Eight-year-old St John’s Wood rapper set to be a big hit

Youngster through to finals of UK talent competition after gaining praise from rap superstar Ice T

With a song introduced by world-famous rapper Ice T, a prestigious agent in Sylvia Young, and a place in the regional finals of a nationwide talent competition – eight-year-old Jay Heyman has already experienced success beyond his years.

The St John’s Wood resident and Year 4 George Eliot pupil has more than 5,500 hits on a YouTube video for his debut rap single My Name’s Jay Heyman.

Now, competing in the 16 and under category in the Open Mic UK competition, Jay has made it through the first round to perform in a head-to-head battle for a place in the national grand final.

Jay’s father Preston Heyman said his son’s move into the world of rapping was an unexpected one.

He said: “It started when we were listening to a cassette a friend of mine had given me.

“We were listening in the car and when the cassette turned over the song started playing backwards and it sounded like the drums were saying ‘chip shop’.

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“Jay was about three-and-a-half at the time and he just started rapping about a chip shop. After that every time we were in the car we started writing lines and it went from there.”

Mr Heyman, who has worked with the likes of Kate Bush and Tina Turner during a career as a music producer and drummer, said he writes the songs together with Jay.

Recording the tracks at their home studio, the pair are about a third of the way through Jay’s debut album.

“I really enjoy working with Jay,” said Mr Heyman. “It’s great. He’s a lot of fun to work with.

“The last thing I thought was that he would start rapping but I love it. I think he’s very good at it.”

The biggest coup in Jay’s short career came when he met US rapper Ice T while performing on the TV show All Star Mr and Mrs.

The Abbey Gardens resident impressed the rapper so much that Ice T agreed to introduce him in his video.

After performing in front of his classmates in school assembly, Jay said his friends think his rapping is “really cool”.

“I want to be a rapper when I grow up,” he said. “I like it because it’s fun.

“I felt a little bit nervous in the competition but I’m really excited now. I think I can win it.”

n To watch Jay in action visit www.youtube.com/therealjayheyman.