Jay-Way is redefining hip-hop music. Based in Amsterdam, he brings a broad, boundary-breaking perspective to the genre, filling his songs not only with the rhythmic bounce of rap, but also the progressive melodies of pop, the laidback cool of old-school soul music, the optimistic outlook of gospel, and the electrified energy of rock & roll. This year he will represent The Netherlands at showcase festival SXSW.
It’s a sound that hasn’t just set him apart from his contemporaries; it’s made him a genuine star at home and abroad, too, with songs like “Happen Dappen” and records like “No, I’m Not Ok” both racking up more than 2 million streams. With its mix of amplified guitars, R&B beats, swaggering lyrics, and pop-culture references, Jay-Way’s latest project — the two-track single release of “Coolie” and “Legend” — shines new light on an innovative songwriter whose art is just as diverse as his life.