Updated: Aug 13
Jay Gafford, better known as Producer, Singer, Rapper, Songwriter Architect the Dreamer, is a Grand Rapids, Michigan living, out of the box creative who is genre fluid and growing in presence each day. This artist does it all from Pop to Metal, his sound is unmatched. What we found we most enjoyed about ATD, is in fact his mindset. Just listening to his story and the way his answers are so calculated yet raw made us realize further that he's truly special. A diamond in rough if you will.
ATD creates based on mood. He didn't want to be trapped by one genre and because of this creative freedom, he's seen success with fanbase growth. This is evident in his Instagram and TikTok following. He believes in creating from the heart rather than how the industry or listeners think you should create.
ATD states, “When I started my career I had a lot of people telling me to find a lane and stay in it and that's how you were going to be successful. I was kind of like f*ck that. I'm going to make what I want to make. in the beginning it was difficult. It was difficult to gain traction." while speaking on how he became the genre fluid creator he is today. He then goes on to say, "On my social media pages I call myself a genre fluid music maker because I'm going to make what I want to make. Now that I've finally started growing an audience and really building a following, it's one of the things they love about me most." and we totally agree!
When ATD talks about struggles and the series of events that led to who he is today, he doesn't mean figuratively. Inspired by Linkin Park who embraced their flaws and vulnerabilities, he openly discusses past addiction along with tips to overcome/fight through it. "Failure is just a learning opportunity." is such a strong mantra and we felt it when he said it. "When I finally got clean, it really was like this is the only the path that I can go down. Because if I go back to what I was doing, I really won't be here. The first year was incredibly difficult especially because I basically had to cut everyone out of my life." He also reminds anyone struggling with that immense battle, that the only person who can help you is you. He doesn't judge nor condemn anyone in that battle. We want to congratulate him because he recently celebrated 9 YEARS of sobriety and we are proud of him and this incredible achievement. For those struggling with addiction, mental health or any other health battle, you're not alone.
While speaking on the songwriting process, ATD gets candid with us and provides insight that we think every artist can use this to their advantage! "Everything that I do, it works together. It's cohesive. There are certain messages that I want to convey, that I want to deliver when I'm writing a song. I will do everything that I can to be as authentic to the feeling I'm trying to evoke while also making it sound good." This is such a powerful statement for many reasons. WE know that for us like many others, we want to feel something while listening to music, we want to relate, but most importantly we want to hear good music. (Yes, music is objective.) He also goes on to mention that songwriting should be a daily habit. He found that TikTok has become not only a great platform for growth but also a great tool to help artists form that daily songwriting habit by duetting producers who post their beats, open verse challenges, etc. He also found that it helps with writers block!
5 albums that have influenced ATD starts with Nas' album Illmatic. It's the deep message while maintaining a fun sound that captured ADT's attention. This album made him fall in love with Hip Hop. Second is Eminem's "The Eminem Show." The third album he names, which came as a surprise, was "Plans" by Death Cab For Cutie! The fourth album he names is, "Futures" by Jimmy Eat World which shaped his Pop Punk side. Lastly he names, "Golden Record" by The Dangerous Summer. The last one holds a special place to him because he opened for them when they were first getting popular. The second reason is because this album dropped the week before he got out of rehab and the combination of the singers voice partnered with the lyrical content is what he can say saved his life. "Music is my therapy." We couldn't have said it better!
Architect The Dreamer is not only preaching what to practice to grow and succeed, he's practicing what he preaches. When you hear about an artist who isn't boxed into one genre, an artist who speaks on mental health, an artist who is using TikTok as a means to reach more ears, an artist creating what they love there really aren't many. Luckily for us and for all of you reading this, we have been blessed with the artist that is Architect The Dreamer. We highly recommend you follow him on all social platforms, subscribe to his YouTube and stream his music. You're bound to find a song you need for your playlists. For all of the artists reading this, let this serve as your reminder to be yourself shamelessly while creating, to embrace your uniqueness, allow yourself to be vulnerable in your creations and most importantly create what you love. Much Love!