“With today’s marketing and advertising strategies, I’d suggest choosing one platform and building a fan base from it.”
Check out the interview with YF JR exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
YF JR: I always dreamt of being on stage; performing, acting, doing all kinds of stuff. My first ever performance was during a school show back when I lived in the Middle East. I had performed a playback song titled “Solo” by Iyaz and the vibes and energy coming from the crowd had me hooked. The last year and a half has been a fast learning phase and because I was so passionate about chasing my only dream, I manifested what I wanted in life and now enjoying the journey.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
I get a lot of messages from kids my age and younger telling me that I inspired them to start doing what they love or even simply doing something that they would never dare to try. If you want to do something in life, no matter what it is, you have to start by believing that you can do it. Once you really believe that, keep doing it and trust yourself.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
As an independent artist, I have to manage everything. From producing my own tracks to mixing and mastering to dedicating time to fans and social media. It takes a toll on you. I try to do all this while trying to keep a high GPA in college and supporting my family.
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
The best way to promote and advertise your music is to put it out there. I don’t care if you have to message all your friends and tell them about it. With today’s marketing and advertising strategies, I’d suggest choosing one platform and building a fan base from it. That way, when you decide to move to other platforms they will have your back.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
I lived in Burlington, Ontario in Canada for 3 years before moving to Toronto. My city is not generally known to have good hip hop artists coming out of it, but everybody is working and hustling to reach something which is what pushed me to strive. As for my fan base, they are unique. I honestly think those who support me are considered family to me.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
A year from today the goal is to be on tour debuting my first ever album, even though I will still be in college. I get a lot of questions about whether I’ll drop out or not if my music blows up. Not necessarily. Getting a degree is not hard nowadays, and it’s honestly what gives you a label as an educated person.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
My biggest inspiration is my father. Coming from Egypt with nothing, he sacrificed to provide me and my brothers with the best education possible. In the music world, Russ is the only artist that I have seen make it from nothing. Seeing another artists with the same passion and work ethic is not only inspiring, but gives you that sense of hope.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
Music today is way too saturated. I can’t listen to a song without thinking “damn this beat hard” or “what is he saying?” This to me is hype and the reason a song or album can become obsolete in a matter of days. It’s very hard to find a mainstream hip hop/rap song nowadays that has lyrical value and meaning, and that needs to change.