At the age of 8, Jacob started taking acting lessons and began pursuing roles in community theater year-round. The multi-talented entertainer quickly realized his passion for making people laugh and smile and brought his positive energy online, turning social platforms into stages and amassing a highly engaged and super active audience of online supporters. Jacob initially generated massive buzz online in 2015. His first official Vine post—an anti-bullying message—would eventually be looped 15 million times. As he conquered Vine, he began to build a following on Instagram and Twitter. His unwavering commitment to delivering honest and heartfelt content has catapulted him to the “5th most engaged user on Twitter” and “one of the most engaged accounts globally on Instagram.” He also has become one of the most trafficked personalities on Musical.ly. In just one year, he added 6.4 million Instagram followers, he became a “Top 5 profile” on Musical.ly with 12 million followers and he added 1.8 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. In addition to creating a flood of viral content and hosting unforgettable meet-n-greets with his supporters, Jacob has been spending time exploring one of his biggest passions: music.
After the successful release of his first-ever, original song, “Sweatshirt,” which catapulted to Top 5 on iTunes Overall Top Songs chart and received an RIAA Gold plaque, Jacob released “Hit Or Miss.” It entered the Hot 100 at #72, went Top 10 on the iTunes Overall Top Songs chart and has accumulated 10.6 million-plus Spotify streams. In early October, Jacob released his third single “All My Friends” which reached #4 on the iTunes Pop Charts and #9 on the Overall Top Songs chart. It has since amassed over 2 million streams on Spotify and nearly 7 million views on YouTube. Continuing to explore music is the next natural step for Jacob as he continues to progress as a pop culture presence, while speaking to a phenomenal demand for content of all kinds.
From the days of playing greasy local juke joints to headlining major festivals, JJ Grey remains an unfettered, blissful performer, singing with a blue-collared spirit over the bone-deep grooves of his compositions. His presence before an audience is something startling and immediate, at times a funk rave-up, other times a sort of mass-absolution for the mortal weaknesses that make him and his audience human. When you see JJ Grey and his band Mofro live—and you truly, absolutely must—the man is fearless. Onstage, Grey delivers his songs with compassion and a relentless honesty that captures the fierceness and intimacy that defines a Grey performance. Grey and his current Mofro lineup offer grace and groove in equal measure, with an easygoing quality that makes those beautiful muscular drum-breaks sound as though the band has set up in your living room.
Less Than Jake are back!
“But they never went anywhere, “you protest. Well reader, in that sense you are correct. But this fall they’re not only serving up their first full-length in five years, but-after more than two decades together also embracing a total back to basics approach .
Throughout a career that has run the gamut from salt-releases and small indie imprints to large independent labels and major music conglomerates, the band has always been more than the sum of its parts. Now more than ever, though, they espouse their stature as a DIV collective that works together-or at least in tandem with a few trusted allies-on every element of their creative output. Drummer Vinnie Fiorello recalls, “We started out very internal and nowadays we handle a lot internally again.”
The result of their old school approach is the old school sound of See The Light created without any external meddling from corporate lackeys. “Everyone had their alone time with chords and some quick structures; we all put our ideas down before we got together,” says Vinnie,” Then we sat at an octagon table in our warehouse and went through: this is what we think about this song, maybe we should do it ska maybe we should do it punk-true band songwriting in essence.”
Not only was the songwriting a true group effort, but -like the three EPs the band have released since 2008’s long-player GNV FLA -so was the actual recording of See The Light, which was tracked entirely at Gainesville’s The Moathouse, owned by LTJ bassist Roger Lima, who took lead production duties with communal input and assistance from his four band mates and live sound engineer.
“Roger has been recording our demos since the beginning of the band and steadily has worked his way up learning about studios from everyone we’ve worked with in the past “says trombone player Buddy Schaub. With no ticking clock and no studio fees piling up the band used their breathing room to create somewhat of a rarity in today’s prefab music world: a full-length album that gels as a complete thought, lyrically and musically, Buddy adds,”I think this is one of the closest representations of our band to date. We’re all really excited for this record t o get out into the world and we can1wait to hear what people thinkI”
Like 2000’s release Borders and Boundaries the new record was mixed at the famed Blasting Room by punk rock legend Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag) and Jason Livermore, but don’t let that lead you to believe that there’s anything same-ish about See The Light. ” f you’re expecting retreads and repeats,this record will disappoint,” exclaims Roger.” t’s all new songs and new vibes only recorded in our old school way.”
While some other bands of a certain vintage are latching onto musical trends you won’t find any dubstep beats or vocoder distortion on See The Light-a titie that nods to the band’s history of marrying dark lyrical content (the tunnel) to bouncy musical arrangements (the light at the end). Less Than Jake aren’t turning away from their roots, and echoing Mark Twain, Fiorello points out that the rumors regarding their genre’s demise are greatly exaggerated.” Punk has been declared dead every year for 30+ years and it’s still going stronger than ever. People like to declare things dead just because it’s dead to them but if bands are passionate about what they’re doing they’ll attract fans who are passionate.”
As fits a band born long enough ago to now be of legal drinking age, Less Than Jake pulls in a multi generational audience, which Vinnie notes is often a family affair, “Our crowd now is 16 to 40, and Ive met kids as young as eight or nine Dads bring their sons and it’s a weird rite of passage; moms bring kids in saying, ‘We’ve watched you guys for 15 years. ‘But will the band stick around long enough to draw in a third generation of fans? “I don’t know man, I think our guys on that would be NOFX and Bad Religion.
When you see Fat Mike or Bad Religion hang It up, maybe : but like them, we’re gonna ride that
out. “We’re glad to be along for the ride Hop on board when See The Light sees the light on November