We had the good fortune of connecting with Jay Miners and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jay, what do you attribute your success to?
It is very important to me that anything I put out into the world is true to my music and true to myself. Whether it is a decision I’m making about a song or about my business, Keepsake House, I’m always checking in with myself and asking: is this 100% transparent? Is this work something I’m proud of or want to exist in the world? Would I share this work, regardless of outside opinions and financial/quantitative achievements? Those questions are constant reminders to stay grounded, keep busy, and stay focused on the work itself. I’ve always believed that not thinking too much about success is probably the secret to feeling happy and fulfilled.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m an independent singer/songwriter. I’m from and currently live in Queens, New York City. From a young age, I was often absorbed in writing music, fiction, poetry, or any creative form I could express myself through a narrative. My love for music has always been rooted in songwriting and the wide breadth of artists and genres my parents listened to when I was growing up — from Simon & Garfunkel to Smokey Robinson to Teresa Teng.
I started to write, record, and perform professionally in 2015. I’ve released two EPs so far and played shows across New York at venues like Rockwood Music Hall, Bowery Electric, and Arlene’s Grocery. I love the craft of writing music, and it’s something I would be committed to even if I wasn’t pursuing it professionally, so the challenges that I’ve faced (and am still facing) are often related to ‘making a living’ with this career path. I’m still figuring it out (right now, I’m working four jobs!), but it helps to remind myself why I started down this road: to spend my days with creativity and feel fulfilled doing something I love.
Right now, there are two specific projects I’m very excited about. The first one is a full-length record that I’m working on in the studio with my friend and producer, Harper James. I’m slowly unraveling each song, with the album slated to release in the summer of 2021. At this point in my career, I feel that I’ve grown in many ways and feel ready to put out a larger body of work that best represents who I am as an artist and the kind of music and themes I want to write about.
The second project is Keepsake House, a business I started with Hailey Savage. We launched Keepsake House officially in February 2021, but the desire to build a space to support independent artists has always been there for the both of us. At its core, Keepsake House is a listening room for artists to intimately share their work, often times with an element of conversation. In contrast with the way live music can be absorbed in today’s independent music scene, we are all about slowing down and creating an opportunity for artists to truly get to know and connect with their audience, and for audiences to leave with that “high” we all feel after a really good show.
These two projects are definitely taking up most of my time these days, and I’m so excited for the world to hear more about them.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I was born in Queens and have lived in New York for pretty much my whole life, so I love this question! There are so many things you can fill your days with in NYC, but to limit it to just a few:
For food: We would go to Flushing to eat all the time, because you can find the best Chinese cuisine there. We can karaoke after and it’ll be great. There’s a Korean restaurant, Cho Dang Gol, that my friend Sarah Kang introduced me, and it has since been my favorite place to eat in Manhattan for its comfort food. And we’ll have to go to Martha’s Bakery in Bayside for the best sliced cake.
For sights: We’ll take a bike ride to Prospect Park, then picnic afterwards on the grass and people watch. We’ll need to go on a museum hop: The Met because it’s a rite of passage, and then visit Museum of Chinese in America, Transit Museum, and the New York Hall of Science.
For sounds: Head over to Rockwood Stage 1 and check out who’s performing. I’d love to make it a point to end our nights in the city with music.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people! The one person I will always shout-out is my partner, Jeff Deng, for being my best friend, confidante, the person who is on this journey with me and understands me in all the best ways. He’s also a kick-ass visual artist.
For IMG_3383 – Hailey Savage For all others – Jeff Deng