After a busy year full of successes with the Beltones— including winning first place in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella semifinals — Jacob Metoyer has taken a step back from a cappella for his senior year, instead turning his focus to making music of his own.
“I loved the Beltones, but the thing I learned most from them is that there’s no better feeling than making music with people,” said Metoyer. “I’m really focusing on writing this semester, I’m trying to put more time into my art.”
When Metoyer — a native of Chicago — was growing up, his father played guitar and introduced Metoyer to many of his original influences.
“He always played Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, Stevie Ray Vaughan and The O’Jays,” said Metoyer. “If I ever had nightmares or couldn’t sleep, he would come in and play those for me.”
Metoyer was also inspired by his Creole heritage, which helped shape his musical style.
“Being Creole ties into my influences a lot, how I write and what I write about,” said Metoyer. “That culture is so unique and so special because there’s such an amalgamation of people. Our values are very family oriented and very social, so that plays a part in who I am as an artist.”
After growing up around music, Metoyer came to Belmont to refine his skills.
“I was really interested in expanding my knowledge about songwriting, because I didn’t know much about how to do it, I just wrote,” said Metoyer. “I loved singing growing up, that was my first love, then I started writing for myself, so coming into Belmont I wanted to continue that learning of what makes a great song.”
A defining part of Metoyer’s songwriting growth was taking lyric writing on a Maymester in Ireland last summer.
“We went to an Irish writers round and talked to some Irish songwriters there, and they brought a certain perspective I hadn’t thought about,” said Metoyer. “We’re so fortunate to live in a place where the entertainment industry does very well. There’s so much that goes on in the states and especially in Nashville, and they helped give me some perspective that while the industry is still so hard, we really do have an advantage being here.”
Since returning from Ireland, Metoyer is ready to fully utilize all the resources Nashville has to offer.
“I think my favorite thing about Nashville is that it’s a very blended city in terms of influence and music,” said Metoyer. “There’s a lot of different kinds of writers and influences here, both in and out of Belmont, that make it such a unique city for music making.”
For his Office Concert, Metoyer performed two original songs: “Parasite” and “Infected.”
“They were both written around the same point in time,” said Metoyer. “One of them is about being in an unhealthy relationship, and the other one is about falling in love with someone and them taking over your whole being. They kind of talk about the same idea but in different ways.”
Metoyer has new music in the works and plans on releasing an EP in the near future, but for now, make sure to catch Jacob’s Office Concert, coming out Wednesday.