Artist with OI: Jay Manuel aka “Mini producer”

Interview with Jay Manuel, Music Producer and Content creator, Georgia, USA

Meet Jay “Mini Producer” Manuel, a music producer and content creator based in Georgia, USA. Despite being hard of hearing and living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type 3 and Autism, Jay has dedicated his career to breaking barriers and representing young professionals with disabilities in the music and industry.

Please tell us a bit about yourself!
I am 27 years old, I’m currently living in Georgia, and I am an Entrepreneurship major. I am a full-time music producer and content creator. I’ve worked with thousands of independent recording artists from all over the world. I’ve created content for brands such as Coca Cola, Amazon, Snapchat, and more.

How does OI affect your daily life?
My OI and dependence on a power wheelchair impact my daily life, particularly when it comes to transportation. Networking online is more convenient for me, and going to events or business trips requires more planning. Additionally, I experience chronic pain, so I rest on worse days. I bulk record and schedule social media content to maintain consistency.

Can you describe a little where and how you live?
I live with my parents, grandmother, and fiancée, but we plan to move out on our own in the next year or so. Before the pandemic, I lived in an apartment, but moved back to my parents’ home when things got serious. I don’t drive because I don’t enjoy it and it overwhelms me. My parents drive me around and I pay them for it. I used to use transportation services, but they’re not available in our current area.

Are you active in an OI-organization – which and how? If no – why not?
I don’t participate in an OI organization because I’m busy with my music and content creation career, but I make content about my experiences with disabilities. The OIF has featured me on their Instagram before, and I’m now collaborating with companies and other creators to talk about disability-related topics.

What was the scariest situation in your life?
The scariest situation I’ve had is when I fell out of my chair while I was working on campus. I did have to ride in an ambulance and had to get surgery down the road for the arm that I had broken. I had also broken my femur as well.

mini producer Jay and fiancee

What was the happiest moment in your life?
The happiest moment in my life is when I got to meet my now fiancée Pamela in person. It showed me that it was not only possible to travel by myself, but also that I could have a loving relationship with someone outside of my family or friends.

How did you discover that you wanted to become an actor and music producer?
I discovered that I wanted to be a music producer because I had a family member that had music equipment. This got me interested and I ended up getting my own software to start producing music in when I was in high school. Ever since then I’ve been creating beats and working with artists. When it came to becoming an actor, I always have seen myself being on TV and movies. Creating content has allowed me to explore what that looks like. I’ve done skits and even acted in various projects. I love what I get to do because every day is different.

In what way does OI affect your creative works?
The way OI directly affects my creative works is when it comes to my chronic pain. Some days are worse than others, so I have to rest which means I’m typically not working on anything. Also, OI affects how people perceive me in the world especially since I’m a little person as well.

Are there issues you must struggle with in your job due to your OI and autism? How do you compensate?
Even when I face obstacles due to my OI and autism. I’ve just learned how to adapt and overcome any given situation. That’s been the biggest key to my success so far.

Do you have a dream project?
I don’t have a specific dream project. I’m more so just excited to be experiencing the great things that life has to offer. I’m looking forward to being able to connect with more brands, individuals and be involved in opportunities that align with my morals and values. I love being able to impact others in a positive way and as long as I get to do that, I’m happy.

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