Jay Kila
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Jay Kila

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Alternative Hip Hop




"Jay Kila on the Underbelly"

"...the Beastie Boys of 2016" - WEMF Radio


Le rappeur a fait sérieusement monter la température dans le gymnase du lycée qui s'est rempli très vite, dès les premiers éclats de voix du rappeur et la musique du DJ ont commencé à résonner. Une prestation de grande classe. - Charante Libre

"Jay Kila & Cav - Talking Sh*t Volume I"

Enter Upper East Side NYC Hip Hop duo Highly Funktional Addicts and their brand new EP, “Talking Sh*T Volume 1”. Listeners are presented with an eight track project full of party inducing lyrics while doubling as a tribute to the classic Hip Hop lyricism. Join Jay Kila and filmaker/ emcee Cav as we journey into the Upper East Side lifestyle. Standout songs from the EP include “Fade Away”, “Bettor Days” and “Uptown Eastside”. “Talking Sh*T Volume 1” also starts off with “Smoking And Rapping”, which HFA scored a video for last October (click here). With another video on the way for “It’s Better To Spend It On Beer”, the New York pair look to be talking sh*t for a good portion of 2016. - Get Your Buzz Up

""It's Better to Spend It On Beer" Music Video Interview"

yo what's up Jay Kila and Cav? Congrats on the new music video release "It's Better To Spend It On Beer." How does it feel?

Jay: What's up guys!? Thanks for having us on your site. It feels great man - we put a LOT of effort into this song and video so we are super grateful and excited about the response its been getting.

Cav: Yup - we are drinking a beer right now in celebration. Beer!!

This is probably the perfect anthem for Street Wannabes, we would normally ask where'd you get the inspiration for this song but we already know. When did you decide to write this song?

Jay: Well it was towards the end of summer of last year. We both love beer and we always go to this bar in our neighborhood and we are usually low on funds.

Cav: One night we were debating whether to get food or beer at the bar and we were like "It's better to spend it on beer". I started repeating the phrase and next thing I know Jay had recorded it over a beat.

When did you know you had a great song?

Jay: As soon as we had laid the hook down over the beat we felt the energy - we were both super hyped about it. Of course it took a while before we could finish the track.

Cav: Yeah we were so excited about it that we debuted it at our show at Piano's back in October of last year before the song was finished so we were only able to do Jay's verse.

What was it like shooting this music video? It looks like a lot of fun but also could have taken a lot of work.

Jay: This was definitely the most ambitious video we've done in terms of budget and production value. It was super fun filming it - so much positive energy and everyone who worked on the video was great!! Preparing for the shoot was tough though. We had to do a casting call, organize the equipment (shout to KitSplit), get props, etc. All on our own. Of course having beer on set while filming was great though :) Shout out to Rich at Bridge and Tunnel in Queens!!

Cav: Yeah - we had like 20 people working the day of the shoot -15 cast members, 5 crew members, we had to organize filming at a brewery. It was a lot of work!! Marcus our director did an awesome job and we were very fortunate everything turned out the way it did. Beer!!
Can you tell us about you guys and how long you've been making music?

Jay: I've been doing it about 5 years - Cav does film too so he's been on and off - we started working on our latest mixtape - "Talking Sh*t Volume I" at the beginning of 2015 and just released it in January of this year so it took about a year to make.

Cav: Yeah - from filming the videos with Jay and spending time around it I just kind of fell into it as another art form.

When did you get the idea to make this song into a music video?

Cav: We are always thinking about the video when we have a song we like. I'm a filmmaker by training and Jay studied film & media back in college so we both understand the importance of the video. We also both enjoy the process of making them.

Jay: Yeah - in today's world the video is a necessity - so many people still turn to YouTube to check out new music and having a music video is definitely super helpful in engaging people. Basically after we had the hook down over the beat we were talking about what the music video was gonna be.

Cav: We would probably make videos for all our songs if we could.

What number music video is this?

Jay: Oh I dunno - 10 or 11 - we've made a lot.

Cav: Yes - it's the second video we've done off of "Talking Sh*t Volume I" and we are planning a couple more for the summer.

"I'd rather be weird with a beer than be weird with no beer tho" Great line, how was it writing this track?

Cav: Thank you, thank you. It was great - I always try to have fun with it while I also try to challenge myself to come up with the best rhymes possible. We play the beat and practice the lyrics a LOT.

Jay: Yeah - working together is great as we can bounce ideas off one another. We went to high school together so have known each other a long time and are fortunate to have good chemistry.

It seems like you had a lot of people up in this video, how was it trying to get people to help out and be in the music vid?

Cav: That's the hardest part!! Getting people to be in the video is definitely a lot of work. All of our friends have full time jobs now so its hard to get them to come be in a video.

Jay: Yeah - we have to be super professional now. For "Beer" we had to post a casting call, hire a crew, etc. We worked out a deal with Bridge & Tunnel Brewery - there was a lot of preparation and organization involved.

Cav: Shout out to Paul though for coming through and helping us film!!

Any advice to anyone thinking about making a music video?

Cav: Don't do it!!

Jay: Haha - yeah I mean definitely try to plan out what you are gonna do before hand but even if you can't you should just go out and do it. We are strong believers in low budget filmmaking and using whatever you have available to you. We filmed our last video "Smoking & Rapping" with an iPhone & selfie stick.

Cav: Yup - and it has over 10,000 views.

What are your plans for this summer?

Jay: Hit the beach.

Cav: We are working on our second EP and already have a few songs done. We are also gonna start shooting our next music video shortly.

Jay: And then in August we are going on tour in the south - we have Virginia, Maryland / DC, South Carolina and Atlanta lined up so far.

Where can people find your music?

Jay: www.jaykila.com

Hardest time you had to choose beer over something? ha For us, its probably food or subway transportation.

Cav: Oxygen. Just kidding - weed :)

Jay: Hmmmm. I'll say pizza. The combo of beer and pizza is ultimate, so having to separate them is difficult.

Last words?

Cav: Spend it on beer!!

Jay: Yup - and stayed tuned for more!!! - Street Wannabes

""Highly Funktional Addicts - Talking S*** Volume 1""

"Talking Sh*T Volume 1" is the first installment in an ongoing release series from Upper East Side New York dual group Highly Funktional Addicts. The two released the debut video for the EP in the fourth quarter of 2015 and are planning to release a follow up visual for the party anthem, "It's Better To Spend It On Beer". Jay Kila, the self proclaimed "Hindjew" and buddy filmaker Cav create feel good music mixed with lyrical complexity. Listen as they quote famous rhyme lines from some of your favorite artists while proving that they have NY Hip Hop blood pumping thru their veins. Available for free download and streaming, check out Highly Funktional Addicts and their EP, "Talking Sh*T Volume 1". - This Is 50

"Backseat Idol"

Jay Kila

24, Upper East Side

Sound: “East Coast lyrical-type stuff. That real hip-hop that hits you right in the face and makes you say, ‘Wow, this kid can spit.’?”

Sample lyrics: “Flows exceptional, abilities professional?/?I’m killin’ beats, leaving all they facilities correctional.”

Career status: The Dalton and Stanford alum runs GiftRapped.com, offering customized rap songs.

How’d it go? “Most of the people were just looking down into their phones, pretending not to hear me—although one dude did say that he dug my style.” - New York Magazine

"“Cheese Macaroni” – Jay Kila & Cav"

New York-based artists and friends, Jay Kila & Cav team up for another track titled “Cheese Macaroni.” Although the song may sound a little corny at first, these artists can rap. Jay Kila & Cav have different flows but they both rhyme very well. Jay Kila does have the stronger verse and faster delivery. - UpcomingHipHop.net

"Lambchop & Shari Lewis dancing to Jay Kila"

This Stanford alum (wut wut) keeps the Cardinal rap game strong (hat tip to K-Flay) with an under-the-radar mixtape you gotta hear.

Jay Kila is a rapper from the Upper East Side of New York City, New York.

Jay is pretty unknown, but check out his Upper East Beast 2 mixtape and the killer low-budget fratty music video for this track. - MusicGeeks

"Jay Kila - Dip in the Pool"

What Are Your Goals In The Music Industry?
I would like to be able to support myself fully through music. I would love to go on tour, continue to create music and videos and share these with as many people as possible. I would also like to win a Grammy – or a Kids’ Choice Award.

What inspires you to make music?
Eminem. Steve Jobs. Banksy. Great artists / stories. Music is somehow the only medium I find myself able to express a lot of thoughts I have.

Tell us about this project?
This is a sequel to a project I made several years ago – “Upper East Beast” – and paints a satirical portrait of my life on the Upper East Side in NYC.

What makes you different from other artists?
My background – I’m half-Indian and Jewish (though I guess the Jews are coming up in the rap world now – lol). I like the self-deprecating type of rap. I feel like its hard for me to be serious and rap about balling out or anything – I prefer the weird, kooky kind of stuff. I also try to rap about things happening in my life or things I witness.

Who were your musical inspirations growing up?
Eminem. 50 Cent. Wu-Tang Clan. Blink 182. Green Day. Offspring. I was really into K-Rock in NYC which played a lot of alt-rock / nu-rock (lol) – like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. In high school I got deep into rap though I was listening to Eminem since Slim Shady LP.

Are You Working On Any New Projects?
Yes – a joint mixtape with my boy Cav. It’s called Talking Sh*t Volume 1 and is scheduled for release in November. - Indie Nation Blog

"Grown Up Gigs: Rapper / GiftRapper Jay Kila"

When I read about Jay Kila in New York magazine and his company, GiftRapped – which offers customized raps, and a music video to go with it! – I bopped right over to the website (what? I bop!) and spent the next half-hour watching all of his samples. They brought the biggest smile to my face (especially the Bar Mitzvah one – hilarity!), and I knew you guys would love him just as much as I did. Enjoy! - WhenIGrowUpCoach.com

"Yo! Mark Zuckerberg Raps"

Well, not really … But doesn’t get much whiter than a rapper who name checks Peter Thiel. Inspired by the Facebook creation myth and The Social Network movie, Jay Kila the Viral Rapper (yes, you read that right) has created the above video, replete with animated Zuck. - TechCrunch


Still working on that hot first release.



An eternal optimist, Jay Kila’s music combines rapid-fire delivery and witty lyrics to create party inducing anthems. His work has been featured in New York Magazine, on The Today Show, as well as on G4TV. He has opened for Wu-Tang Clan, Digable Planets, and KRS 1 – performing at festivals in NYC and across the country. He is also one half of the rap group HFA (Highly Funktional Addicts) alongside filmmaker and longtime collaborator Cav. 

After graduating from Stanford University in 2009, Kila turned down the allure of Wall Street to pursue his dream of being a hip-hop artist. He proceeded to record two mixtapes – The Internship and Upper East Beast – both talking about Kila’s upbringing in New York City and displaying his proficiency with rhyme.

It was Upper East Beast that caught the ear of hip-hop pioneer Daddy-O from the legendary rap group Stetsasonic. Kila was mentored by Daddy-O in Atlanta for a year as part of Daddy-O’s artist development clinic. It was during this time that Kila perfected his live show while completing a third mixtape: 50 Shades of Jay.

Kila’s latest EP, Talking Sh*t Volume, is a joint project with longtime collaborator and good friend Cav. The two perform under the name HFA (Highly Funktional Addicts) and their self-produced EP features infectious hooks with mind-bending lyrics that pay tribute to classic hip-hop.

Band Members