Since childhood, Jay has already shown his talent, recording jingles with great national repercussion. As a teenager, he founded his first band and began performing in São Paulo’s vibrant nightlife scene. In 2000, he released his first album, “Nem Tão São”, marking the beginning of a remarkable musical journey.
Jay Vaquer’s trajectory is a deep dive into musical diversity. His works range from the album “Vendo a Mim same” (2004), which gained prominence on MTV and expanded his fan base, to the acclaimed “Canções de Exílio” (2016), nominated for a Latin Grammy for best production and best album. rock music in Portuguese.
In addition to creating his own music, Jay had his compositions recorded by illustrious names in MPB, such as Milton Nascimento and Toninho Horta. His music videos also won over the public, with all of them reaching number one on the MTV charts. He not only acted in his videos but also directed many of them, showcasing his talent in various artistic facets.
Jay Vaquer is not limited to music and the stage. With a degree in Social Communication from FAAP and in Performing Arts from Célia Helena, he brings his passion for the arts to other forms of expression. As an actor, he acted in prominent plays and participated in the musical “Cazas de Cazuza”, where he shone in the role of Justo Grinberg.
His versatility led him to write music for theatrical shows and to venture as a playwright, creating musicals such as “Meia Noite Cinderela” and “Síndroma”. In 2022, his musical “Poema!” received the award for Best Original Musical from “Musical.Rio”, solidifying his position as one of the great talents of the Brazilian artistic scene.
Jay Vaquer shows no signs of slowing down. Her commitment to creativity and authenticity is an inspiration to artists and admirers of all ages. Jay Vaquer is more than a musician; he is a multifaceted voice who will continue to enrich Brazilian culture with his art and passion.
With a 23-year career and 10 albums released, you’ve seen a lot of changes in the music industry over the years. What are the biggest lessons you learned during this time and how do you see the evolution of music in Brazil?
23 years since the release of my first phonographic work, “Nem so São”, but I consider myself an artist who has expressed himself since childhood. I don’t consider my first recording work as a starting point for my career. Before that, I had already done a lot.
In the music industry, we have seen the democratization of the production and distribution of work. With this, releasing a song into the world has become much easier, but achieving prominence is not so simple. Lots of new things happening daily. Literally. Many started watching videos at double speed, sharing the screen with a gnome peeling a cucumber in a picturesque way to maintain interest while watching the video. If I write more than two paragraphs, they call it “textão”. Many “permanent political campaigns” asking for attention: “Look at me here! I exist! Discover! You might like it.”
In this dispersion of available works, there is something for all tastes and many artists survive well in specific niches. In my case, when we talk about music, unfortunately I’m off the festival radar. I also stay away from big TV programs, podcasts, radio. Just based on my modest Instagram profile, I announce shows, I get a nice interested audience and everything is fine. Some people end up confusing fame and “auê” with quality. Today I see a lot of really mediocre things gaining “incredible” status because due to “tiktokial” circumstances in life, it has a herd effect, but is very ordinary in a creative sense. And I see a lot of rich things in the poetic, harmonic, melodic sense that end up disappearing in this sea of works released daily. It’s not easy, but it never has been. Today at least the work exists. Before, few were able to make work viable. They couldn’t even record. Today, few are able to live a dignified life with this recorded work.
You started your musical journey at a very young age. What inspired you to pursue a career in music, and how do those roots influence your art today?
I don’t even know if something specific exactly inspired me. I’m an artist. (Not just expressing myself through music) It’s in my essence. I’ve always been. As long as I can remember.
His most recent works have accumulated 4 Latin Grammy nominations. How has this recognition affected your career and your approach to music?
It didn’t affect it. It didn’t help me sell more shows. This is a recognition of the quality of what is produced. The recommendation is because they see that it is very well looked after. And it is. It’s always been like this, since my first job. Afterwards, winning or not depends on the vote of the voting members who put their predilections, propensities, sympathies, their desires to send a certain message, point out/stimulate paths. Art is not a horse race. There is no such thing as one being better and the other worse. There is well-kept work and less well-kept work. Only. It turns out that if the Grammys ignored these works, I would continue to know their immense value. I say this without fear of sounding arrogant, because the result is collective merit. It’s all about the great Moogie Canazio and the talent of extraordinary musicians.
You had the opportunity to work as an actor in plays. How does your background in performing arts influence your music and vice versa?
Like I said, I’m an artist. This defines me. I’m not a singer or an actor. I can sing, act. I use them as tools available for artistic expression, although I am much more on the creative side. Where I really feel most satisfied. Telling in itself is fundamental, but I’m even more interested in the content, in what is told. I am part of the beginning of the resumption of great musicals in Brazil. I was right at the epicenter of that first moment. I chose to leave there because I already knew what I really wanted to do in that universe. And it wasn’t acting, but writing and directing shows. Turns out I knew I wasn’t ready for that at that moment. There was no padding, no technique. I lived my life, studied, observed, absorbed, matured until I truly felt capable of putting into the world work that I considered interesting, beautiful and relevant in this sector.
His songs were recorded by renowned MPB artists. What is it like to see your compositions come to life through other performers?
I think few people recorded it. I feel like a lot of people will still record these songs in the future. Always a thrill to see this happening. I am happy.
You mentioned a special musical project produced by Rick Bonadio. Can you tell us more about this project and what fans can expect?
No. There is no such thing. With Rick, there was a meeting about 30 years ago. He was already a great producer. I recorded some things in his studio in Cantareira.
You recently won the award for Best Original Musical of 2022 for “Musical.Rio”. Can you tell us more about this project and what the creation process was like?
The musical “Poem!” received this award. And I see another musical of mine, “Síndroma” with excellent chances of being nominated for 2023. I feel very happy because I know that I am contributing a lot to the original musical produced here in Brazil, but aiming abroad too. Universal themes are covered. Later this year, I will launch both books.
“Poem!”, I started developing as part of an academic course. Even at the beginning of that stage, I realized that it would be very interesting to think about a script to turn into a feature film. That’s what I started doing during the process. Write a film. (And I selected some scenes from the script for the school exercise simultaneously) We filmed it and it is still in the post phase, but starting from this script I wrote, I adjusted it for the stage on a professional basis, needing to develop new scenes (with music or not) for a series of necessary seams. I hope to be able to release this film soon and I hope that the shows “Poema!” and “Síndroma” are always on display. They deserve it a lot.
What are your future plans in the field of music and performing arts? Are there any exciting projects you are currently working on?
If I don’t find it exciting, I won’t even start. In the field of performing arts, I am currently awaiting responses to some notices. I have 3 musicals awaiting responses. I will always try. Without notices, without incentive laws, it is impossible to put a large-scale musical on display. In music, I’m going to record a new CD now, after 5 years without releasing anything.
You adapted the musical “Poema!” for the stage, which achieved great success. Can you tell us more about the adaptation process and what you hope the audience takes away from this experience?
In a way, this question is similar to the seventh. I feel like you haven’t yet had the “great success” that you can and deserve to have. I adapted it for the stage based on the script, but as no one saw the film, until it wasn’t even ready, it ended up that the play was ahead and the film was behind. They’ll think I made the film after the play. Haha. In reality, they are the same thing, but with many different musical numbers, different scenes, even characters.
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