Jay Brathwaite

I was born in October of 1971 in New York city, in the borough of the Bronx. We moved to Manhattan at the age of three and relocated to Bailey, North Carolina at the age of nine on new year’s eve of 1980. Here I was educated in the Nash county school system and started playing the trombone in seventh grade with the concert and marching band. I was also a three sport scholar athlete (football, baseball, basketball and beta club). I have five brothers and two sisters, father was a native New Yorker and my mother was a native North Carolinian.

I attended Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC where I pursued a degree in electronic engineering and technology. I was a two-year starter at defensive cornerback on the football team and also participated in theater ensemble. In 1990 I was fortunate enough to be able to join a distinguished fraternity (phi beta sigma). In 1991 I met a music producer named Ernest Gardner (Ernmoney), the dorm room became a recording studio. We began creating all genres of music for talent shows and actually were the first to have a hip-hop song played on campus radio.

I moved back to Raleigh, NC in 1997 and began writing and recording hip-hop and r&b tracks with underground greats big Delph and P Batters for mixtape albums. In 2003, I partnered with two friends to start a music group and movement called Black Ops, short for (believe love and consciousness conquers all opposition). I met Dave through a mutual friend in 2004, and shortly after, I met Nate and Jason and began recording with the band Mighty Thumb. There have been a few transitions over the last twelve years but Dave and Nate have been gracious enough to allow me to be part of it all.

Jay’s Gear

  • Yamaha Keyboards

  • Spoken Word

  • Korg Keyboards