If you’re looking to fall in love with a musician whose voice is enough to make you completely melt into his velvet arms (we’re not even going to start talking about those brown eyes!), here he is—Jay Loftus—a name that’s impossible to forget once you press play.
This NYC-based musician is not only a phenomenal artist, but his goofiness, slight nerdiness, and ability to tell stories through his lyrics is something we can’t get enough of.
L20: Tell us about how you got started as a musician.
JL: I started really young—when I was 5 years old. My mom got me a piano lesson, and then from there at the age of 9, I started playing guitar—because guitar was cool. I stopped playing piano, and then started writing songs at the age of 12 and then went on from there. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.
L20: And you had some troubles as a child with bullying. What would you tell your 12-year-old self now and all of the people who are going through the same issues?
JL: It might sound kinda harsh, but I would just say to deal with it. It’s not that big of a deal in the scheme of things, ya know? Stuff is really not worth getting that upset about and letting it ruin your life like that is not an option, because it’s just pointless.
L20: What inspires you and your lyrics?
JL: I like to think of myself as a storyteller. I remember my father always telling me he really likes how Bruce Springsteen paints a picture with his lyrics, so you can just close your eyes and see what he’s talking about. I’ve always thought that in the back of my mind—you really have to bring those people into that situation. When I record my songs in the studio, I sort of put myself back to the time when I wrote the song because that’s the time when you’re most raw emotions are going to come out.
There’s a song we recorded for the new album that’s not a sad song, but it’s kind of a bummer, so I had to put myself back into that frame of mind. For the rest of the day, I was all bummed out and pissed off. Laughs. I had to keep telling my friends I was sorry I was all pissed off, but I had to think about this stuff.
I like to live what I write and write what I live, and I feel like I continually connect with the people that listen to my music and I’m doing it for that reason—not just to sing songs.
L20: Do you have certain spots you like to write your music?
JL: I have one room in the house that I really like. It’s a little space I can escape to. But other than that, I do a lot of writing in my friend’s studio in New Jersey. It’s an escape from the city and a good place to clear my head and just write some thoughts down.
L20: I saw you’ve performed at a lot of colleges. Have you had any really memorable moments while you were on the stage?
JL: Yeah, the first college I played at was an all-girls college in Virginia, and Dave Matthews actually played there a couple times, too. I heard rumors he met his wife there—don’t quote me on that! Laughs. But the most memorable is my most recent college show, which was technically a sorority show that was in front of like 57 girls sitting on the floor in front of me and my two band mates. It was pretty intimidating, but it was a fun show and I definitely had a good time.
L20: They were probably sitting there drooling the whole time!
JL: They were definitely cute!
L20: While we’re on the subject, I asked our readers for some questions for you! To start them off, what do you look for in a woman?
JL: Somebody that can make fun of me and call me out when I’m being stupid, because I’m the first person to make fun of myself, so she has to have a good sense of humor. If I like someone, I’ll bust their chops, and I like somebody who’s going to be able to dish it back to me.
L20: And what are your deal-breakers?
JL: Clubfoot? No, just kidding. Laughs. Jealousy—definitely jealousy.
L20: What’s your dream date?
JL: Umm… this is tricky, because I don’t go on very conventional dates.
L20: What kind of dates have you been on?
JL: I guess one was a museum—that was pretty cool. I’m kind of a nerd, so I considered that a date but I don’t know if she considered it a date. Laughs. I also like ice skating—I went on an ice skating date one time. That was cute.
L20: Have you ever had really embarrassing moments with these girls? Or are you super smooth and don’t have to worry about that?
JL: Hmm. Let me see—embarrassing moments. I mean I’ve probably gotten too drunk. It happens. There was one girl I liked, and I asked her to come over to my friend’s place, but by the time she came over I was way too drunk. I embarrassed myself, and she was actually nice enough to drive me home.
L20: It could have ended worse—you didn’t puke on her, so that’s a plus! One last question. What are your future plans?
JL: I just want to pick up and go and play in any place I can and anywhere that people will hear me. I have some shows booked, and right now I’m building up my fan base because I have an online following, but you have to have people on the street who are coming to your show. So right now, I’m on the road and putting in my 10,000 hours.
We also hear he makes some pretty delish Fruity Pebbles Rice Krispie treats.