Written by: Charlotte Bredael
I’m sure that by now you’ve heard of JayQ The Legend and his chart-topping hit ‘Amazing Girl’, but his catchy tunes are just the tip of the iceberg for who he really is when considering the story behind his journey into music.
After overcoming the physical and emotional abuse he experienced from his stepfather as a child, JayQ turned to music as a form of escapism, developing an emotional passion for songwriting. Speaking out about his experiences, JayQ explained:
“Songs were a place for me to escape. Hiding in my room and getting lost in a verse was my safe place. I would write and write songs, hoping not to be found. I lived with just my mother and stepfather during these years of beatings. The rest of my family, my father and grandparentsJayQ The Legend
were in the British Virgin Islands far away from St. Croix. The trauma physical abuse leaves on child is unforgivable. When a man is violent to his family, he passes down a legacy of insecurity and anger. How does one enter manhood and climb out of this?”
After finally escaping from his traumatic home life, his father was murdered leaving him in a broken state, almost unable to go on.
“My world started spinning. I tried college but couldn’t focus. I was flunking out. It was too much, home was still not safe, and college was not far enough away from my mother’s voice on the phone sharing her pain.
However, always inside me was that will, the will to survive and be successful… to overcome my history. It took so much energy and fight, but I was determined to beat the odds. I decided I had to learn to fight, so I signed up on the college campus to become a military solider. I would go on to be a platoon leader in marines training, get my college degree, as well as an MBA and JD. Finally, my stepfather passed away, but I still had to fix what he broke inside me – I was lucky to have my creative gifts to escape with during my darkest moments, because I am not sure I would have had been able to overcome the years of trauma otherwise.
Unfortunately, well into my adulthood, the abuse did not end. I was subject to another kind of abuse, institutionalised racism as a professional in the American South. It was awful to be held to a different standard than the privileged, less qualified and competent than me. Black men had to be better than everyone to be seen. That is another story, not a pretty picture of living in America. The United States of America is currently struggling to uncover the truth and impact of racism and move forward with enlightenment and compassion. All through this, I was writing music. As I became more focused as an artist, I was fascinated with the power of good relationships. Most of my songs are about the passion and power balance in healthy relationships between men and women. A beautiful, mutually positive relationship is a dream worth writing and singing about to me.”JayQ The Legend
JayQ was recently inspired to share his story after hearing Tyler Perry speak out about similar experiences on Oprah.
“Tyler Perry said you have to decide you did not deserve the abuse to start letting go of the anger. I was afraid I would become like the man that abused me and my mother. It was mind-blowing to learn that someone who has actually inspired you, dealt with similar challenges in life. Like Tyler Perry, for me, freedom is in forgiveness.”JayQ The Legend
Now, refusing to be silenced, JayQ challenges his struggles in creating uplifting, supportive music; encouraging others to be proud of who they are and build upon their experiences.
“My advice is to empower yourself by discovering who you are. Build that part of yourself. Recognise and use your gift.”JayQ The Legend
JayQ’s inspirational story and deep rooted passion for what he does shines through in the positive messages promoted in his music. You can listen to ‘Amazing Girl’ and his other hits on Spotify below. Don’t forget to show him some support on social media too, I’m sure this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from JayQ.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jayqthelegend/ https://www.instagram.com/amazinggirllife/