Who is Jay Allen? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Full Name – Jay Allen
Birthday – 6/6/1986
Hometown – Cedar Falls, Iowa
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Musical Influences – Matchbox Twenty, Kylie Morgan, 3 Doors Down, Casting Crowns, Chris Daughtry
Label – ONErpm
Current Single – “Heart Ain’t Gonna Break Itself” (As of article date – 8/21/2023)
Today we shine our spotlight on an artist who you may recognize from his stint on the popular show, ‘The Voice.’ Jay Allen is as humble and as talented as it gets. His career in country music has been full of winding roads that have led him to where he is now.
“I grew up in a small town in Iowa. I come from a very humble place,” began Allen. The singer-songwriter recalls growing up with music always in his grasp. Besides being introduced to music from the church, Allen credits his parents for introducing him to both the country and rock genres. “My mother was a diehard country radio listener. She’s the reason why I think country music found me,” shared Allen. Adding, “She couldn’t fall asleep without the country radio station on. I don’t think my dad slept their entire 30 years of marriage.”
On the other hand, Allen’s father introduced him to rock music. “My dad on the other hand is a hippie. He had a mullet back when mullets were cool the first time and is covered in tattoos. He came downstairs once when I was a kid, and I think I was ten years old, and he had a jean jacket on with his collar popped, and handed me a matching one and said, “it’s time to go to your first concert.” He took me to Kansas opening up for Styx, some old rock band.”
Allen fell in love with rock music for the energy and country music for the storytelling, both aspects he went on to include in his own music years later. He started writing and singing music at just eleven years old, when he got his first guitar. “The sound and the love for both genres is all of it together for me. If you come to one of my shows, that’s exactly what it is, almost like an alternative rock show with the storytelling that comes from country music.”
The Turning Point:
After spending some time working as a successful music director for churches across the country, Allen’s girlfriend at the time convinced him to test the waters in Nashville, Tennessee. “I never thought I’d go to Nashville […] I just never thought that I would do it. I was succeeding and very happy with what I was doing,” he shared. Eventually giving in and making the move.
“I moved to Nashville ten years ago with nothing to my name, just a suitcase full of clothes and one guitar,” shared the singer, who believes that God was with him every step of the way. “A friend of mine knew a couple that lived right outside of Nashville and they basically had a full-on apartment on the backside of their house. Without even meeting me, they agreed to let me stay there as long as I needed to get on my feet. I immediately got a full-time job and starting to try to get plugged into Nashville. […] For four months, at the top of every month, I would write a check and put it in their kitchen for rent, and the next day, it never failed, they would put it back in my apartment. They were absolute angels.”
Quite quickly, Allen formed a band and landed his first record deal in Nashville, only to have it all fall through nine months later. Because of the heartbreak, the singer wanted to move back home. “I had decided I was going to play one last show in Nashville, which is funny because I had only been in Nashville for a year. […] I remember I played at this venue called ‘3rd and Lindsley’ and there were five people at the bar, and they didn’t care that I was singing my heart out on stage,” he shared.
After the gig, Allen was approached by Billy Currington, who gave him advice that changed everything for him.”He said do me a favor and never leave. […] He said, “a little bit of wisdom, last men standing win.”” The singer decided to stay, and little by little, his dreams started to become a reality. He landed a publishing deal, which later turned in a management deal, and his recored deal.
One major highlight so far in his career though was raising 100 million dollars for Alzheimers research thanks to a beautiful song called, “Blank Stares,” which he wrote after his mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. “I got a call from the president of SONY, and he said, if you make a promise to me that every dime we make off this song will go towards raising awareness towards this disease or helping to fund research to find a cure or treatment, I will make sure to get it in front of the right people.”
Now, armed with a record deal and a beautiful outlook on life, Allen is ready to bring more music to his growing fanbase. After the success of “Blank Stares,” the singer’s new record label wanted him to get a chance to release something fun, that song was called “Jello Shot.” The track showed fans a new side to Allen and his talent.
The singer’s most recent song, “Heart Ain’t Gonna Break Itself” showcases his ability to pick songs that work for him and his voice. “I loved the song, so that’s why we cut it and released that,” he shared. “I remember I was like I played a show, and I was driving through the outskirts of Vegas, and I cranked it up, and I was already singing along by chorus one.”
Allen also shared, “I kept going back and forth because I didn’t write it, but I came up here in the songwriting community though, and it’s a grind, and I lived in these writer’s room […] I wanted to support the songwriting community and I plan to cut more songs that I didn’t write because of that. […] There’s so many songs that deserve to be heard.”
Allen is a true artist, and fans can anticipate more new music coming down the pipeline soon, including a duet with RaeLynn. Keep your eyes and ears open for Allen and he shares more and more of his talent!
Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Jay Allen releases.
Jay Allen’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.