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April 12, 2024

Jay Mayes: music promoter, manager, and barber, too

Jay Mayes


It’s a story of second chances and helping the next generation. That’s the story of Taylorsville native Jay Mayes, 49, who is a barber as well as a music promoter and manager for several artists.
Jay, like his father before him, cuts hair. He is the son of Jessie “Buster” Mayes and Fleeta Mayes of Taylorsville.

Honing his skills with the clippers, Jay became a very proficient barber. His life hasn’t been all roses, though; there were detours and problems of his own creation, but his parents and mentors believed in him and his abilities.

After some bumps in the road, Jay straightened his life out. He credits his parents, his grandfather (the late Harve Mayes), mentors Horace and Dora Torrence, and Mrs. Linda Graham, former director of the Alexander Center of Catawba Valley Community College, with patience and help over the years.

“I thank them for giving me the opportunity and for not giving up on me,” Jay explained. “Anything you want in this world, you have to keep on the path, and put the Lord first. Anything I did wrong, it was my fault, not my parents.”

Nudged along by his parents, Graham, and his mentors, Jay pursued college but struggled.

“I thought I was dumb, by my teacher had me tested and learned I was dyslexic! So, I went from 1.8 to 4.1 GPA and graduated with honors from CVCC,” Jay said.

He earned an Associate degree in Cosmetology in 2011 and went to the SkillsUSA competition, winning in hair cutting, the first CVCC student to do so.

Jay continued his studies and obtained an Associate degree in Criminal Justice at CVCC in 2013.

He also wished to thank Brenda Poole and advisor Shani Mayes for their support through the years.

Music promoter
For most of the past two decades, and intensely during the past six years, Jay has been working his way into the music business, founding and nurturing a company to promote rap artists. Rap artist 828 Deezy has been with Mayes since 2016. Mayes owns his own record label, Jay Mayes Entertainment (JME), and has signed several artists, including Lil Honcho RX. He works closely with local sound engineer Ryan Conrad of Figure Media Recording Studio to record the artists.

RECORD LABEL — Artist 828 Deezy (right) often travels with Mayes to do shows. Beezy has been with Mayes’ JME label since 2016.

JME has done shows in several cities in the region. Their newest happening is the opportunity for two JME artists to open up for rap artist Young Dro on Thursday, Sept. 7, at the opening of a club in Atlanta. Jay noted that JME artist Lil Honcho RX will be one of the artists opening for Young Dro. The event will be hosted by none other than Ms. Pooh, of VH-1’s “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” television show.

The JME artists will then travel on to scheduled performances in Alabama and Florida, too.

STAR POWER — Jay Mayes is shown here (on right) with Ms. Pooh of VH-1 network’s “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” TV show. She will host the opening of an Atlanta club on Thursday, Sept. 8, at which Mayes’ JME label rap artists, including Lil Honcho RX (inset photo), will open for Young Dro.

This is exciting news, when one considers that about eight months ago, Jay and his family had become homeless while trying to navigate the tough times of the pandemic.

The father of three, Jay had to swallow his pride and ask if he could move back home with his parents, for a time. Now, however, he has his own place and feels blessed to be pursuing his dream and providing for his family.

Jay’s children are Brittany, Donovan, and Maylasia. Jay attends Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Taylorsville.

“My heart is big. I try to help everybody I can,” Jay related. “I’ve seen a lot of talent here, they just needed some structure and to learn to be organized. I can help them. A lot of stuff I didn’t know I could do, until I tried, and had people believe in me.”


  1. A. F. Little on September 7, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    Proud of you, keep moving forward, there’s nothing behind you👍🏽👏🏽🙏🏽

    • Brittney on September 8, 2022 at 12:54 pm

      Proud of you! It’s awesome to have a producer and fellow music promoter in the area! Congrats on your success! Hope to see much more for you!

    • Necie Sloan on September 21, 2022 at 7:36 pm

      Congratulations on all your accomplishments. When we put God first, everything falls into place. I know your parents are so proud of you as well as your family. Keep doing what you’re doing.

  2. Chad on September 11, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    Salute my guy. Don’t forget about us lil people when you make it to the Big Leagues.

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