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Rising Star Lashai Jay: From the Navy to Chart-Topping R&B Artist

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Introducing Lashai Jay:

Chicago, IL — October 18, 2023 Tatyana Johnson, better known by her stage name Lashai Jay, is making waves in the music industry with her soulful R&B sounds and compelling journey. Born in Harvey, Illinois, on May 5th, 1998, Lashai’s path to musical stardom has been nothing short of inspirational.

Growing up on the vibrant south side of Chicago, Lashai’s family recognized her star potential from a young age. Her first taste of the stage came in 3rd grade at Edward Coles Elementary School on 87th and Yates when she sang in the classic play, “THE WIZ.” With the guidance of her mother, she practiced tirelessly and delivered a performance that left an indelible mark.

During her middle school years at Dirksen, located just outside of Chicago in Calumet City, Lashai’s talents continued to flourish. She sang regularly and was an integral part of her family choir. Her natural flair for performance was evident as she took on lead roles in various talent groups, always eager to take the stage.

Upon graduating from Thornridge High School, Lashai embarked on a different journey—serving in the United States Navy for nearly seven years. During this time, she traveled the world, with her most extended stay being in Japan for four years. Her Navy career also allowed her to tour places like Korea, the Philippines, and Guam.

But Lashai’s incredible journey was just beginning. Her shipmates noticed her exceptional vocal talents, and they encouraged her to participate in the ship’s talent show. Little did she know that this moment would set her on a path to stardom. Winning first place at the talent show, she soon found herself singing the National Anthem at a Navy ceremony, receiving a standing ovation.

No matter where she found herself, Lashai made sure to share her gift of song. After completing her military service, she returned to Chicago in October 2022, where she wholeheartedly devoted herself to creating what she calls “feel-good music.” In just four months, she released her debut studio album, “Toxic Love,” in February 2023. The album features a notable collaboration with Chicago’s own Queen Key on “Put it Down,” along with fan favorites like “Just the Two of Us” and “Candy Rain.”

Lashai Jay’s musical journey continues as she works on her next album, performs at live shows and festivals, contributes to her community, and collaborates with industry professionals, including videographers, booking agents, and marketing experts. Her latest endeavor includes a single featuring Bryson Tiller titled “Pull Up,” and she recently directed and starred in the visuals for “Just the Two of Us.” Her music has received recognition on Soul 106.3 FM and Power 92.3 FM in Chicago, as well as regular rotation on several licensed B.D.S. radio stations, including F.M.P radio and MyRadio Chicago.

Lashai Jay is rapidly becoming a household name, and she’s someone everyone should keep an eye on. Her determination, remarkable talent, and passion for music make her an artist poised for greatness.

Today we had an exclusive chance to interview the upcoming artist, Lashai Jay 

Talk me through your creative process…

My creative process varies for each song, as each holds a unique significance to me. For my latest track, “Pull Up” featuring Bryson Tiller, I aimed to match Bryson’s energy and vibe. His fantastic verse set the tone for the song, and I wanted to ensure that the energy and chemistry were just right.

Have you heard the theory that some musicians write their best music while they’re depressed or going through a bad time?

I’ve definitely heard that theory, and there’s some truth to it. In my case, “Just the Two of Us” was born during a time when I was going through a heartbreaking breakup. Despite my personal struggles, I wanted the song to be a testament to love conquering all challenges. Ironically, my lowest point creatively resulted in one of my best songs.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your music?

The most meaningful compliment I’ve received was while I was in the Navy. I sang the National Anthem at a significant ceremony, and after the performance, one of my shipmates told me how my singing had touched them on an emotional level. To this day, that remains my favorite compliment.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Collaborating with the talented Jazmine Sullivan would be a dream come true. She’s not only an inspiration but also one of my favorite artists.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

I would bring back artist development. Labels should invest in artists’ growth and development, as there are many incredible talents out there who don’t get a fair shot because of the industry’s focus on trends. There’s more to music than just what’s trendy.

What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?

I plan to become a superstar and one of the biggest R&B artists known to man. I aim to leave behind a substantial legacy and ensure the world knows the name Lashai Jay — I’m here to stay!

Why did you first start making music?

Music has always been a part of my life. Whether it was singing lead in the choir, participating in school plays, or singing the national anthem in the Navy, music has always followed me. A friend in the Navy encouraged me to pursue music seriously, and we even wrote a song together on the same day.

What is your stage name, and how did you come up with it?

My stage name is Lashai Jay, which is a fusion of my middle name, Lashai, and the nickname “Jay” that I earned during my time in the Navy. It’s a simple combination of the two, and it represents my journey.

Where are you from?

I’m from Chicago, Illinois.

What are you focusing your time on now (e.g., recording a new record, touring the Midwest, writing, etc.)?

Currently, I’m pursuing a degree in audio engineering and production. I want to understand the technical aspects of music production better, which will enhance my music and craft. I aspire to be more than just a vocalist and songwriter.


In conclusion, Lashai Jay’s journey from Chicago’s south side to the United States Navy and now to the R&B music scene is a remarkable story of passion and talent. Her debut album, “Toxic Love,” with collaborations like Bryson Tiller, propels her into the spotlight, captivating audiences with soulful melodies. As she pursues an audio engineering and production degree to master her craft, Lashai Jay is poised to become an R&B household name. Her legacy is just beginning, and the world awaits her next musical masterpiece. Remember the name, Lashai Jay—she’s here to stay.



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