4/20 is, for many, one of the happiest days of the year. But this was not the case for veteran celebrity publicist and record producer Jonathan Hay last year. Instead of blazing with his extremely cool clients and friends (a list that includes Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Rihanna and Dr. Dre), Hay and his daughter were being held at gunpoint and abused by a couple of criminals who had broken intro their home in Louisville, Kentucky.
It was not the death threats that marked Hay, though. What really took a toll on his mental health was seeing his daughter being pistol-whipped and fearing for his 14-year-old girl’s life.
While many would turn to counseling for comfort, Hay turned to music and weed instead. “I didn't go though any kind of counseling or therapy, although I was strongly recommended to do so. I chose to personally heal through cannabis and music,” he said. “Cannabis tends to help calm down my Type A personality and help me relax. It definitely helps with my creativity.”
Aided by a Yocan Evolve Plus wax vaporizer he uses every day, Hay has managed to cope with trauma and turn his suffering into art. Last January, Hay and his partner Mike Smith released “Jazz [Deluxe]” under their band name, Smith and Hay. The LP, which reminds one of the great “Guru’s Jazzmatazz” series, hit the #1 spot on the Billboard Jazz Charts, probably aided by the numerous celebrity collaborations, featuring Kxng Crooked, Ranna Royce, Cyhi The Prynce, Royce da 5’9”, Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey of Parliament Funkadelic, DJ King Tech of Sway and Tech, among others.
“I'm loving wax right now and it's all I really inhale it seems. I don't get buds much anymore; it's pretty much all wax all the time. However, just saying this out loud now is making me really want some good buds,” he added, laughing out loud. “Before I got into wax, I was almost always crumbling and using the Volcano Vaporizer, filling up the bigger bags. I always had that in the studio and the artists would always gravitate towards that it seems.”
Jon Hay’s daughter Iliana Eve (a.k.a. Ana) also turned to music for comfort. She’d become pretty notable before the home-invasion of April 20 on the back of a viral song, “Kylie's Daddy” and Snoop Dogg’s support of her work. Taking advantage of this open channel, and as a means of catharsis, Iliana Eve recorded a track for her father’s “Jazz [Deluxe]” album, a heartbreaking rendition of Elvis Presley's “Can't Help Falling In Love.”
As 4/20 approaches, Jon reached out to Civilized.life to extend an invitation to get stoned with him under the Tampa, Florida sun. "Looking forward to this 4/20 for sure to celebrate life. My daughter and I are lucky to be alive after what happened last April,” he ended.
We’ll certainly be there; let’s hope some of his other celeb friends swing by as well ;)
Keep tuned in.