Pivots can be life-changing, especially when it’s into what you’re passionate about. In 2020, Jay Versace went from being a viral social media star to a music producer.
The 24-year-old’s official debut in the industry came after working with Westside Gunn for his album “Pray for Paris.”
More recently, Versace’s work can be heard on SZA’s “SOS” — arguably one of the most anticipated albums.
Back in 2018, Versace first set out on creating beats with the help of musicians and friends Knxwledge and Pink Siifu. His beats started out rocky but the guidance he received made all the difference.
“[Knxwledge] was just supporting me. Even Pink Siifu, he was so supportive, even though they were so bad,” Versace told Rolling Stone in a previous interview. “He was like, ‘Just keep going.’ I really appreciate them supporting the fact that I was just starting and knowing that it was going to go somewhere, because it really did go somewhere really big that people appreciate now.”
But Versace’s support from his industry friends didn’t reflect how others saw his transition into music. As someone who is known for his comedic talent, it was difficult for people to take him seriously. Even Gunn was initially doubting his capabilities.
“Everybody was tweeting, like, ‘If Jay Versace is on a Westside Gunn album, I’m never listening to him again,’” he recalled, according to the outlet. “People were really like, ‘Has it really came to this?’ Just because I do comedy doesn’t mean that comedians don’t have talent. Being a comedian is a talent in itself. I was a little bit upset about just thinking, ‘This is what people think?’”
He continued: “Transitioning is always kind of painful. Change is always kind of painful. Basically, [I’m] trying to convince the world that I’m a new person…Not [that] I’m a new person. I’ve grown.”