“Pay attention to detail. Everything matters in this industry. The quality of the packaging and artwork is important. The quality of the studio that you record in is important. It’s easy to overlook the fine details or to save money by neglecting the fine details, but these fine details are crucial to the success of your brand.”
Check out the interview with J.Morgan exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
J.Morgan: I’ve been professionally recording music for 8 years. Age 10 is when I wrote my first rap song, but I never had an opportunity to actually perform it for anybody other than my mom and my sister. I knew very little about hip hop culture, but my music idols at that time in my life were 2pac, Dr.Dre, and Eminem. 5 years later I discovered that I could freestyle rap.
At 15 I was moved to a new city, San Bruno, California, where I knew absolutely no one. I ended up making friends with some kids who knew more about hip hop than me and began showing me all aspects of it, not just what was played on TV. I realized that this type of music had so much history and technique to it and fell deeper into love. Hip hop is a way for me to find truth in myself.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
First off, you must practice. It takes 10,000 hours to be a professional at something. Although musicians make it look easy, you must remember that this takes time and repetition. Pay attention to detail. Everything matters in this industry. The quality of the packaging and artwork is important. The quality of the studio that you record in is important. It’s easy to overlook the fine details or to save money by neglecting the fine details, but these fine details are crucial to the success of your brand.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
I am forced to wear many hats. Not only am I a musician but I also am a manager, promoter, investor, stylist, director, director of photography, record label, and etc. I have been forced to fill a lot of roles myself due to being an independent artist. Slowly I have been able to build a team that helps me fill necessary roles. It can be challenging to put in your 10,000 hours in each profession. I want to dedicate all of my time to being creative, but sometimes I have to take the musician hat off and wear another hat.
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
It is important that you have an internet presence. Making sure that your website is current and informative. Once you’re online presence is established then you must actually go out and show people what you talk about online is in fact happening and that your movement is a real thing on and off the Internet. The best advertisement is live shows, but you must have content on the web so that once you captivate a crowd they can go home and look you up.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and it’s one of the most diverse regions in America. We have a huge pool of underground hip hop artists. There is a hip hop show every single night of the week. I urge any hip hop fan to make it to the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco on any Sunday night. The fans are die hard.
A negative thing taking place in the Bay Area and in San Francisco is gentrification and if you listen to the lyrics of a lot of SF natives you will hear the pain and anger about this. Most San Francisco natives are being driven out of the city by tech companies and land lords looking to capitalize on the demand for housing in the area.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
Making music and rocking stages. I see myself on bigger platforms delivering my art. Big projects are planned for 2016 and 2017.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
I grew up listening to mostly rock n’ roll. My all-time favorite band is still AC/DC. Between the ages of 10-15 is when I started venturing into hip hop music mostly because it was the most popular music amongst my classmates. It is really hard to pick one hip hop artist who inspired me. I will break it down to three artists from 3 different eras of hip hop. My three artists are Rakim, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
I think music has never been better. Music artists can be whoever they want to be. We do not need a record label shaping us or controlling our content. Artists have complete creative freedom.