“One of the greatest challenges today is probably all the new styles and sounds that come out every other week and I always feel I gotta keep up, but I’ve opened my eyes and realized I already have a unique style and to just sit and wait my turn.”
Check out the interview with J.R. James exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
J.R. James: Growing up poor with 5 siblings wasn’t easy. I used music as an escape, I would write and write every day until I started recording actual records and the feedback I’ve gotten was mad love. From there I started this journey and now I’m doing records and shows with people like Shawnna, Young Buck, Mario, Freeway, Stalley, Trina, and Freddie Gibbs.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
I would go out to open mics or big concerts in town to network and pass out merch. But most of the time I would use social media and stay consistent.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
One of the greatest challenges today is probably all the new styles and sounds that come out every other week and I always feel I gotta keep up, but I’ve opened my eyes and realized I already have a unique style and to just sit and wait my turn.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
I represent 3 cities because they all played a major role in my life; Chicago, Joliet, and Hopkins Park. The music scene is very competitive in it’s one way. What I don’t like is that a lot of artists are looking for the same sound and image not knowing it decreases the chances of being recognized.
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 think lyrically hip hop is coming back. I feel there’s going to be more J. Coles, Kendrick Lamars, and Jiggas. I love all music, but my heart is in hip hop. I’m more excited for the artists that are actually putting visions in my head when I listen to them, meaning there actually talking about something or telling a story. I feel music will play a major part in life on bringing us together as a whole.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Times will be hard. You will see friends come and go. You will see the people who care and the ones who are just around hoping you make it so they can leech off you. But you gotta stay strong and keep moving forward. Go after every opportunity, always give 100%, treat people with respect, stay true to yourself, and stay consistent.
What inspires you to write your next song?
I write off how I feel so it depends on what I’m going through. It could be something I see on the news that would make me wanna write or just a thought on life.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
I would pick a topic, then find a beat that would fit the actual subject, hum a melody, then fill it with words and tell my story in the verses, bridge it out, and mix it.
What do you think makes a great song?
Most importantly to me is the content because you can have the best beat in the world but if you’re not talking about anything, it means nothing.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Official Website: www.iamjrjames.com