A smile spreads across Jayden Duplessis’ face when he thinks about the last couple weeks.
It’s been a bit of a crazy time for the 16-year-old from Lyons Brook. On July 23, the teenager released his first rap single, Revenge, online to much fanfare.
“It’s a song that I wrote back in February,” said Duplessis, who goes by JayTheKidd when it comes to his music. “It was kind of just about me saying I’m here to do the music. It was a doubt at first. Everyone was like, ‘oh, why are you trying to do music?’ It was more of a song, just comeback, saying this is what I want to do, I’m here to do it.”
For the past three years, JayTheKidd has been finding his way in the music industry. This single is the first he’s made professionally, and he hopes it’s only the first of many.
“If no one hears the song, there’s no point in making a good song,” he said.
Less than a week after Revenge was released, his song has been streamed more than 30,000 times on Spotify. His YouTube video had more than 11,000 views and was shared via different channels each with more than two million subscribers. One of those channels, Elevator, included JayTheKidd in a spotlight.
“This channel really helps underground artists come up, and this channel has just been really supportive posting write-ups about me, really getting my name out there,” he said.
While Revenge was written about why he wants to be in the business, his other songs are influenced by his day-to-day life.
“What’s going on in my life,” said the Northumberland Regional High student. “Sometimes I’m sad and maybe to get out of that sadness, I have to record and do something. Those are usually the best songs because they come from the inside.”
With a musical family and upbringing, Duplessis plays the piano, guitar and ukulele. He also does a bit of production using computer software. He listened to all genres, and still does, growing up, but says rap is “really a genre outside of the box.”
“Rap is just something that gives you that feeling you’re unstoppable. It gives you that energy. I like that feeling of moving your head, getting ready for the day.”
Aside from his grandmother and aunts being musical influences, he looks toward Classified and JRDN in Nova Scotia, as well as Juice WRLD and Kanye West for inspiration.
“I like Kanye’s music aspect,” said Duplessis. “He’s a very creative musician and it shows there’s so many different sides to music than the basic. He’s outside the box.”
Locally, JayTheKidd collaborated with his good friend, Jud Gunning, on an acoustic version of Revenge. A clip is up on Duplessis’ Instagram account, and he plans to upload the full video to YouTube.
“It’s me and Jud doing an acoustic version out in nature, raw guitar, raw vocals, just to show everyone what’s up and the talent,” he said, adding people liked the video. “I found people like more locally-driven, they like to see what’s going on around here. Jud’s not really into rap music. He’s like his dad (Dave Gunning) and into folk music, so it was really a cool combination of folk guitar and rap vocals.”
Having worked with Andrew Rhodenizer on Revenge, JayTheKidd’s next plan is to continue that partnership on another video as soon as possible. Duplessis just isn’t sure which song he will go with.
His eventual goal is to sign with a record label, but plans to continue rolling out the singles to build up his reputation and fanbase.
“Once COVID has died down, I’d like to eventually start doing shows, especially local,” said the rapper.
Since launching Revenge, Duplessis has had his phone “flooded” with messages of support from people.
“Not too long ago, people around here didn’t support it,” he said. “‘Why is he doing this? He’s from Pictou County.’ Then people started seeing others are liking it, are spotlighting me … this is something really that’s happening, so now people want to see me do well for Pictou County.
JayTheKidd’s video for Revenge can be found online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbXQK-3z2jY. For updates on the rapper, follow his Instagram (@itsjaythekidd).