“The challenge I’ve faced over the years was being heard … What it took was time, a whole lot of planning, consistency, a whole lot of patience and hard work. From that point I started to learn how to carry and market myself and build up my social skills.”

Check out the interview with J-RIEL exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
J-RIEL: I’ve been writing songs since the age of 13 and learned to produce at the age of 14. It wasn’t till I was 23 that I actually started performing live gigs locally around Los Angeles and networking.

What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
With music plans also come photo shoots. Over the years I’ve gotten used to the fact that this is a visual generation so I have photo shoots done to promote any upcoming music I plan on releasing and create my own fliers to promote all over social media. On nights where I’m performing locally I bring several copies of my Anger Of Angels EP to hand out after my performances. Just recently I created my very own website for my listeners to catch my upcoming events and releases along with pictures, videos and my music.

What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The challenge I’ve faced over the years was being heard. When I began I wasn’t getting any support from friends and it was taking a while for strangers to warm up to me. What it took was time, a whole lot of planning, consistency, a whole lot of patience and hard work. From that point I started to learn how to carry and market myself and build up my social skills.

How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
In my hometown there’s a whole lot of talent in every part. What I love is the talent I’m surrounded by brought out my competitive side and made me creative in an attempt to stand out to listeners. The tough part about being an artist where I’m from is that there are so many artists that a lot of potential listeners are too jaded to pay any attention to local artists. That’s why coming up with your own way of standing out is very important.

Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
I believe it’s going to continue being more about business than art. The industry no longer sees talent as a requirement and I don’t think they’re about to. Any artist can be a part of it with or without talent as long as they have a strong marketing game. Nowadays we have a lot of advantages such as social media, blog sites, and a variety of promotion companies. Only time can tell what advantages up and coming artists will have in the future.

What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
To any upcoming artist my advice would be first and foremost understand the business you’re getting into. You can be the greatest at what you do but still be unheard of if you don’t have a business plan for your product. And another thing, stay committed. Building your name is hard enough, rebuilding it is even harder than you can imagine.

What inspires you to write your next song?
My songs are inspired by a lot of my own experiences and desires. There’s a lot I express in my music. I like putting the listener in my shoes so I’m very descriptive about anything I write songs about down to every little detail.

What are the steps you take to make a song?
Considering I am both an artist and a producer it can go 2 different ways. The instrumentals I create bring out a lot of emotions that make me decide which one of my many experiences to write about. On the other hand if I am right off the bat feeling a certain way about a certain situation in my life I write the lyrics first and create a beat as if I was creating a movie set to this lyrical narration. One thing about me is I’m very picky about my own lyrics so songs that I feel have a really high potential, I usually take time and write several rough drafts to one song before deciding “these are the words I’m going to use.”

What do you think makes a great song?
Originality, suspense, authenticity, delivery, and being able to craft an unforgettable sound. Like I said before standing out is very important if you want to make music that will always be remembered.

Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Official Website: www.j-riel.com
Twitter: @Riel_SLoppy_Jay
Instagram: @j.riel
Facebook: J-RIEL
Soundcloud: j-riel-1
Datpiff: Metal 2 Metal
YouTube: J-RIEL