Your Weekend Playlist, Courtesy of Jay Versace
When the popularity of some six-second videos on Vine catapulted Jay Versace into a full four years of bonafide Internet stardom, he’s come to realize that it might not be his final frontier. While it’s one thing to be made into dozens of viral memes, it’s another to find passions outside of a screen that help unlock us from the pixels of our phones.
2018 has seen many changes for the iconic social media star, as he’s taken a step back from his digital platforms in favor of IRL creative endeavors like music production, acting, and modeling. While Jay Versace may have been born and raised on the Internet through and through, he’s raring and ready to take his talents beyond convoluted social media algorithms and put them towards something a little more concrete.
Channeling his ‘90s and early 2000s influenced musical sensibilities, Jay Versace has curated a weekend playlist full of his personal faves at the moment. Be sure to check out the playlist below.
We also had the opportunity to chat with the budding creative about how he got his start on social media, his funniest videos, and where he sees his next steps. Read on to get a glimpse into the mind of Jay Versace.
I love the songs you put on your playlist. What kind of music are you feeling at the moment?
Right now, I’ve been listening to a lot of ’80s, ’70s, R&B. And jazz these days. I’ve also been listening to a lot of pop music, like the early 2000s.
That’s cool. From what I’ve seen from your social media, it seems as if those eras inform the way you dress as well. Is that something you’d agree with? Is there any reason why you’re drawn to those eras?
Yeah, I grew up around people who only support that type of music, and people, my family has a lot of old people in it. I’m always around people who can point out any old song, and they’ll know all the lyrics. They were born at the time. My family, I grew up wanting to hear more of it.
Did you always have an interest in fashion and style? Or is it something you’ve gotten more into recently?
I’ve always been curious about it, ever since I was younger. When I used to go shopping with my mom, I always used to look for the most colorful pieces. She would pick the clothes, and I would look for the most colorful things. I’ve always loved color, I just started getting really into style in like 2014. That’s when I really grew into who I am in terms of my style.
Where do you find style inspiration?
It’s usually that I’m just watching a movie, and I’ll see an outfit, and I’ll literally base a whole look around that outfit, that one character in a movie.
Are there any particular movies that you think have style icons?
That’s a good question. Any Spike Lee movie inspires me, I just love Spike Lee movies. I love those 90s futuristic movies, they have really cool outfits.
So, how long have you been on social media for?
I’ve been on social media since 2014. I was on Vine first, then Instagram, then YouTube in 2015.
What’s it like for you to have grown so much and built such a following in only four years?
I feel like this is how my life was supposed to go. I always knew my life was going to be kind of like this, so I’m just going with the flow. I’m still surprised that it happened so fast, I didn’t expect that to happen. My life, it’s crazy. But I’m just going with the flow. I just feel like I haven’t really started anything yet that I really want to do. Those were the steps to what I’m going to do later on in my career.
Have you always been such a character? Like that one, funny kid in school?
I’ve always been the person to laugh at things you’re not supposed to laugh at. That’s how I knew. I would always laugh at things that people take so seriously, and find humor in everything. It’s my nature. I was always that kid who was laughing at everything.
It’s funny because I remember when I first saw one of your videos, I think it was a Kylie Jenner makeup swatch parodies. They are too funny. It’s just too accurate.
[laughs] That’s how they be over there. The way the be whispering the way they talk is too funny. Everything they do is funny.
How do you think of things to talk about or film videos of? How do you get ideas for that?
I feel that what makes me different from other creators is that I don’t go to Instagram for inspiration. I don’t dick around social media all day. I look for ideas, I put my phone down and hang out with people and experience situations in life with my friends. It just so happens that I’ll get an idea and record it, but I don’t force anything. I just live life, and when it comes time to record, I’ll record. That’s how I’ve been living life for the past… since 2014.
I guess it’s probably a side of you that a lot of people don’t consider. When I think about your presence as a creator I obviously think of social media, but what interests do you have outside of that that you might not be able to show off as often?
Music is definitely a big passion of mine. Also, I have a lot of passion when it comes to style and fashion. I’m currently working on creating fashion, and I actually know how to draw pretty well. I know how to produce music, just anything creative, I’m doing it when I’m not making videos. I’m going to start producing and making stuff, then putting it online.
Did you learn that all yourself?
My father produced music, he wrote music, he made music. My mother did that too, she was in a music group. My dad, he also was an amazing artist. He used to draw for a whole bunch of people, so music and art and also photography, my dad was a photographer. Everything was really about creativity and art with my parents, so that’s what I naturally thought of when I first used a pen or pencil.
Are you interested in the idea of acting as well? Or would you prefer to be more behind the scenes?
Oh yes! That’s another thing, acting. Acting is a big passion of mine, going to acting classes, going to auditions, I just did an audition today. I’m working on projects that involve me acting, so that’s one of the main things I’m trying to do right now.
It’s pretty clear that having a popular Instagram page or a large social media following is not your end all be all, like you were saying, you want to spend time with your friends and have a life outside of your phone. Where do you see yourself in 5 years or 10 years, and would you still see social media as a part of that?
In 5 to 10 years, I just want to be the Walt Disney of doing as much as you can, and having it all. I want to have all the things I’m creatively passionate about, and be able to do all of those things. So that people will know that I did it, I really just want to bring it to a bigger platform. In five years, it could be even bigger than that, who knows. I’m just working hard so that it can happen sooner.
It sounds like you have a lot of creative thoughts and you’re a creatively inclined person, and you’re in the process of developing and figuring out how you can explore those passions for fulfillment.
That’s true. There’s so much creativity in my brain, that just funny videos are just one thing. I’m also trying to be creative so I can put all those things into the platforms that people know me for, without them running away.
Are there any upcoming projects you have for the rest of 2018? Anything exciting that you’re working on at the moment?
I’m working on actually a whole bunch of projects. All these passions I have, I just want to shine a light on them. Modeling too, just get ready to see modeling for me or art, and more acting too. All these avenues, they’re going to be pushed towards the end of the year.
Featured image courtesy of Jay Versace
Stay tuned to Milk for more Friday playlists.