This next artist’s ability to tell stories through lyricism and rawness is unmatched! Although he recently dropped an album depicting who he is, we were able to get an even closer look! The DMV AUX presents to you, the one and only, industrious Hip-Hop artist, jA.AM.
JA.AM pronounced (Jay-Ay-Em) stands for, “Just an Alias Making Music,” which is also his initials. He doesn’t claim one specific place rather the entire DMV due to growing up and experiencing life in all areas. “I moved around a bit, but I also have family in all states and spent significant time with all,” he stated. As a young boy, jA.AM shared he enjoyed simply walking to the corner store to purchase snacks and playing basketball.
JA.AM's start in music came from freestyling with his mother at home as a toddler. A few years later, at the age of eight, jA.AM started writing raps, “I would write about my immediate environment and what I was going through, whether it was eating pancakes with family, or playing basketball; just dumb things,” he stated with a laugh.
At the age of 16, he didn’t have access to a recording studio, but a friend gave him a microphone and informed him of what software to use. He then found himself recording music in his basement inside a closet. “While learning, it was tedious, but I figured it out over-time because if you want it bad enough, you're going to do it,” he stated.
Musically jA.AM pulls inspiration from many legends like Jay-Z, Michael Jackson, and his grandfather, all possessing exceptional work ethic. “My grandfather doesn’t make music, but I love the way he carries himself, so I like to do the same. I pride myself on having a great grandfather,” he stated.
His exceptional work ethic truly doesn’t stop there, when it comes to his musical style, jA.AM differentiates from others through use of perseverance and staying creative. He’s always thinking critically so verses come to mind easily, whether he’s walking down the street or simply getting ready for bed. “I don’t stop because I don’t like creating the same type of music, I'll get bored from it,” he stated. You can notice his creative change by checking out his past album ‘Can’t Stop Gotta Get It’ under his past artist name, Joe Lyric, compared to his recent album ‘jA.AM’.
In light of the DMV music scene, jA.AM loves it; in a past interview with UnderGround Hip-Hop Blog, he mentioned the “DMV is a force to be reckoned with,” and it’s safe to say, that hasn’t changed! He stated, “There's a lot of trap music, but we also have mainstream artists like Ari Lennox, Shy Glizzy, GoldLink, in addition to underground artists like José and KoraTheArtist.” He admits, anything you want musically, you can get it in the DMV.
JA.AM’s biggest accomplishment so far has been founding his very own label, Forever Apex Entertainment in 2014. Forever Apex Entertainment, according to its website, “Consists of a growing team who are completely dedicated to the mission of branding and marketing their artists, as well as merchandise.”
Interestingly, he stated his biggest accomplishment was, unfortunately, his biggest downfall; While establishing his label, jA.AM faced challenges and had to regroup a few times in the process. He stated, “It’s frustrating, but if you believe in your passion, you're not going to give up.” Two years from now, jA.AM aims to expand his brand, produce more visuals, and grace the stage of many more venues!
When it comes to advice for aspiring artists, jA.AM urges artists to truly understand the business side of music and to value quality over quantity. “Start with what’s on your heart and go from there. No matter who you are, after recording, you're going to sit down, listen a few times, and notice what went wrong or right.” Overall, jA.AM believes everything is mere practice, and you will evolve with time and patience.
Read more about jA.AM with a closer look below.
What’s your favorite/most slept on song of yours?
I really can’t pinpoint just one song because it all depends on how I feel. For example, yesterday it was ‘GoGo’, then ‘Exhausted’.
My most slept on songs will have to be ‘GoGo’, ‘Respect The Come Up’, and ‘Blue Gems’.
What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve deals with individuals who repeat themselves too much; I heard you the first time.
What’s one thing you wish you didn’t have to pay for?
I wish I didn’t have to pay for any bad debt, ie. student loans, car loans, etc.
Would you rather Win $50,000 or let your best friend win $500,000?
I would take the $50,000 and flip the money for all of us. We’re all going to eat for a fact!
This first thing I’ll do is buy property right here in D.C.
Would you rather be an extreme couponer or an antique hoarder?
I would rather be an extreme couponer, because I see people all the time coming out with bundles of things for like $2.00.
Say your at home and a natural disaster is coming, you have to evacuate immediately, what 5 items are you taking?
First thing first, my laptop! - I’m grabbing my backpack, cell phone/charger, car keys, and my wallet.
Magnified Topic of the Week: JA.AM’s mixtape “jA.AM”
This mixtape starting at the title is signifying to the audience the rebranding of the new and improved artist, jA.AM. In the past, jA.AM would rap over other individuals' beats, but with eager and passion, he wanted to show that he is more than capable of making his very own beats with the right producers.
After listening, jA.AM hopes the audience can relate on a personal level and moderately understand who he is. Listen to jA.AM’s top three, ‘Exhausted,' ‘Ice Cold’ feat. De’lise, and ‘Can U Get Away?’ It’s getting chilly outside, so grab a warm blanket and hear out this well-executed mixtape completed with straight vibes!
Check out jA.AM on all streaming platforms and click play to watch jA.AM’s very first vlog!