Jay Wheeler shares how Abuela inspires his music

For many of us, our relationship with our grandparents can serve as a bridge to the past, often tying our crucial formative years to the wisdom and customs of our ancestors. previous generation. Because Jay Wheeler, the connection he shared with his grandmother, Clara Luz, was something he treasured. It helped him become the man and artist he is today.

“One of the most beautiful treasures I have in my life is my abuela,” Wheeler said. “She’s someone who loves to go out, loves to party, and I’m so lucky to still have her with me and to have her healthy.”

But along with being the life of the party, his grandmother helped instill many guiding values ​​in the singer – who worked hard to usher in a new brand of romance with the albums “Emociones” and “Emociones 1.5”.

“She taught me to be respectful, to always empathize with everyone, and to have a healthy fear of God. I am a person who has a very strong belief in God, thanks to her,” the singer said and gave knowing more she also taught him to “just love the world.”

That caring attitude is something that shows in his music as well as in his interactions with fans and the media. Wheeler has mentioned that he tries not to wear sunglasses because he wants fans to be able to see his eyes. Musically, DJ Nelson’s protégé is in high demand to bring his old-school crooner vibes to the new wave of trap and reggaeton. His latest work, “Musica Bueno Para Días Malos,” is a futuristic trip through the ups and downs of love. However, recently the male singer found an opportunity to branch out into another genre when he released a cover of the classic song “”Piel Canela.

“I was really nervous because I knew this was a classic, it’s something you don’t want to ruin,” he said. “So my intention was never to make a better version or anything like that. My intention was just to make a version of a classic song – a version that reminds me to my grandmother.”

The opportunity to cover the song came from a collaboration with McDonald’s. The fast food giant is hard at work promoting their new “Mrs. McFlurry” and giving fans a chance to meet the reggaetonero to round out an already sweet deal. For Wheeler, however, not only did he get to cover a timeless classic, but he also got to honor his abuelita, who he also credits with helping nurture his love of music through her own passion for singing and dancing.

“My grandmother always wanted to be a singer… and that inspired me. From a very young age, she instilled in me [that desire] in my. And she always wanted to be famous,” Wheeler laughed.[To this day,] If you give her a stage and a microphone, she will dance and sing.”

The singer recalled a childhood video of him and abuela singing and dancing like two superstars. Fast forward to today, and Wheeler is on track to get there – the McDonald’s campaign is a testament to his rising star and his marketing prowess. As part of the marketing campaign for Grandma McFlurry, Wheeler and his grandmother had the opportunity to film a commercial together, promoting a new snack and the TikTok contest that went with it. So his abuelita finally gets his time in the spotlight.

So what happens next for Wheeler and Clara Luz? Wheeler is currently on tour, and his next stop is a concert at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, where he’ll revisit his repertoire of reggaetón hits and trap bangers next week. Puerto Rican holiday. But while cantando urbano is his main source of income, the singer has not ruled out further experimentation with classical genres.

“I’m open to anything music-related,” Wheeler said. Without limits. I always challenge myself to do things.”

“Obviously not everything works for me, but I will always try,” he added. “I’m very open to everything, to rock music, classical music, anything. I’ll always try and present it – my best chance.”

Along with occasionally changing genres, the singer is also known to collaborate with his wife and fellow singer, Zhamira Zambrano. So maybe a duet with his abuelita will also appear in the future. No matter what problem he chooses to tackle next, his grandmother will be there, looking on with pride and knowing that her passion is the driving force toward the bright future in which Wheeler now lives.

Miguel Machado is a journalist with expertise in the intersection of Latino identity and culture. He does everything from exclusive interviews with Latin music artists to opinion pieces on issues relevant to the community, to personal essays tied to Latinidad his, as well as thoughts and characteristics related to Puerto Rican and Puerto Rican culture.

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