“I’m known throughout the dance world in NYC, California, and Germany. Since I know a lot of dancers I get them to make videos to my music via Facebook.”

Check out the interview with AJ Jonez exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
AJ Jonez:
I actually started taking music seriously in 2009 while I was overseas in the military. A group of guys in my unit would play instrumentals after watch during long days and just speak their minds. I always knew I could rap since I was a kid, but I never took it serious. I was more into acting and FLEXN dance battling growing up. I got out of the military in 2012 and started pushing forward with my music when I got back to New York.

What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
I’m known throughout the dance world in NYC, California, and Germany. Since I know a lot of dancers I get them to make videos to my music via Facebook. I also use all my military connects to send my music to friends and former soldiers in different states and countries.

What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
I think the greatest challenge in in today’s entertainment industry is originality. A lot of artists sound alike. I’m from Brooklyn. When it comes to hip hop and rap using someone else’s style won’t get you any love. But hey, that’s just my opinion. I will continue to be original with my sound and one day make it to the top.

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 New York City will always be live and direct. There is always an event going on somewhere so getting to perform is usually a plus. Only bad thing I would say is that everyone wants to be an artist today. Finding what makes you stick out and true is all you have to find.

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 feel that a lot of music today is self-destructive. I feel artists being in the lime light should do more for communities. We are the answer that fans seek, they are having a bad day and want to overcome any troubles in life. I feel artists should pay more attention to that.

What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Always be true. Find out what your sound is and run with it. Don’t get caught up in the industry politics. Go as far as you can independently.

What inspires you to write your next song?
I usually get inspired by everyday life. You listen to my music and I promise every word is true and written by me. I might ask my producers ES, HITMAKERCHINX, or GENETIK what they think about the lyrics before we lay down a track. Usually it’s a go, but hey they always keep it 100% with me and let me know if its whack.

What are the steps you take to make a song?
If I come up with a hook then I’ll look in my phone of endless rhymes to see if I’ve already written a sixteen that goes with it. Or I’ll write a new line and then go through my phone to substitute a few bars of punchlines I haven’t used in a song yet. If I start with a beat then I just let it take me away.

What do you think makes a great song?
I feel the emotion put into the song makes it great. I’m more about what I say and how I say it over a beat. Sometimes the beat is so powerful you can’t out do the magic your producer creates. That’s why I got my top 3 producers, all are dope and accredited.

Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/aj-jonez
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ERAGANGJONEZ
Twitter: @ANIMAL_ERA
Instagram: @ANIMAL_ERA