Image via Jason Anthoney Wright
Jason Anthoney "JAW" Wright is a multitalented British artist whose talents range from singing to being an established actor. Hailing from London, he is widely recognized both in the UK and across Europe for hits such as "Reset 2 Zero," "I Wud If I Cud," and "No Me Without U." He also stars as the lead in a renowned BBC TV show, The Monastery.
FHM: How Did You Get Into Music And The Arts?
JAW: "When I was 16, I sang with a group called MC's Logik and we produced a successful record called "Peace & Unity." We were invited to be the supporting band for Queen Latifah and Monie Love's European tour, which was a lot of fun and very eye opening. This was also when I got my first taste of how ruthless this industry could be. I was raised by my grandmother who passed away last year in May. She was the main inspiration for me pursuing my dream to work in the entertainment industry as an actor/singer. She was always positive about me pursuing my dream. She encouraged it and was my biggest fan. After the QT & ML tour, I took a little time away from music and went to study a music management course. When I moved to London, I started to pursue the entertainment industry again in my late 20s."
FHM: What's It Like Overcoming Dyslexia, Both As An Artist And In General?
JAW: "You know this is very dear to me. For a long time I thought I was stupid. I used to sit in class and wonder why I didn't understand what the teacher was saying. Luckily, I decided from quite a young age that even though I didn't understand everything, I understood something. I understood I had feelings. I tried to understand what I felt when I listened to music or watched a film or TV show that touched me or challenged my thought process. I discovered what I liked and what I didn't and how it made me feel. I allowed the expressive thoughts to guide me, with no judgement or fear. This was when I knew that I was a creative person and my outlet was my voice. From that day on, I learned to appreciate the strength of my consciousness."
"I was in my mid-30s when I was diagnosed with dyslexia while finishing my business law degree top of the class. It was like the clouds had opened up to allow the sun to shine on my face for the first time in my life. It finally sank in why I understood somethings straight away but not everything. My grandmother always said to just try your best and that will always be good enough, and that’s what’s been driving me forward. And she was right."
"So, now I am an ambassador for a children's charity called CEW Foundation. It is important to educate not only children and young adults, but also their parents. Many people are suffering without proper diagnosis or support. It is important to see that learning difficulties and mental health issues are nothing new, and that we have better understanding and tools today to help us manage and even thrive with our conditions. Learning difficulties or mental health issues should not prevent anyone from actualizing themselves. One can still be a successful doctor, lawyer, artist, businessman/woman, and the list goes on. Many people had to overcome something challenging and stressful to become who they are. They learned how to make it work for them and so can we. It is imperative for FHM readers to know that you are not alone, which is the theme of my single."
FHM: We Also Know That Buddhism's A Huge Influence In Your Arts. How'd You Get Into The Practice?
JAW: "Funnily, it was by chance (nothing is ever by chance). I did a TV show for the BBC called The Monastery. I starred in a leading role as the guy that worked in the entertainment business, a publisher. The back story was how spirituality helped individuals from different backgrounds progress in life. One of the monks would do a daily meditation session with us. This was how my interest in mediation started. I wanted more, so when the program finished shooting I began to practice regularly."
FHM: Do You Think That Has Influenced Your Arts And Overall Outlook On Life?
JAW: "For sure, without a doubt. My whole outlook on life and my artistic life changed. It was as if the fog had started to clear and for once I was seeing much clearer. I wanted peace in my chaotic life/mind and the only person who could give it to me was me. You could say it was my calling to spirituality. My artistic view point shifted to a selfless creative process. I could help others with my arts and music. My practice helps me view life from a calmer viewpoint and accept that life will always be challenging. Buddhism has helped me to be more at ease with myself and allows me to not let my ego run wild. It gives me awareness of what problems my ego can cause if not kept in check. Instead of obsessing about who I am, it helps me focus and be aware of who I want to be."
FHM: Your New Single Single's Really About Something Deeper And Collective. Where'd Your Inspirations Come From?
JAW: The inspiration for "You're Not Alone" came from the TV show Made In Arcadia. I am a part of the creative team that wrote it. This show is about when a young adult and his friends first learned that being different from other young adults can be positively beneficial. They discover that having learning difficulties (e.g., dyslexia, ADHD, autism), mental health issues (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar, schizoaffective disorder), or gender identity issues do not have to be prison sentences but possibly a gift that can help them soar to unimaginable heights. It also addresses bullying at every level, be it at school, in the work place, or anywhere else.
It is important for us to know we are not alone. That other people are going through some of the same things we face on a daily basis. It is important that we work together to give some relief and be compassionate and understanding towards those who are suffering.
"You’re Not alone" will be released this coming March 20th via JJJ's (The3Jays label). It will be available via iTunes, Amazon, Tidal and all other online music retailers. Find out more at http://officialmrwright.com/.
Lead image via Jason Anthoney Wright.