Upon first meeting Jared, I was quickly taken in by his smile and exuberant personality. Bouncy and animated, he began to explain an important volleyball hit by motioning with his arm and exalting, “like a cobra people, like a cobra.” Spend a full three hours getting a volleyball lesson from Jared, and your cheeks will hurt from chuckling so much. Then and there I knew I’d follow this guy anywhere. He just has an energy you want to soak in, like the sun, into the very core of your being. And long after he’s gone, you’re still smiling at the crazy things he says, or what seems to be an unmatched positive outlook.

Jared teaches beach volleyball in the evenings and has a part time gig that uses his endless energy, but what really drives Jared is his music. Finding his love early at the tender age of seventeen, Jared knew it was in his blood. Moving to Nashville after college, in search of a record deal, Jared pursued his dream. Several years later and only one original band mate, Jared moved again to LA still searching for that perfect agent. “When you live in a creative world, you have endless possibilities. I couldn’t give up” Jared explains. The proud author of one CD titled “Several Shots at Redemption,” Jared pursued the LA rock scene hard. “We played some of the best places here in LA, but just didn’t find the success we wanted.”

Something needed to shift. “About a year ago we decided to just play local, in our own back yard. With a tighter economy, we just couldn’t afford to travel as much,” says Jared. Living in the South Bay meant much smaller venues and crowds. “The band had to scale down a bit too,” Jared explains. ”We took on more of an acoustic sound trying to play with less instruments, haul around less gear. Be less excessive.” A funny thing happened after that. The songs started to lend themselves to a different kind of sound, a more upbeat, inspirational vibe. “Smaller venues are more intimate and it seems my song writing reflected that. I started writing happier songs. Sure, as musicians you just love to write that juicy, deep heartbreak song but that isn’t what people want to hear right now. They want to hear that everything is going to be ok. Music helps us forget about the news for a minute, takes us out of our element and people need that escape.”

Jared was the first musician to sell out at a local music venue called St. Rocke in Hermosa Beach. It was his CD release party and they were turning people away at the door. “Jared is an artist that in the music business we find rare” says Allen, owner of St. Rocke. “He is pure of heart with his music, is complex through his simplicity, and actually touches people with his performances. He's the only local artist I know who has the front row lip-syncing his lyrics.” Jared and his band play more then ever now, securing a regular spot at St. Rocke.

I’m reminded of the story of The Beatles in their early days of playing in Hamburg. It was the couple years before they became a sensation in the United States. From 1960 to 1962 the Beatles traveled to Hamburg five times, playing 5-8 hours a day, seven days a week. Their manager explained that they were no good on stage before they went to Hamburg, but they were very good when they got back. The old adage of practice makes perfect seems to ring true. They say it takes about ten years of practice to really master your craft. If we were to do the math on Jared Young, I think we’d find he’s right on target.

A few more …

About the currency project

The Currency Project challenges us all to see the beauty through the pain, the positive that can come from a negative and the heartbreak that can turn into a new beginning. Life is uncertain but our faith, hope and love can never be taken from us. Our true currency in life is what we make it.