Bruce Jenner and “The Hidden Side of Me”

The big news this week is that Bruce Jenner, the Olympic gold medal decathlon winner, has come out as transgender. The man considered the “greatest athlete in the world” in his time, and the picture of strength and masculinity, announced on national TV that “for all intents and purposes, I’m a woman”. That takes great courage for anyone to do, not to mention his public persona and the fact that he did it on national TV. Bravo. Bravo!

In case you missed the interview, you can see it HERE,

I don’t know exactly why, but it seems to be very difficult to be yourself. It could be a societal thing or a human trait, but fearing we won’t be accepted can be so strong, it often creates a lot of stress and pain. Being oneself should be the easiest thing in the world, but it’s not. Maybe because we are social creatures with such a strong need to be accepted. Whether on a job interview, a date, at a social gathering, among friends, being picked for the dodgeball team in gym class, or in that ultimate relationship with our parents, we all inevitably want to be accepted. Being excluded or rejected is something none of us (understandably) want to feel or experience.

One option to try to avoid rejection is to pretend we are something we’re not. I don’t think taking that path is sustainable. We often hear, “the honeymoon is over” after a couple has been together for some time and they start to see the “real” person they are with. Or how many of us have made a decision or two (or more) based on what we thought we should do instead of what we felt in our heart? It took Bruce Jenner 65 years to accept who he/she truly is. I know from my own life it would be much easier to be what I think people want me to be than to be who I am, but there is nothing satisfying in that. And I believe if you cannot be yourself, you cannot truly express yourself in the world. No one will be totally accepted by everyone, and I’ve learned that the most important person who needs to accept me is me. Once I can accept myself the way I am, other’s opinions matter less, and I am free to fully express myself. And then those who accept and support me suddenly find me and stick around. No more phony, empty relationships. No more games. Life is much simpler. I can breathe more easily, and I find myself much happier.

For some reason, it seems that life is a never ending challenge to be myself. As I grow and let go of “protective behavior”, so to speak, and relax into “myself”, I inevitably find another new level to uncover. It never seems to end. It is like an onion, peeling back layer after layer after layer. I suppose that is the journey of a human life.

A world based on acceptance would be a true Garden of Eden. People could spend their time expressing themselves and contributing to society and to others, instead of spending lives grappling to “be OK”, or to “fit in” or to “find myself”. I think Bruce Jenner’s “coming out” is helping the world take a baby step towards accepting others for who they are – exactly the way they are. Seeing this man we identified a certain way come out as being totally different than we thought he was – filled with overwhelming doubts and insecurities just like us all – is very powerful. It can open our eyes to realize that we are all the same – even with all our differences. Hopefully, it will help all of us accept the things about ourselves that we are afraid to admit, the things we have shame about, or the things that we are told are wrong about us. Once the world reaches a place of acceptance, life will be so extraordinary for everyone.

This struggle to fully be oneself is something I write about in different ways in my music. I touched on it in previous blogs, “Goodbye ‘Glee’, Set the ‘Boy’ Free”, and “A Stand for Oneself in ‘No’, Sparked by Sophia Loren”, highlighting my songs, “No” and “Boy”. A song I wrote that directly touches on the subject of becoming your “true” self, is “The Hidden Side of Me”, from my second CD, “Ready”. This song, with its drum and bass sound, speaks about the courage and pain it takes to shed the facades and walls we’ve built, to become that truthful, hidden part of ourselves. Enjoy!

 

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New Music Video out TODAY! “Taking the Long Way Home” from “The Ride”.

I have a new music video out today for another song from “The Ride”! The song is “Taking the Long Way Home”. It is an animated video (I did the animation myself). Enjoy, and please share it! And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel to make sure you see all my upcoming and past videos! Thanks!!

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My New CD, “THE RIDE” is out TODAY!

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My new CD, ‘The Ride” is out today! I’m so excited to finally release this collection of songs, as making them has been a true labor of love. These 11 songs are a combination of my personal brand of trip-hop, electronic dance and soulful ballads, all set against modern day pop influenced arrangements. “The RIde” is available for purchase (physical CD) and/or download at the following sites: iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon, as well as other online music sites. Please give a listen, and if you purchase it, PLEASE leave a review – especially on iTunes and/or Amazon. It will definitely help support me and my music.

I have completed a few music videos for songs from “The RIde”, and am in the process of completing a couple more. To stay on top of them, you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/theJayJacobson/ The first video that will be released is for the song “I Lived”, and it will be out on Monday, October 20th. Be sure to check it out!

A thank you to all my fans, friends and family for your continued support. Please leave me a comment or drop me a line and let me know what you think of “The Ride”! Enjoy!

“The RIde” has been getting many rave reviews! Some excerpts:

“Having a well layered background akin to a large act like Coldplay… incredibly radio friendly and has a very large potential for listener reach. I heard a voice that loves not only theatrical novelty, but spreading happiness as well. A warm and influential record, listening should evoke a high risk of encountering gentle tones, warm vibes, and desire to hit repeat.” – HyPursuit

“Jay Jacobson makes a memorable impression… There are classical influences as well as soaring vocals. He has an amazing tenor voice that glides between melodies. All the piano parts are beautifully rendered that they sound magical… uplifting… artfully crafted… You better pick this recording and the rest of his albums because I am sure you will love his kind of music!” – Sphere Music

“Jay Jacobson does an awesome job in the vocals department, hitting such high notes that I could only imagine hitting in my lifetime.” – Indigo Indie

“…bouncy-ness of beats that keeps the music fresh and alive… Jay Jacobson has the talent and style that is indeed worth that listen, because it jumps at you each time you hear it.” – Nataliez World

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“The Ride” due October 14, already getting glowing reviews

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My next CD, “The Ride”, featuring 11 all new original songs, will be available for purchase and/or download on Tuesday, October 14, 2014. It features 11 all new original songs which create a journey through life’s ups and downs, loves and losses, and the strength of the human spirit. The CD will be available for pre-order on Tuesday, October 7th, and those who pre-order the CD will immediately get the first single, “With Our Love”, before the CD comes out!

The CD has started to get reviews (in “HyPursuit”, and “Sphere Music”), and I’m thrilled that  it is receiving such positive reactions!

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New CD on the Way, and Words from Jane Fonda

After nearly a year, I am in the final stages of preparing a new CD for release. It is called “The Ride”, and is by far the work I’m proudest of to date as a songwriter and singer. Working again with producer Soren Young, we have both grown as individuals and in our working relationship. The songs are a bit more “orchestral” and “pop-ish” than most of my previous works, along with concise, catchy melodies and lyrics about life, relationships, loss, joy, and dreams – thus, the “ride” of life. Vocally and musically I pushed myself into new arenas and it has taken my music to a new level.

In the studio recording vocals for the CD, "The Ride"

In the studio recording vocals for the CD, “The Ride”

As I was writing songs for this CD, I found myself writing a lot about the ups and downs of life, in particular, enjoying life along with the pain of having unfulfilled dreams. The second track on the CD is a song titled, “I Lived”. It is one of the most personal songs I’ve written., and the chorus sums it up pretty well – “Things may not turn out just the way that I wanted. But when my life is over, I will say ‘I lived'”. A lot of what I’ve expressed on this CD is my view that life is a journey and an experience, and no matter how it turns out. It’s “the ride” that is your life. Years ago, my first acting teacher, Gordon Phillips, explained to my class that if an actor is only concerned about results – winning the Oscar, making millions, or things like that – he or she will not be a happy actor even if they accomplish any of those things. If the actor loves the process of acting, he or she will be a happy actor no matter what the result. I never forgot that. I think it also applies to life. Results are not what make a life – they are brief moments, seconds out of years. It is the living, the experiences, the joys, the pains – all of which make a life. I’ve certainly had my share of disappointment and loss, especially in the past decade. It has changed my attitude with regard to pain. I see it as part of life, not something to avoid. In fact, I don’t think it is possible to avoid it. It needs to be felt and embraced and moved through. Avoiding it doesn’t make it go away, it only keeps it around and then it comes out in different forms. One has to go through pain not around it. Once I let myself grieve, I reached a point where the pain was bearable. But I needed to go through the pain and feeling of hopelessness in order to get there. Our culture is misguided in that it keeps telling us to avoid pain – which is inevitable at some point. Life would be much easier if we allowed ourselves to experience it and move through it. Nothing lasts forever, not pain or even joy.

I’m trying to find new ways to get my music in the ears of more people. The web is a double edged sword – it has the capacity to reach millions of people, and at the same time, there are now millions of songs on the web. It is a challenge to find ways not to disappear into the mass of songs on the web. One thing I’m going to do differently this time – I intend on releasing several music videos with this CD, including a few animated ones. My past life as a graphic designer has finally come in handy!

In between writing and recording, I’ve been acting in many web series (four since January alone). It has been fun playing so many different characters. I’m asked all the time by people that saw my one-man-show, “Mental Creatures”, if I’m going to do it again. I hope to perform it again at some point, but producing another run is too much for me to take on at the moment.

I’m biting my nails (so to speak) with excitement at the upcoming release of “The Ride”, and will post all details here once they are finalized. I don’t yet have a definite release date (the songs are still being mastered, and the CD artwork is still being created), but it looks like it will be released in the next 3 months or so. As soon as I have the date, I’ll be sure to post it (here, as well as in my Newsletter, on Facebook and Twitter).

I’ll leave you with a quote from the actress, Jane Fonda. I love this quote and it definitely relates to this post:

You don’t learn from successes; you don’t learn from awards; you don’t learn from celebrity; you only learn from wounds and scars and mistakes and failures. And that’s the truth.” – Jane Fonda

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New CD, “Peace At Last”, Out Today!

My fourth full length CD, “Peace At Last” is out today! It contains eleven new songs (written and sung by me and produced by Soren Young) and much of my heart! It is available on CD Baby for purchase or download, and will be available on other music sites (including iTunes) in the upcoming days and weeks. Please give a listen, and if you purchase it, please leave a review! Enjoy!

“Peace At Last”, the fourth full-length CD release by singer-songwriter Jay Jacobson, finds him building warm pop grooves, expressive classical elements, and gorgeous harmonies, on top his personal brand of emotional trip-hop. 
From the defiant opening track, “Still Standing”, the gut wrenching heartbreak of “And Now”, and the inspiring chorus of the title track, “Peace At Last”, this CD’s eleven songs weave a stunning trail through the ups and downs of human existence. Jay’s soaring falsetto glides over melodious electronica, telling of how we are “So Small” in a world so large. The dance beats of “Overtaken” reminds us of that our “minds have taken over/taken over our lives”. The tracks masterfully look at the human experience, poetically summed up in the chorus of “This is Life”: “there’s the good and the bad/and the happy and sad/it all comes with the price of a life”. Included in this gorgeous collection of songs, is the bouncy piano driven bonus track, “Human Nature”, written specifically for his upcoming one-man-show, “Mental Creatures”, which mixes character driven stories with songs from Jay’s CD repertoire.
“Peace At Last” is a captivatingly striking beacon of of sound, soul, and heart, among Jay’s library of music.

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