I have been speaking with J Lndn...
about his single, Like Me, and what its story is. I was eager to know what sort of music inspired him and how he got into the business; which albums mean the most and what he has planned coming up.
J Lndn talks about his plans and tells me how he unwinds away from music; if there are any tour dates coming up and if he has a favourite memory from his time in music – J Lndn reveals whether he has anything to achieve by the end of the year.
Hi, J Lndn. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey. The week’s been pretty stressful, not gonna lie; have a lot of stuff to deal with my university, been cooped up in the studio like every night just working on my new releases; making new ideas and trynna innovate my sound.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I am nineteen-years-old. I was born in Cali; never lived in the U.S. my whole life till this year. I grew up in three different cities: Moscow, Dubai and London. So, just a year ago I moved out of the U.K. to Boston to pursue my music career here. So, unlike a typical rapper - which reps only one city - I tend to represent all three. I’m currently a student in college and I’m also a boxer. Other hobbies are I enjoy reading about other people’s cultures, history.
Like Me is your debut single. What is the story behind the song?
I wouldn’t say there was actually a story behind that song. I was more addressing a statement to the public and others in the Rap game. I felt that my first single should have been a little more self-centered. This song was to establish myself in the industry and portray the message of ‘to look out for someone like’. This was mainly directed to the people who didn’t believe in me or my passion for music and thought that I had nothing in the bag - that soon those who doubted me are the same people that are going to be praising me for my art.
In this song, I’m laying out my ambition, my dedication and I’m shutting down and addressing those who had no hope in my career. This is one of a few songs I would consider ‘selfish’ since it’s all about me. However, most of my music doesn’t evolve around that subject. I wanted my debut to be about self-empowerment.
Can you give me a sense of the artists you grew up around? When did music come into your life?
As a little kid, I grew up listening to a lot of Jazz, R&B; Funk and Blues as those genres would always be played in my house or the car. I started listening to Rap/Hip-Hop at the age of eleven. It was mainly Jay-Z and Eminem who put me onto this genre. At the age fifteen, I would be freestyling after school with my friends however I never took it seriously; it was more of a joke.
At seventeen, my best friend bought me an e-drum kit and I just started making beats from there. Surprisingly, music production is where my passion for my career roots in. I would always consider myself a producer first and then a rapper. After efforts of experience, I established myself as a producer for other artists but the more I made beats the more I felt the need to flow and rap on them. Hence, why I’m here now in my Rap career.
My biggest influencers are Biggie Smalls, Nirvana; Kanye West, Nina Simone; J. Cole, Eminem; Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar.
You were born in California but spent time in London. How important was your time here?
Actually, I have never lived in Cali I was born and then six months later my family moved to Moscow where I spent my childhood there. Then I moved to Dubai (this is where I developed an interest for Rap); then I moved to London, which was one of the most important locations I would say for my music as this is where I really got inspired to start my sh*t.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
By the end of 2018, I want to establish myself in venues in my local area. I want to slowly start spreading the word to the public about me.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
Yes, I do. I’m planning to expand my venue capacity release. Two more singles and perhaps release an E.P. or an album.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
One of my favorite memories was when I was making music in Dubai on my vacation. I started linking up with a lot of local artists there and they have inspired me a lot to make my music. At the time, I was going through a rough phase in my life. Although it was rough, it benefited my music a lot (I made hella dark songs at the time).
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Yeezus - Kanye West
At first, when I heard this album I HATED it. Like zero interest, man. But, something kept telling me to listen to it again and again and again. Until I started loving this sh*t. This album, by far, resonated with me most. It was an experiential album from Ye as he never made that type of music before. And the courage to experiment really attracted me to this artwork. I’m also very picky with my sound and music so, when I hate something, it’s very rare that I come back and listen to it. This wasn’t the case for this album.
Blonde - Frank Ocean
When this album came out, I was in a dark place of my life and this album helped me out. I went through a phase of about three months where I would only listen to Frank Ocean. Sh*t was crazy. Nevertheless; every time I listen to a song off this album I feel like it takes you into another world and makes me reminisce on some memories that I had and some memories which I never had before. This album is crazy man.
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. This was just Kendrick’s (Kendrick Lamar) classic album. By far his best piece. Talked about the struggle, ambition and how gang violence doesn’t make you a real person. This album inspired my Rap style and music to this day.
As Christmas is coming up; if you had to ask for one present what would it be?
I don’t really celebrate Christmas due my culture but, for the sake of the question, if I had to choose a present it would be a new pair of boxing gloves. I need to replace mine A.S.A.P.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I feel like, in order to be successful with regards to this, this would require a clear vision for that musician, confidence in yourself and that musician and trusting the work input.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Trust the process. Do not rush anything.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
Unfortunately, not yet. I’m planning to release much more music (like, two more songs) then my team and I will start planning to get up on some venues or perhaps to open up for a big name. We’ll get there don’t worry (winks).
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Yes. I would suggest you check out El Léon. We got a lot of collab work coming up. And, to be honest, if any upcoming artist has some sh*t on me that’s 100% him. His bars are dope and the delivery is even better. Go check him.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Yes, I do. For me, in order to shut off from this process I either box, chill with my boys or go out for a dinner (maybe a club here and there; I don’t want this lifestyle to distract me). I also use reading books as a way to detach. It kind of helps my brain to relax and, at the same time, get inspiration for new ideas. I fu*k with museums too.
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