His earliest and most impressive encounter with music was at the age of five when he attended his first live concert to see the legendary 'Earth, Wind & Fire'. Jay recalls, "The thing I remember most is seeing Verdine White suspended sideways in midair playing the bass and I remember saying to my mother: 'I want to do that'." Jay began his musical journey at the age of nine on the electric bass in his hometown of Houston, Texas. His bass being stolen after only a short while, by age 11 he turned his attention to the alto saxophone and played until the age of 14. Once again, misfortune struck as his horn was unfortunately stolen during his freshman year in high school triggering the burial of his passion for music.
Some of his greatest influences include the aforementioned EWF, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Gil Scott Heron, The Ojay's and Teddy Pendergrass just to highlight a few. He credits his rekindled passion for music to artists such as Jill Scott, Maxwell, Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, his introduction to the traditional sound of jazz while living in Iceland and a band of individuals from Iceland called Jagúar.
A career in basketball first led Jay to Iceland in the spring of 1998. He bounced around Europe and the Middle East briefly finally setting his base in Iceland in early 2002. He attributes the amount of spare time one has during the day as a professional basketball player in Europe as a huge factor in his reconnecting with the saxophone after a 15-year absence. While visiting his hometown Houston, Texas in the summer of 1999 between basketball seasons in Iceland, he purchased a stack of music books and took the time to dust off his saxophone playing skills once returning to Iceland.
American/ Icelandic singer, songwriter, producer and instrumentalist Jay Nemor (Jason Nemor Harden) is deeply connected to the very roots of soul music. He comes with a smooth and soulful style that is in touch with the classic sound of soul & RnB. He imparts a passionate message for life, love and music with his signature bass-baritone voice.
Fast forward to 2003, a friend and member of the aforementioned
Jagúar, Dadi Birgisson, encouraged Jay to try-out for a Motown-tribute
to be staged locally in Iceland not as a saxophonist, but as a vocalist.
It was during this Motown Revue that Jay Nemor rediscovered his passion
for music. He recalls sitting in a club in downtown Reykjavik listening to
classic soul and R&B music when a friend and revue colleague posed the
question, "Why don't they make music like this anymore?" At that moment,
the wheels in Jay's mind began to turn and he decided he wanted to
rediscover the essence of that old school sound; however, with a modern flavor.
A few days later he borrowed a casio keyboard from that same friend and current
songwriting partner, Kenya Emil, purchased yet more books, and began learning
some music theory basics. Eventually, he developed a few ideas and shortly
thereafter, in the fall of 2004, he and Kenya Emil teamed up to form Kenya Nemor,
now known as Kenya & Nemor.
Two distinct events happened to Jay in 2013. First, he decided to pursue a solo release and secondly he found himself on the theatre stage with a local Norwegian theatre company called Nordic Black Theatre. He has landed roles ranging from musician, narrator, actor and most recently as script writer. Jay's biggest theatre feat to date involves writing a script in conjunction with the theatre's director Cliff Moustache for Nordic Black's presentation titled Ol' Man River: The Life, Times and Muisic of Paul Robeson. In addition, he shouldered the task of playing the lead role as well as the daunting task of singing a selection of the formidable Robeson´s song catalogue. Most recently, Jay has been cast to play the role of a villainous goon in the upcoming Hollywood feature film Jessica Frost set to premeire in 2017.
Plunging his way into several artistic endeavors, Jay Nemor is pressing forward in his quest to carve out a space for himself in the world of arts and entertainment.