Within the walls of Franklin College, there is a man pursuing his dreams one song at a time. He works from his dorm room, perfecting the beats of songs that could lead to fame. In years to come, his name could appear in brilliant lights as Jacob (Jay See) Odom takes his place on stage.
Odom, freshman from Paris, Tenn., said he considers music to be a big part of his life and has from an early age.
“Music has always been a passion in me since I was four,” Odom said. “I started playing drums and ended up marching them in high school. Being involved with music since I was little has helped make me into a better person all around. Music is always going to be a part of my life regardless of if it’s rapping or not.”
Odom began mixing and producing his own music seven years ago, when songs like “Inside Peanut Butter, Outside Jelly” and “Walk It Out” became popular. After deciding there was a place in the music industry for anyone with the ambition, Odom started from the bottom and worked his way up.
“My first mic was a $10 Logitech from Walmart,” Odom said. “With no equipment to do anything of quality, I ended up getting a karaoke machine and would walk around recording songs on a cassette tape. I finally got some equipment, and now I use Mixcraft to record and Fruity Loops to make the beats. I have a Samson c01u microphone with a shock mount and mic stand. I have a Sony system to make sure I have my levels right for each song.”
Odom draws his inspiration from those dedicated to the success of his record label, P-Town Entertainment. In an industry that often focuses on the mention of money, drinking and inexplicably asserting your rapper name in the first 15 seconds of a song, Odom provides an individually-tailored and refreshing spin on rap.
“I try to not be the stereotypical ‘white boy rapper’ you hear about,” Odom said. “I’m me and only me, and in my songs I speak the truth. I’m not going to lie and say I have all kinds of money when really it’s a blessing to be where I am in life. I’m the kind of person that is very humble and will be straight forward with anyone. Honestly if I have a strong feeling about something then I’ll mention it in my songs.
“I try to make my music different from the traditional rap. I don’t like being classified as being a gangster rapper or a drama rapper. I’m just an individual who tries to make a change in the way people view music as a whole. Being set apart from the rest is constantly going through my mind when I produce a song.”
Odom expressed his interest in spreading the word about his music, which can be found on his YouTube channel, JaySeeOfficial.
“I love performing and would like to get more involved in performing on campus,” Odom said. “Franklin ‘Go Hard’ Residential College (so named for Odom’s ‘Racers Go Hard’ video) is having a Halloween Party and wants my roommate Pierce Crider and I to perform. I got him to pick rapping back up and now he is one of my greatest collaborators on a song. He is such a big help to making this dream happen.”
Crider, freshman from Paducah, Ky., said he saw rooming with Odom as a chance to get his name out there. The two have shared tips on beat-making and rapping.
“Before I came to Murray, I primarily sang tenor and did very little rapping,”?Crider said. “The rapping that I have done in the past has just been recreational (and) for fun.”
Crider and Odom were inspired to write a song around the “fresh start” theme.
“The song consists of Jay and I rapping about negative events in our past that we have overcome,”?Crider said. “I sang the chorus as well that states that this is a new beginning, which then became our title, ‘New Beginning.’”
Odom said he hopes to book shows.
“Shows help the artist see firsthand how the crowd reacts to their music, and I believe that you should never sell yourself short,” he said.
Given the chance, students have the opportunity to become whatever they want to become – someone they always dreamed about being. Odom is an example of someone who gave himself a chance.
Said Odom: “I tell everyone to follow their heart and you can never go wrong. If you want something bad enough then you will persevere through any obstacles that come your way. Regardless of the situation, you can overcome and do anything.”