JayaR is a project that started as J.R., a solo singer-songwriter gigging around Los Angeles, California with the need of a name that looked better on paper. He spent his first few years in the big city getting his bearings at some of the most acclaimed venues in town with great success, cycling through multiple weekly residencies and eventually recording his self-titled demo. Unfortunately, in time, the larger sound of the full bands he shared stages with made the importance of expanding more and more apparent. Having only the demo, his trusty 6 and 12-string guitars, a big mouth, and an insatiable will to be heard, he set out to find his partners in sound and the community to support them.
Chasing that destiny through the tumultuous currents of the LA music scene, he soon stumbled upon a musical mad scientist by the name of Joe Little. Having been part of another project and their pilgrimage to LA via Chicago that ended in disarray, the chemistry the two soon found they’d had was truly fate. Joe immediately dropped everything he was doing (as well as his jaw and a bevy of fragile items), and the two began creating as one. Joe had all the gear and knowhow to start immortalizing the noises they’d been making, and immortalize they would. Thus began the beginning of the their first recording project, Remain.
While still playing the local circuits and slowly branching out throughout California, the duo were discovered by Andrea Whitt, an over-qualified and underpaid violist prone to going to bed early. She soon adopted the two musical orphans and began making unruly but gratuitously fair demands of their time and cooking abilities. Fortunately for them she was not only a brilliant violist, but extraordinarily tolerant of their tendency to accept candy from strangers and habitually beatbox in public places, and the 2 soon became 3.
The band continues to inspire and be inspired by far more. Still collecting steam with the recent addition of bassist and resident badass Nick “Scissors” Cisneros (AKA Nicky Boom-booms), the 5 play everywhere and anywhere they won’t get kicked out of or arrested for disturbing the peace. They continue to cultivate a following, create and hone their collective voice, and irritate each other enough to warrant a band break-up at least once a week, with their own musical form of make-up sex soon to follow.
With our core set and steadily advancing, the project made room for a fresh prospective on drums with current member Derek Smith. The transformation from JR to JayaR was complete. They continuously write, rehearse, and record as needed while hitting the road up and down the west coast tour, returning to expanded musical opportunities, a growing fan-base, and always a whole lotta work to do.
“It takes a band to raise a song, a community to raise a band, and great music to elevate the collective spirit” – JR