Jay Pryor

If your first big break was a co-production with Steve Aoki on Louis Tomlinson’s smash hit single Just Hold On you’d think you’d made it, but young Irish house producer Jay Pryor seems to upgrade his goals daily.


Dublin native Jay is one of the scene’s most on-fire figures for his innate knack of producing breezy, catchy house with a crossover pop appeal. In two years he has jumped from being another self-taught bedroom producer with a head full of dreams, to an in-demand artist with millions of streams, high-profile chart collaborations and support from some of the world’s top DJs and clubbing brands. The 22-year-old is just about to release his third single Fall For U — topping off an incredible 12 months since he first hooked up with Aoki.


A brass neck helps too — his team-up with Aoki happened after he bootlegged Digital Farm Animals’ single True, and after two million plays he secured a meeting with the MD of Syco Music. A pitch was made, Jay locked in for a few days, passed it on and Aoki loved it. It was a self-propelled domino effect that saw Jay watching his co-production premiered on the X Factor final last Christmas, only two years after he first started teaching himself from YouTube tutorials and forums.


Just Hold On has over 500 million streams worldwide and was a UK new entry at No2 and No51 on the US Billboard Hot 100 last December, scoring Aoki his biggest hit on both sides of the Atlantic. The single also topped the US Billboard Dance Chart and went platinum in Australia, Canada, Italy and Sweden, and gold in the UK, Ireland, Poland, Denmark and Belgium. After these numbers it was an obvious choice to win the 2017 Teen Choice Award for Best Collaboration.


The Success of Just Hold On led to 2017 being a gear-changer for Jay. In the summer he went head-on with chart pop royalty once again, teaming up with Tomlinson’s One Direction bandmate Niall Horan to remix Slow Hands, turning it into a brassy house floor-filler that went on to hit the No1 spot on the US radio remix charts. “When two Irishmen collide good things happen,” Jay said at the time. And after remixing Snakehips' smash hit Cruel featuring ZAYN, he’s nearly got a full house of 1D lads on his CV.


But aside from blockbuster remixes, Jay has been racking up millions of streams with his own singles. His track Teenage Crime has already been streamed over 3 million times, and his first official release All This has racked up over 12 million plays across streaming services and YouTube. Moving away from the idea of a solo producer hunched over a laptop, Jay has lately been working with other songwriters and singers, with the encouragement of his first mentor Nick Gale (Digital Farm Animals). “I was quickly opened up to a new world of music-making,” he says.


In a post as All This passed 5 million streams, Jay said: “I didn’t think my music would ever reach 1,000 people, every single day the goals I have get bigger and bigger.” This daily shift in the goalposts started when he first opened up FL Studio on his laptop with his first ever simple goal – to write a drum & bass track, even Googling ‘how to write a drum & bass tune’.


Jay was a relatively late starter to electronic music, after spending a few teenage years as a skater kid listening to indie and punk in Dublin, in his “own little scene” with mates. He had an unlikely epiphany on holiday in Mallorca, watching Calvin Harris drop Eric Prydz’ Everyday at BCM. “It sounds so cheesy and cliched but I’d never had a moment like that,” he says. “I just thought immediately, ‘That’s what I want to do’, it clicked.”


Three years on from BCM, and Jay’s tunes have been causing their own epiphanies, in rotation in sets by Tiesto, Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers, Don Diablo, Pete Tong and others, and one of his biggest rushes last year was watching a live stream of Electric Daisy Carnival and seeing The Magician play All This to 80,000 people. With his own DJ sets, he’s gone from his first gig in Dublin with a mate, making €7.50 each, to gigs in front of 1,500 and his first proper headline show in Vienna, when a promoter brought him over on the back of his first ever Soundcloud track Skankin. His next big show is at Ministry of Sound on 5 May – to top off his SoundOf mix for Ministry from earlier last year.