James "Jay" Spears
Singer-songwriter Jay Spears lives in his native L.A., near (but not in) West Hollywood, near (but not in) Beverly Hills, and near (but not in) the La Brea Tar Pits. His debut album "BOY HOWDY" features humorous, gay-friendly boy-meets-boy pop tunes with titles like "I Like Mike" and "Cryin' Over Brian". The "I Like Mike" music video, featuring swing-dancing baseball players, played in film festivals worldwide, and was the first music vid ever to play on Viacom's LOGO channel.
Outmusic Awards "BOY HOWDY" was nominated for Outstanding Album 2003 by Outmusic, and earned Jay compliments like "the gay love-child of Randy Newman and Tom Waits". Jay's sophomore CD "PLAYIN ON MY TEAM" includes the full-choir gospel rocker, "Smak Dem Christians Down", the video for which has over 85,000 views on YouTube.
Born and bred on the Beatles, Jay's guitar and songwriting style is greatly influenced by cinema and theatre. In college Jay earned his daily bread playing guitar, banjo, & mandolin in the pit orchestras for musicals in the university drama department, everything from Hello Dolly to Man of La Mancha to Jesus Christ Superstar. As a result his songs have strong characters, story, even dialogue, plus chord changes and harmonies with a distinctly American Theater vibe.
Jay was working on his third album when he was diagnosed with cancer, late in 2010. Surgery, chemotherapy, and a passionate infatuation with prescription narcotics ensued, all of which put him on the DL for over two years. Now here’s Jay’s comeback album. How does it feel? It’s titled "WE ARE ALL BORN LUCKY."
This third album of witty, peppy pop serves up his easy-going west-coast sensibility in a burst of warm California sunshine, with juicy harmonies, extra crispy guitars, brassy big-band beats, out-loud lyrics, and a bit of an edge. Jay's perspective and focus is broadening, taking on life in the Big City with tunes like "When The Big One Hits" about our fab yet shaky Southern California lifestyle, "Guy In The Sky" about God or lack thereof, and "Meat", about, well, meat.
Jay is the proud recipient of a 2014 ASCAP Plus award. The award is for "...wASCAP PLUSriters who create music with a value beyond the scope of performance surveys. It rewards writer members of all genres whose works were performed in unsurveyed media as well as writer members whose catalogs have prestige value."