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From a Tough Upbringing to Inspiring People through Music: Jay D’Abundo’s Journey to Becoming Revan

By Kody Boye

A man sitting on a couch looking out of a window
(Image: Revan)

My biggest hobby is music. When I’m around people, you will always see me moving to the rhythm, expressing my soul through the motions. These words, said by Jay D’Abundo, AKA Revan, describe his infatuation with the musical realm, hoping to inspire aspiring artists to follow their dreams and let go of internal limitations.

Escaping to the World of Music

Though his professional venture into music began recently, Revan reminisces of the times he would sit at the back of the school bus every day as he traveled to and from school, listening to music and getting lost in his own world. Even during his 2-year-long adventure with MMA, the only thought permeating his mind was: What will be my walkout song? While for some artists, the passion for music is sparked due to nothing but passion or talent, for Revan, it has always been an escape from the struggles of everyday life.

Growing up, Revan was forced to mature much too soon, prompted by his mom’s drug addiction, which exposed him to abuse and graphic scenes that left scars forever. Until the age of seven, when Jay was under his mom’s supervision, he got injured in six car accidents, most of which he had no seatbelt on. After legal interference, he moved in with his grandma, who was the polar opposite of his mom.

Limited by Control and Isolation

Scared of history repeating itself, she controlled Revan’s life choices, plans, and ideas. “I remember telling her I wanted to be a comedian once,” he recalls. “All she said is: No. You’ll starve. It didn’t matter what I wanted. I understand where she was coming from but, after years of witnessing an addiction, I was so shielded from the world, I didn’t even understand what it all meant.”

Unable to follow his heart, Revan felt lost and struggled to socialise, express himself, and form connections with friends and even family. “I felt like someone had created an image of me—relaxed, calm, quiet, conforming—and I had to adjust,” he shares. “I barely spoke at school and could never fit in. That carried on when I started working, making it impossible to ever feel truly happy and at peace.”

Turning His Life Around

Though challenges tried to bring him down, the fire within him never died, eventually inspiring him to take the bold step toward fulfillment, quit his day job, and follow music full-time. He wrapped up his previous life, enrolled at the annual Rolling Stones giveaway where they chose America’s next hitmaker, and developed a sense of immense confidence that kept pushing him forward.

Through all the ups and downs and against all odds, Revan remained dedicated to creating meaningful lyrics and touching melodies, hoping to touch the lives of others profoundly. With nothing but a microphone, his phone, and an app, he is able to record stirring songs filled with emotions, raw honesty, and inspiration. “I realised, there was never going to be the ‘perfect’ moment to start. I had to do the most with what I had,” he adds.

Revan’s Mission in the Industry

Revan, a passionate musician honoring his lifelong dream of uniting people through art, channels into his past traumas and unfiltered emotions, creating meaningful songs that carry a potent message. “I remember watching a video that said: Whatever you do, you have to allow yourself to be you. These words reverberate in my head every time I feel down, reminding me that I am, in fact, on the right path,” he shares. “There are only two things I want to achieve through music; first, I want to share the emotions that fill my mind and soul to inspire others and show them that the past doesn’t define the future; second, I just want people to feel happy. I want them to move their bodies to the rhythm, feel the electric sensation, and connect with themselves and others deeply.”

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