Remarkable People 2021: Jay Miah, Tampa Bay entertainer

Jeremiah Pagan, whose stage name is Jay Miah, has never conformed to the status quo. When his mind is set on something, rest assured he will persevere until it manifests.

Two years ago, Jay left the retail career to pursue professional singing. His voice has the healing power to unlock people’s hearts and simultaneously open their minds. Jay made a commitment to himself to always live in integrity no matter the opportunity.

This enlightened rebel has been living his authentic self since a choir director told him at 11 years old that “boys sing tenor, not soprano.” Jay’s parents sensed the choir director was trying to clip his wings and supported him changing churches.

Jay is designed to break barriers and carries a sense of freedom everywhere he goes. You can be standing beside Jay while sharing a completely different worldview and simply be inspired by his courage.

One of his superpowers is choosing to lead through influence. For 10 years Jay found refuge in the drag queen community and found comfort using this creative art form – and in April 2021, he accepted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He auditioned for a digital singing competition where thousands of people uploaded auditions.

“Alter Ego” on FOX flew Jay and 49 other singers out to L.A., where he was judged on his voice and not his appearance. Only the top 20 singers made it to the live studio recording, had an opportunity to create a digital avatar and be featured on a national televised platform.

Jay proudly made it onto the top 16 singers before being eliminated. He was the voice behind the artificial intelligence avatar named Nevaeh King. Nevaeh is “heaven” spelled backwards and King is the last name of a beloved friend Jay tragically lost to suicide.

By name, the digital avatar Nevaeh King will forever embody his friend’s spirit as Jay continues to break the stigma around ending workplace bullying. He chose to share that story on national television before singing a powerful song to the competition’s high-profile judges, Grimes, Alanis Morissette and Nick Lachey.

The “Alter Ego” experience was a humble reminder to be comfortable in your own skin because what others think of you is not your business. Jay has always had the ability to think independently of any given circumstance and that is how he fearlessly inspires others to live their authentic self. As he always says, “art has many forms.”

To view the full list of Watermark’s Remarkable People of 2021, click here.

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