As a college student at Binghamton University, our latest Listening Room performer was not yet a guitar hero, but rather a baseball star. Brought on the team with a scholarship to play ball for four years, he was even in talks with recruiters to play Major League Baseball.
But while playing music to his college mates in local watering halls, TJay realized he had another great talent that he loved just as much if not more than baseball — songwriting. (Check out some of his tracks via MySpace.)
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People increasingly started coming out to shows. He wrote more songs, recorded an album, and started handing it out to people for free.
Then something radical happened. People actually started paying for the CD! (Five whole bucks!) TJay started thinking he could actually make this music thing into a career.
And now he is.
Quitting his full-time job in investments to focus on his music, TJay is working on a new album, which is expected to be released in May. A big CD release party is also in the works, and initial talks are pointing to The Chance in Poughkeepsie. We’ll keep you posted.
Aside from his insatiable appetite for the guitar — he says he could play all day and not get bored — one of the main motivating factors fueling TJay along his musical journey is the feeling of connecting with his audience.
“It’s a really cool feeling as an independent artist — being somewhat big but definitely not huge — when you’re in a club and you’re playing your own song and there’s one or two people singing along,” he said in an interview before the filming of the Listening Room. “Or even a person tapping their glass as they watch the football game. You’re connecting with them and that’s what it’s about.”
Download TJay’s tracks for free via our iTunes podcast.
Here are some upcoming dates to check the man out in action:
• March 4: Lucy’s Lounge, Pleasantville
• March 6: Vintage, White Plains
• March 8: The Bitter End, NYC
• March 12: Rosy Tomorrow’s, Danbury