“As a philanthropist, I genuinely have a heart for people. I believe music is a universal language that can be used to encourage, heal and inspire others.”
We’ve all heard of multifaceted actors; however while most sing, dance, run charities, or create fashion lines and act, Arjay Smith of Sons of Anarchy has built quite the music industry presence through his record label Jeigh B. Records. As an actor, music producer, and label owner, his efforts quite obviously stem from his passion for music. He explains, “Passion and purpose are what inspired me to launch the label. Music can move mountains and even restore peace.” With that in mind, Smith’s adventure in music began in 2007 in Southern California. Almost 10 years later, he is confident in the pace of Jeigh B. Records’ growth, but knows that there is still a long way to go: “Every dream needs vision, hard work, determination, focus, wisdom, intelligence and sacrifice at its core foundation. These founding traits are not only the building blocks of Jeigh B. Records, but they are the elements that continue to fuel the JBR mother ship. Getting the company where it is today has required a huge dose of patience and discipline.”
Whether you are a famous actor or not, starting a record label is quite the challenge, one that Smith worked hard to break down and tackle: “My immediate advice in starting a label is that you must first acknowledge three things: understand what service you bring, why do you want to provide this service, and who’s going to receive your service.” Researching your market, focusing on your service, and investing in yourself are some of Arjay’s key elements to surviving in such a tough industry. He also keenly uses his stardom to his advantage in the industry, noting how important it is to network and gain connections in the music industry. “It’s important to have healthy business relationships and to humbly consult with brilliant minds. I’m constantly growing because I treat others with respect and I continue to surround myself with people who are expertise in the arenas where I’m not skilled.”
In the 10 years of Smith’s efforts in the music business and many more in the film and television business, he has been able to take what he has learned in each and apply them to his current projects and challenges. These skills are not only in business elements and marketing decisions, but human understanding and personal attitudes: “The lessons and advice that I have absorbed as an actor have definitely benefited my position as a music producer because my experiences have strengthened my patience while also heightening my awareness, sympathy and empathy.” With this growth of experience in mind, Smith has seen the pros, cons, similarities, and differences of the film and music industries, but finds the bare necessities of success to be ultimately the same. Whether you are on stage singing or behind a camera acting, you need a committed team to get the work done and become successful. “The efforts of a music artist are the same as those of a thespian. Commitment, patience and hard work are key.”
And with that hard work comes results; in just the year, Jeigh B. Records launched Def Bananas’ newest project “Something New”, an album featuring the new theme song for the Youtube show “The New Shade of Black.” Smith also didn’t have any trouble bragging about launching his upcoming projects with R&B singer Emma Stuart or Electronic duo Yngcult, either. After countless meets and rehearsals with his artists, Smith has worked tirelessly to learn about his musicians and their goals: “Assisting artists in achieving a well-polished project is a beautiful experience. As a fan of entertainment, there’s nothing more rewarding than knowing you have co-created a piece of work that can live on forever.” The work he puts in for his artists benefit him as well, and his philosophy as an industry professional. Ultimately, the success and happiness of his artists and the legacy of Jeigh B. Records is the most important beneficiary of his efforts. “My ultimate prayer as a label owner is that our company can continue to produce amazing content for new and established artists. I hope our movement is received well in this generation and in future generations.” Smith has a pure heart for his artist’s music and potential, and knows with enough hard work, passion, and determination, he can help them become successful: “My intention is for each artist to have an incredible project that highlights them in the most dazzling way. Collectively, we put our best foot forward, and because of that effort I anticipate that each project we release will find huge success. If an artist is able to create a project that they are proud of, and successfully have their music bless just one soul…then mission accomplished.” This platform for Jeigh B. Records is what has been supporting the creative and unique energy that has rolled out of every project launched in its almost 10 years. Arjay Smith has been a key player in maintaining the sincerity and passion that has been lacking in this quickly moving music industry, and further pushing the boundaries and expectations of its artists like never before.
“At the end of the day, the JBR family is all about quality teamwork and compassionate unity.”