting, my manager [Onefeme Ogbeni] asked me if I had any records for Akon,” recalls JAyLIEN. “This was the opportunity I had been waiting for. I created the song and the beat. He took it to Akon, who wanted to cut it the next night. The rest as they say is history.”
On the overall experience, JAyLIEN says at first he didn’t realize how truly talented Akon is. “I always thought he had a cool voice and vibe, but I didn’t realize his true range. He really knows music and production. He’s also good people, and we had a lot of fun working together.”
The Akon connection has led to a bevy of other opportunities. JAyLIEN is currently working on new music for the Backstreet Boys, Usher, Ciara, and a good friend he is developing by the name of Quincy Jagher, a Pop/Rock artist.
JAyLIEN, originally from St. Louis and now residing in Atlanta, says his family had an impact on his passion for music; as both parents were musicians. Although self-taught at the piano, he played in his high school marching band, and is proficient at clarinet and saxophone.
JAyLIEN says he is also heavily influenced by producer greats Quincy Jones and Timbaland. “In my music, I try to mix the musical-arrangement aspects of Quincy, who could do anything from ‘Thriller,’ movie scores, to jazz, and pop songs; with the drum and rhythmic aspects of Timbaland. I also look up to [producer] Nate ‘Danja’ Hills as well.”
What amazing company to aspire to be in. Of course, JAyLIEN isn’t stopping there. With all of the placements he’s acquiring, he’s keeping his eye on Grammy nominations for 2010. “In everything I do, I will be working towards that goal,” he says.