“Research other artists’ journeys. I can’t stress that enough. I don’t mean their discography, I mean their story, what their ideology is. Get to know them best you can. Learn from their journey and hopefully you will find your way. Music is a large community and to be honest I don’t respect everyone’s music, but I definitely 100% respect the journey it took for them to get there.”

Check out the interview with Jus’ J exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Jus’ J: I was able to start it really because of the internet. It gave me the opportunity to submit my work to a publishing company a few years ago and it was accepted. They put my album in their catalog and that’s really how it all started. All I can say is: thank you internet!

What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
Creative ways? I use Reverbnation as a multi-tool for promoting myself as an artist. The vein of music I’m creating is influenced by a lot of different sounds which helps it stay unique.

What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The biggest challenge is being patient. You could try to recreate the sound you hear on the radio and playlists but how would that define me as an artist? So to overcome that, I just stay true and be patient. Lending my voice to tracks and other people’s work is cool, but my projects, like the one coming up in 2016, has a distinct sound. It’s not just hyperbole, get excited everyone for Jus’J.

How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
The music scene in my hometown Hammond, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois is underground; nothing but quality everywhere. Mike Golden is from my hometown and was featured on Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment’s album Surf in the song called “Go.”

Philos Cult, another hometown Kid produced a track for ASAP Ferg titled “Perfume” from his recent mixptape. Al Koleon, CoJack, Liptak, and LivFree are a few that create a diverse and electric scene of musicians, artists, and emcees.

Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
The future of music is going to go back to songwriting. Right now it’s all about speed. How quickly you can cut a song, get listeners, and reach short term goals of radio play, YouTube views, or Soundcloud followers. Songwriting going forward is what will give music its direction like it usually does.

How can artists be a part of that future? Start writing more of your songs on your own. No ghostwriters, no “as made famous by” tracks. Make it your own.

What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Research other artists’ journeys. I can’t stress that enough. I don’t mean their discography, I mean their story, what their ideology is. Get to know them best you can. Learn from their journey and hopefully you will find your way. Music is a large community and to be honest I don’t respect everyone’s music, but I definitely 100% respect the journey it took for them to get there.

What inspires you to write your next song?
What inspires me could be a lot of things. Emotions drive my writing. If I am angry I drown myself in my anger and write. If I am happy I immerse myself in that emotion. I also love being at a show and becoming a part of the energy the artist gives to the crowd. Current events also drive my writing. Mass shootings, police shootings, refugee crisis, and political corruption. It all drives how I write. I just ride along with it.

What are the steps you take to make a song?
It’s a process that is evolving constantly. The first for me is visualizing a scene, or image, and trying to describe that image to the listener if need be. If it’s more centered on real world events, I just try to be true to what I feel and what I think is important. Once I write the song, I practice, rehearse, and perform it a lot at home. Once that’s done, I go through some other steps business wise, but that’s the gist of it.

What do you think makes a great song?
Sustainability, a great song lasts forever. I refer to great songs as classics. I get some artists are constantly putting out work, but I think of songs people still listen to from 10 to 20 years ago that are relevant to multiple generations. Music that transcends is what makes a great song to me.

Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Reverbnation: @jusjmusic
Twitter: @jusjmusic
Snapchat: @jusjmusic
Instagram: @jusjmusic
Facebook: @Jus’ J
Soundcloud: @Jus’ J
Tumblr: @Jus’ J
Jango Radio: @Jus’ J

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