J.VEN Smith

J.VEN Smith

J.VEN Smith

Born in Racine, Wisconsin -- J.VEN was raised in a series of foster homes, the first of which made a huge impact on him. His foster mother, Brenda, had him join the church choir and got him into piano and voice lessons at 8 years old. Through these lessons and weekly mass, J.VEN discovered his passion for performance and continued pursuing the arts. It was that same foster mother, Brenda, who (several years later) would take J.VEN to his first audition for P.L.A.Y. Productions' (community theatre) Oliver. From then on J.VEN knew that being a performance artist was his path.

After graduating Park High School he would go on to attend NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in the Meisner Acting program. Due to financial constraints J.VEN was forced to take a year off of school -- during which he worked as a server to fund his first recording at CRC studios Chicago. J.VEN was then accepted into USC Thornton's School of Music where he is finishing his Popular Music emphasis in Vocal Performance B.M. degree.

J.VEN has recently released his collaboration with producer Christofi on "Don't Need You" a song which he has co-written and performed vocals on. "Don't Need You" won an A&R contest through Discovery Project and Insomniac Events and was featured at Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) 2016.
Los Angeles, CA

Recent Submissions

J.VEN Smith submitted media.

Barely Alive by J.VEN

Jared Losow

Initial reactions: Your voice is good - you know what you're doing in that regard. Production here is solid and I really like the cadence of the chorus.

Sonically, this sounds like a lot of pop music, but the production is a bit more interesting. It has a sort of "vacuous" quality to it which I, as a fan of IDM and ambient music, am really taken with. The production also serves the dynamics of the song very well; I like the way the drum patterns and orchestration build with each repeated verse/chorus.

From your social media, it looks like you're already working on some radio promo. I would amp up the social push, throw some money at FB/IG ads. Getting some great video content would be crucial for that as well, and generally very helpful especially for this genre. Plus, you're a handsome dude so your face should be everywhere you can get it. Even the art for this single...you should be able to see your face on it. That's more likely to attract attention/clicks. After you've spent some time building up your social numbers, an exploratory 6-week press campaign would serve you well. 

I would also work on collabs with fellow artists. Network, get some remixes done by friends (or commission some from pros), see if you can get a featured spot, etc. Your style is ripe for that kind of stuff and you never know who is going to take off when. It can't hurt to share your talents during the formative stages of your career.

Altogether, this is a great track and I really like what you're doing. It's pretty obvious to me that you're a talented individual...hopefully lots of other people figure that out too! Thanks for sharing your work with me; I look forward to seeing what's next for you.

Andrea Young

Major talent comes through here immediately!  The production is not our style/taste, a bit too produced for us, but that doesn't take away from the songwriting and performing brilliance of it.  You've got what it takes to make it, I can envision hearing you on top 10 pop radio at some point here truly, and we rarely say that.  Sorry its not for us but thanks for your submission, good luck with your music!!

Brian Hazard

You've got a fantastic song here! The whole package, really. A beautiful soaring voice, tight harmonies, up-to-the-hour production, and a catchy song with an anthemic chorus and a universal lyrical theme.

The tribal-ish electro break might just be my favorite part! It breaks things up nicely and re-grabs your attention, just when you think you know exactly where it's going.

Love the artwork too.

Now to complain a little, because that's what I do. 😜


“Barely Alive is about facing the feelings I had for someone and recognizing that I was hurting.”

I don't think you could be more vague! That could be used to describe any song, ever. I'm looking for something catchy — some elevator pitch — to make people click play on social media.


“Barely Alive” is the first song I released this year and I think it’s really indicative of the kind of music that I’m creating right now.

Well of course it's indicative of the kind of music that you're creating right now! It literally is the music you're creating right now! It's like making a sketch and saying, "that looks like something I'd draw" 😂

So again, you've got everything going for you with the product. It's the pitch that's lacking! 

In the future, please include the lyrics. I didn't see them on your SoundCloud either. That would've helped me come up with a way to pitch it on Twitter — which I WILL do right now.

Thanks again for sharing this with me!

Autumn Reeser

I like the opening to the song a lot, great intro!! I like the chorus, too and that it changes up right about the time the song starts to edge toward being too repetitive. The structure works. Great cover art, too, it fits the vibe of the song perfectly. 

David Choi

Solid pop writing. Great melody, hook, and verses. Track sounds great. This is definitely ready for the charts. Vocalist is great. The only thing I could say about it is that it could sound a little less "safe" with both melody and track, but overall, I feel positive about this song.

Alan Cross

Fabulous voice! Very soulful and full of emotion. Great production, too. I have nothing to say in terms of a critique.

Good to see that you have links on all the platforms necessary for getting your music out there. Now it's time to start making friends with influential bloggers. This is also the kind of stuff that might work well in TVs and movies. Time to start making the rounds of music supervisors. 

One final thing: do you have a radio plugger? A plugger can be very helpful when breaking through all the noise and landing your song in front of radio people who can make a difference to your career.

Bob Lugowe

Beautiful song and accompanying artwork. This sounds very fresh and relevant but also honest and from the heart. I would suggest including the artist name and (Official Song or Official Track) after the song title in the youtube header. You should also expand on your bio a bit so people know more about you the artist, what motivates you and how you got your start. The song description is great, perhaps consider including the lyrics as well. 

If you're looking to grow your audience, I would suggest considering making a music video for your next single and/or hiring a publicist to help work your next album or single before it is released. Make sure to try and play live with acts that are larger than you are in the region (open for touring aritsts, do a small run with a bigger or equal sized band) and get to know the important players in your scene in order to build a larger profile there. Make sure to work on networking as much as possible so you can get your music out to as many people as possible and keep up the good work.