Jay Stolar Brings Soul to MilkBoy

This 30-year-old soul pop sensation hit our radar last week downtown at MilkBoy Philly. Jersey native Jay Stolar brought enough charisma and vocal prowess to the stage Thursday night to satisfy every new listener. His curly hair and fun spirit round out his R&B vibe, similar to soul pop extraordinaire, Bruno Mars.

Stolar’s sound has a very rhythm and blues feel, although he himself is inspired by Adele and Mumford and Sons. “I’m inspired by real people, real artists,” he said. “I’m a pretty emotional person and music is just a really healthy way to express that.”

During his 8 song set, Stolar played a mix of acoustic, jazz, and soul pop tunes, accompanied by his three bandmates. With each song, Stolar managed to stir the crowd’s emotions with his powerful vocals and enthusiastic on stage presence.

Stolar revealed that his favorite part of performing is bringing everyone together. “I love connecting with people. Everyone has their own little problems. An artist goes on stage and if their good, people will come together and forget everything.”

“Are you ready to go there with me?” Stolar asked just before playing his fast-paced rock song, “Everything Seems Much Harder”. It took some time for a reaction, but soon enough the stiff crowd turned pliable.

Stolar played a variety of original songs off his album, More Than We Think, including “I Believe” and “Like You Do”, which was recently #38 on the Billboard Indicator Chart.

This multi-faceted artist has been playing instruments since he was three. At age nine, he knew he wanted to become a musician. “To me, there was nothing else I could do,” said Stolar.

Halfway through his set, Stolar hopped off the stage and turned his performance into a hands-on experience when he played among the audience instead. In bringing everyone closer together, he also made that emotional connection he strives for when playing.

“If you’ve ever had something really challenging, this is a song about that,” Stolar said before belting his ballad, “Holding You All Through the Night”. Twenty or so people encircled only Stolar and his guitar as he played this song with fervent vocals and seeping emotions.

Any good artist will also throw in a couple of feel-good songs though. Stolar quickly switched back to on stage, and started playing a familiar and catchy tune. His duo cover of “Thrift Shop/Blurred Lines” worked well with a beat box and his signature soul pop twist.

Stolar’s cover then transitioned nicely into his last song, “When I’m Acting Crazy”. This upbeat pop song ridden with funk was the perfect finish to a night of soul, emotion, and powerful vocals; that is, Jay Stolar.

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