A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF JAY STOLAR
Brooklyn musician STOLAR (Jay Stolar) isn’t your average pop/R&B crossover crooner. Hurting, hungry, and contemplative, he’s planted roots deep in the music industry and is intent on using his leverage to both create songs and promote mental health awareness.
Stolar has an impressive track record, having collabed with The Chainsmokers’ mixing wizard DJ Swivel, and Rihanna/Lady Gaga engineer Chris Gehringer. Between battling depression and juggling opportunities, he’s managed to pen over 1,000 songs, including several for The Voice finalist Caroline Pennell and America’s Got Talent finalist Alice Tan Ridley.
His remaining energy has gone towards campaigning against depression and bipolar disorder through work with Demi Lovato and the JED Foundation among others.
Highlark is excited to announce Stolar’s latest and perhaps most ambitious endeavor: a year-long project exploring life in New York City. Stolar will release two songs monthly; every three months the tracks will be compiled into an EP, named for a particular part of the city.
New Jersey-born and NYU-educated, Stolar boasts ties to New York that are both legitimate and unignorable. Over the next year, he will be drawing on experiences there to pour out his soul.
“Throughout the Raw Emotions: December 8th, 2017 – Soho, NY project I’ll be creating EPs that reflect the emotional feeling of exact dates and places in NYC. By the end of the year period there will be a collection of EP’s that capture life in NYC from 2017-2019.”
The theme of each release will center around a particular emotion — October’s singles, “Raw Emotions” and “Kurt Cobain T-Shirt”, are focused on desire. You feel a sweet longing on the first of these records in the twangy guitar riff of the chorus as Stolar’s voice spikes on the words “I want”.
October’s second track tells the story of a magnetic beauty and the nostalgia of a particular “Saturday in June”. Both songs knock it out of the park, giving listeners two different takes on one theme over smooth, glittery instrumentals.
November’s focus, invisible, yielded the sultry sounds of “Space Left Between” and the more up-tempo vibe of “Forget and Feel” which grooves like a radio hit in the best possible way (despite its less-than-cheery undertones). Of everything on the project so far, “Forget and Feel” is easily the most impactful.
“To be totally honest the song represents my desire to mask any feelings or emotions with anything possible.”
Photo Credit: Myriam Santos
A music video accompanies the track, splitting viewer’s perspective into two panels — “Forget” and “Feel” — as dancer Pierce Cady uses his body to communicate each theme. It’s shot in muted colors on a gray day, which contrasts with New York’s gleaming skyline in the background; in both the visual and auditory sense, the video perfectly conveys Stolar’s signature blend of opposite feelings.
“It’s meant to overwhelm you a bit by watching two things at once and also represent the fact that you can run forwards, or run backwards, but if you are always running away, or covering up your emotions, you will always end up exactly where you started.”
Be on the lookout for his first EP, Soho, NY, which will be coming out in December on Spotify. Expect to be dazzled but melancholy after giving it a listen.
In Stolar’s words: “It reflects a darker period in my life and the songs and interludes explore that emotional space.”