In the zone—Molina records one of his tracks in his very own home studio.
Reproduced by permission of Jayson Molina
By Betsy Tanenbaum
He might not be the most well-known rapper in Long Island let alone the world, but to South and the local community, he has become quite the phenomenon. Center stage with mike in hand, Jay-Mo stands comfortably, allowing his lyrics to get the crowd going. The young rapper’s image and persona light up a room, and his melodies reveal a real musical talent.
Junior Jayson “Jay-Mo” Molina, remembers as if it were yesterday the day he received his first sound system from his parents in eighth grade. His parents, noticing Jayson’s musical talents, knew they had to support his love of music. “He was a natural at the very start,” his mother, Annette, said.
“I wrote my first rap when I was thirteen, and once I discovered I had this talent, I decided that I would make it a priority. Every day after school, I would write at least one new verse,” Molina recalls.
“He is always playing and recording music in his room, with or without his friends,” his sister said. After several years of hard work and editing, he released his first song, “Everywhere,” at the age of fourteen during his freshman year in high school.
As much as sports require practice, technique, and repetition, the art of rapping does too. “I first find a beat that I like, and after I listen to it a couple of times, I start writing the first thing that comes to mind,” said Molina. “The lyrics come easy,” he said. “I basically express my thoughts on paper.”
The most common themes Molina enjoys rapping about include ambition, dreams, and goals. “Not only has rapping taught me more about myself, but I have also learned to say what’s on my mind and to not be afraid of what anyone else thinks,” he said.
Along with Molina’s talent and determined work ethic, graduates of South and friends Doug Leff and Chris Jackson, are also responsible for helping further his career. “They have really helped me improve my music and take it to the next level,” Molina said.
Leff said, “He’s a great guy to work with and we have both learned a lot from each other over the last two years. He has huge potential as long as he keeps doing his thing. The possibilities are endless.” Together, they have produced multiple songs, including “Cup of Cris” and “Welcome to my Studio.”
Molina appreciates his friends’ encouragement, but his parents and siblings remain his biggest supporters. “No matter where he performs, we always go to watch,” said his family. With his parents in attendance during his performances, Molina remains calm and finds a comfort zone that allows him to perform at his best. He must be doing something right, as at last count, he had 8,069 followers on his Facebook fan page.
“For me, the most important thing is to make sure that I am not the only one having fun while I am performing,” Molina said. “It is just as important for the crowd to be enjoying themselves and having as much fun as I am. As for nerves, I just try to remind myself to be calm and controlled on stage.”
Though Molina’s biggest fans live around Long Island, he hopes that over the next few years, he will become more well-known. “My goal is to get the world to recognize my music and to promote myself as a young rap artist,” he said. “This is something that I want to pursue in the future, and there is no question that I will continue to work to improve and refine my talents.”