NEW RULERS: GABRIEL JAYNE

NEW RULERS: GABRIEL JAYNE

NEW RULERS: GABRIEL JAYNE

The model and musician shares childhood musical influences that have echoed into his artistic ethos today and how facing his fears of judgment head-on led to his debut EP.

The model and musician shares childhood musical influences that have echoed into his artistic ethos today and how facing his fears of judgment head-on led to his debut EP.

Photography: Damon Baker

Styling: Nicola Formichetti

Text: Czar Van Gaal

This feature is a VMAN digital exclusive

Some stars are manufactured, while others possess an innate power to captivate and Gabriel Jayne has the makings of a pop culture phenomenon. Born to musician Billy Jayne and model April Wayne, the 22-year-old multi-hyphenate serves as the manifestation of two creative worlds colliding. Spending his early years honing his craft in preparation for the limelight, the LA-based model and musician has now fully tapped into his birthright and is ready to take the industry by storm—all on his own terms.

In an exclusive interview with VMAN the “Pain and Pleasure” singer shares the childhood musical influences that have echoed into his artistic ethos today and how facing his fears of judgment head-on, led to his forthcoming debut EP.

VMAN: What was your childhood like? Can you share any formative experiences that lead you to the path you are on career-wise? whether that be music or modeling? 

GABRIEL JAYNE: I am from LA, born and raised! I grew up with a father (Billy Jayne) who is a talented musician, so I have been surrounded by instruments my entire life. I’ve always had a love for music and I was raised in a household where music was a vital part of our traditions and culture. We would have family gatherings and [I would] sing songs and play the piano. My mother was a model when she was younger. My parents never wanted me to be in the fashion industry until I got older because it can really have an effect on your mental health.

 VMAN: It’s interesting to hear that your parents tried to steer you away from the entertainment and fashion industry when you were young. I guess you can say you were destined to be a performer, being that you still found your way to these career paths! With a model for a mother, I’m curious to know how you got started with modeling? What was the experience like getting signed to Wilhelmina? How has your relationship with fashion grown as you develop footing in the industry? 

GJ: My relationship with fashion goes beyond words. I love thrifting clothes and finding unique pieces that people have never seen before. It is so much fun waking up in the morning and choosing an outfit, I feel like just like music, [fashion] is a great way to express yourself. Modeling came about when I was 18 and I went to a music festival called “Burgerama” in Santa Ana, CA. I was approached by this photographer Dana Boulos who has experience in the industry and loved my look. She told me she wanted to set up a shoot and bring a stylist. Weeks go by and we finally set up a shoot and Dana brings a stylist who borrowed clothes from a Wilhelmina scout. The scout's name was Blake Hardy and he expressed interest in bringing me to the agency. I had a meeting with him the next day and Wilhelmina signed me. I have never been more grateful to be a part of such an inspiring team and family. 

VMAN: Moving away from your experience as a model, you are also branching out as a musician. Would you say you’ve always been musically inclined? How did that passion for music manifest? Who were some of your early musical influences?

GJ: At a very young age I played the drums in a Jazz band. Over the years I learned technique and timing from music classes. I don't think I was musically inclined, I just put in a lot of hours because playing drums was the most exciting thing to me at the time. As I got older, I started to play other instruments like the piano and bass. Two years ago I started taking it more seriously and began singing and writing songs. After telling my dad I wanted to record an album, he helped me with the technical side of things. Luckily my father has an amazing studio inside of his home, which is where we have been recording all of my music. It’s been a journey and I have fallen in love with this process of creating music. I am developing my own sound and aesthetic, while also trying to implement live instruments to tracks & shows. I feel like now more than ever, a lot of the popular artists are just singing on top of tracks with no band. I miss the energy of live guitar and drums. My music influences growing up consisted of Led Zepplin and The Sex Pistols.

VMAN: That classic rock energy with hard-rocking guitar strings and drums definitely comes through on your first single “Pain and Pleasure.” I can totally see that early influence from those Rock icons. What was the inspiration for this single? How did you go about curating the sound/vibe of the song? And was this your first time laying down a track if so what was the experience like? 

GJ: My dad and I built this song from the ground up. Starting on the guitar strings to the live drums. We wanted to curate a sound that is unique, raw, and authentic to me. I just wanted to tell my story and I hope that people could relate to it. At first it was hard for me to release this music because it's so vulnerable and emotional. But I decided it’s way more important to share my art and inspire than to feel judged and insecure about the music I'm putting out. So a couple of months ago we dropped my first music video and single “Pain and Pleasure.” Billy and I have about 10 unreleased songs and I am very excited to drop the next one so stay tuned!

VMAN: It’s great that you were able to build up that courage to say “fuck it, this is my story and this is how I am going to tell it.” It definitely paid off. I am assuming this track was recorded while in quarantine? If so, how did the onset of the global pandemic change your outlook on your work? Was it a catalyst for you to start testing the waters in the realm of music? 

GJ: The global pandemic has changed my outlook on life by providing me with obstacles I had to workaround. I was planning on playing live shows this year but I couldn’t due to the global pandemic. It was a curse, and a blessing because I really took the time I had at home to just work on myself and my craft. Over this past year, I have been writing songs and I’ve been in and out of the studio getting ready to release an EP. I am very grateful I took this time to better myself as a musician, I needed to reflect and really ask myself what do I want Gabriel Jayne to represent. So in a way, the global pandemic forced me to be uncomfortable and work around all the obstacles which in the end bettered me as a musician. 

VMAN: You are at the point of full bloom and I think we are all excited to see where you go next with this. Since you mentioned your forthcoming EP can you share what the follow-up single  to “Pain and Pleasure” will be? What are some themes you explore?

GJ: I am getting ready to release my new single “Pretty Face.” Be prepared to hear crying guitar melodies on top of a melodic bass line. The chorus is very catchy and groovy. Words can't describe the emotion behind this song. I am shooting the music video in the coming month so GET READY!

VMAN: Bringing this conversation full circle, I want to know What’s next for Gabriel Jayne? What are some of your major goals for this year and beyond? 

GJ: My major goal this year is to play as many shows as possible and be an inspiration to my fans. I want them to feel butterflies in their stomach and get that hunger to create. That's what I live for, to inspire! So what’s next for me? Going crazy on stage and recording new songs every day! That's what's next (Laughs) Love you.

For more on Gabriel Jayne follow him here! And stream his debut single "Pain and Pleasure" below.

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