By Salma Ali ’17
It is the beginning of a successful journey for Midwood’s Jalen Robinson ‘18. Robinson, also known as Jay Lonzo, recently released his first music video on December 4 receiving over 50,000 views.
Lonzo’s music inspiration began in the fifth grade when he found the courage to perform a song he wrote in the school’s talent show. He didn’t expect positive feedback from the harsh audience, but surprisingly, he found people commending him for his excellent performance.
“When I found that the audience was pleased with my music, I decided to continue writing and moving forward with this risky profession,” Lonzo said.
By September 2015, Lonzo had released his fifth song on the SoundCloud application. Through this process, Lonzo was contacted by multiple music producers like DJ Red LA, DJ SoulClap and Marcel Pean from Texas.
“Being contacted by different people from the industry was a pleasing feeling, but it still wasn’t enough,” said Lonzo. “It pushed me to strive for more greatness and gain more connections.”
When Lonzo released his music video, everything quickly escalated for him. Many hip hop blogs reposted his video and wrote articles about him being the “Next Great Brooklyn MC” as quoted from Ambrosia For Heads blog.
Lonzo rapidly gained popularity on other multiple blogs such as Backspin, Hot New Hip Hop and What’s The Movement?. He also attracted producers, directors, and DJs on his Instagram feed, Facebook page, and Twitter account.
“I was overwhelmed with all the support I was getting from established people in the industry,” said Lonzo. “Just knowing that the music video was a success and that more is to come in 2016 really excites me.”
In addition to producers, many radio hosts got in touch with Lonzo. On Thanksgiving, SiriusXM Show Off radio station played his song “Lord”.
Lonzo said, “Hearing my song on the radio was a satisfying feeling and also a motivation to keep creating radio ready music.”
Although this was his first appearance on the radio, it was not his last. He was interviewed by an Australian radio network called The Lesson on Fresh 27 with DJ Sanchez and also appeared on a radio/video Webcast featuring upcoming MC’s. This gave him more exposure, ultimately leading to invites to “Cypher Effects”.
It didn’t end there, Lonzo’s most proud moment was being invited by J. Cole’s artwork director at Dreamville to a music video.
“J. Cole has been my musical inspiration since his first mixtape dropped,” Lonzo said. “Meeting him just showed the progress I have made because I didn’t meet him as a fan, I was there because of my music.”
Lonzo received praise from J. Cole when he said to Lonzo he was shocked at his age. J. Cole says to his artwork director that the “Young dude is nice”.
Lonzo was invited back to J. Cole’s Surprise New York show backstage and that was where he met the entire Dreamville team.
“That was possibly the best experience of my life so far,” he said.
Some of the greatest artists today originated from Brooklyn including Jay–Z and this is a motivation to achieve greatness for Lonzo.
To add on to his future music career, Lonzo has also been on the Varsity Baseball team since freshman year.
“Baseball has been my hobby since I was a kid, but music is my passion,” said Lonzo.
Jalen Robinson is truly a breath of fresh air with his genuine love for what he does. As he continues to get recognized by fans with the richness of his musical content, he will get closer to achieving the main goal.