St. Louis native John Jaylien Wesley holds quite a few titles on his résumé: rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer. In the studio, he has written for Akon, will.i.am, Britney Spears, Chris Brown, T-Pain, Snoop Dogg, and more. Raised in a musical household -- his father was a college choir director and his mother was a choir singer -- he developed an early love of music, picking up the piano, saxophone, and clarinet. Inspired by producers like Quincy Jones, Kanye West, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, and Max Martin, he crafted beats for local artists while he was still a high-school student. His first major production effort was for rapper Huey's 2007 debut, Notebook Paper.
After briefly pursuing further training at New York's SAE Institute, he headed to Atlanta, where he was introduced to Akon. This meeting would spawn Wesley's first hit, Akon's track "Beautiful" featuring Kardinal Offishall and Colby O'Donis. After writing for a string of other stars, Wesley decided to focus on his own music as Jaylien. Initially expanding his fan base on the Internet, he released his debut EP in 2016. Summer's Over contained seven hybrid tracks that blended electronic dance synths, trap beats, soul, R&B, and both his raps and singing. A blend of Frank Ocean, the Weeknd, and the-Dream, Summer's Over featured the tracks "We Fcuk" and "Hotel Costes." ~ Neil Z. Yeung