Born to sing God's praises, Jay-Is-Real (born James Immanuel Horn Jr.) began singing at the age of two. When his mother and father (Rhonda and James Horn) took him to a camp they were counseling at one summer, he began singing "Jesus loves me", disrupting the preacher's message. It was then that his mother knew that Jay would be her "worship child". At age four he began playing the organ and piano, and the harmonica soon after. A huge turning point in James life took place at a local VBS in Philadelphia Pa. It was then that James Gave his life to Jesus Christ and embraced his calling on his life.
James continued to participate in music at his church, including choir and singing with his family before multiple services. By age 12 he was writing poetry and soon began to compose songs. At age 14, James began to become interested in Christian Hip-hop and mainstream pop, and begin to write blending gospel and hip-hop literary styles with pop driven Instrumentals. In 2011, James began to record and write a gospel album, which he titled S.W.A.G.G (seeking wholly after God's glory). He began making plans to release the EP as an independent artist and released his single "Lead me There", which was recorded in his living room, as the promotional single. The Album officially released in January 31st, 2013, after nearly two years of in home recording and preparation. The EP did considerably well, and though not bringing in very much money, did rack up over 4,000 streams on spotify. The Pop/Dance singles Seeking and Surrender proved to be the most popular tracks on S.W.A.G.G, and Jay began to experiment with a more mainstream pop sound. Jay-Is-Real said in a conversation, "My whole goal is to bring the Pop sound into the urban christian and gospel community,as well as reach out to those who may be more likely to listen to dance or worship than my gospel tracks. It is also important to me to incorporate Hip-hop into my music and introduce christian rap to those who are unfamiliar with it, because it is a great tool for spreading the gospel". Later in 2013, Jay released his first mixtape, stronger faith, via soundcloud.com and mixtapefactory.com. The tape features gospel and hip-hop oriented lyrics with different mainstream pop samples. The singles for the mixtape were "Stronger Faith" which samples Diamonds by Rihanna, and Dance, witch features Christian rapper Jerich0 and sampled starships by Nikki Minaj. The samples helped him get small secular recognition in his area. In addition to this, he collaborated with Germ Griffen, Jerich0, and HIT SQUAD on the song "ready" , whitch was featured on Germ Griffen's Christian Experimental Hip-hop EP "The Whatever Trail". He also recored the song "Like David" and wrote 5 songs for Jerich0's Debut mixtape "Born to Win". He is currently in the prossess of pressing his first studio project, HOPE, and a summer 2014 tour to promote it. This EP will be heavily R&B oriented with Pop Infuences, worship, hiphop, and hints of his gospel roots. He hopes to reach more people with his new sound, embracing the "same message different presentation" model. On November 3rd, 2013, James Officially announced the start of his non-Profit organization, Royal Prince Entertainment. He and Jerich0 are the first artists to join, ait will become and official record label in September 2014. ON March 1rst,2014, Jay-Is-Real released his Royal Prince debut free project, "Here I Am".
In addition to a singer/songwriter, James is also a student at Messiah College. He is currently studying Secondary English Education, and hopes to be teacher and a youth pastor one day. His life verse is Romans 1:16, and his role model for life is his father, James Horn Sr. His musical influences range from both Christian and secular artists, Including Ty Tribbet, Kirk Franklin, Lecrae, Andy Mineo, V.rose, Tobymac, Usher, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and Ne-yo. HIs favorite hynm is in Christ alone, and his favorite song is My whole life changed by Lecrae.