Olympian Will Claye is used to making big jumps, but this latest leap could be the biggest yet.
Claye, who lives and trains in Chula Vista, is now exploring a new career path as a rap artist. He recently released his first album, “Look What You Created,” a collection of songs bridging several genres from rap and hip-hop, to hints of reggae and influences from classical jazz.
“I feel like the music I make gives people a good impression of who I really am and gives some insight to Will as the person and not necessarily Will the athlete,” Claye told NBC 7 on Thursday.
Claye, who has three Olympic medals including two silver medals and a bronze from the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, took some time off from track and field following the 2016 Rio Games.
A music lover who grew up singing in the church choir, Claye started recording songs in a friend’s studio.
“I let some of my friends hear them and they were like ‘Dang, this is really good you should put it out,’ cause most of the time I make music but I don't put it out," he said.
The songs have since taken off on popular music sites like iTunes and SoundCloud, with some getting hundreds of thousands of plays.
"I've had my music come on as I walked into a store and it was weird because I didn't know if they played it cause they knew who I was, or they just played it; it was weird," said Claye.
But just because Claye’s music career is on the rise doesn’t mean his Olympic career is ending.
At just 25 years old, the long and triple-jumper still has plenty of time left in athletics and is already looking forward to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
His personal life is also in a sweet spot. Olympic fans may remember his public marriage proposal to his girlfriend in the stands at the Rio Games, which went viral on social media.
Still, Claye said his music is now also more than just a hobby. It’s something he wants to pursue to the highest level.
“I want to be seen as a person who does these different things, I run track, I make music, I design clothes and I think we all as people are more complex than just one thing,” said Claye.