Hey Jalen! So excited to be chatting with you! You just released your debut full length album “Divergent” & it’s awesome! I love it!! What do you hope your supporters will think of the new album?
Thank you so much for having me. Hope my supporters love the album! I want my supporters to enjoy the story and play “Divergent” from now to years to come. My goal has always been to grow, and I strongly believe I did that with this project.
Can you tell us the backstory of this album? Does it have a specific theme?
Well at first before quarantine, I had already finished a cut of the album and was fully satisfied and prepared for its release — then the pandemic happened. The quarantine was the best thing that could’ve happened to me because it allowed me to record new music without distractions which ultimately improved my album immensely. I replaced every solo song on the album with a new one I recorded over the quarantine.
Do you have a creative say in your music? Did you help write all your new songs?
I have a saying, and it’s only one word: “EVOLVE.” I write all of my own music, so with each song I record I can tell that I’ve “Evolved” since my previous record.
What’s it feel like to be releasing your own original music?
Honestly, it feels amazing to release my own music. With no restrictions, no delays, no excuses, I’m able to release things about whatever I’m going through, or whatever is going on in the world.
What led you to create a full album in this time of mixtapes and EPs?
Funny enough I wanted to do an album because it kind of spoke to me in a way. The next stage after any EP is an ALBUM or mixtape. I had already done both, a mixtape and EP. I felt it was time to take that big step and create and release a complete album.
Where did your love of music come from?
My love for music developed at a VERY young age. I started singing in the church around 3 or 4, and later discovered Michael Jackson and became inspired to be a musician.
Will there be a music video for any of the singles off the new album? If so, can you tell us about the concept of the video 🙂
There will be a lot of visuals, but for details, you’re going to have to stay tuned.
What’s been the pros and cons of pursuing your music career?
The pros of pursuing music for me has been learning from different musicians, engineers, and producers. Also being able to constantly put out content I am proud of. The cons of pursuing a music career would have to be people underestimating your ability to grow, and to become a better artist. So many people just simply don’t believe in you. Sometimes even people in your circle, which you have to look out for. I use it as motivation! Prove them all wrong.
Is there anyone you want to thank that’s helped you get to where you are today?
If I could thank anyone I would thank God. For blessing me with the abilities to do what I love and blessing me with parents and a family that believe in me just as much as I believe in myself. And thank you God for already having my future written out. What’s for me is for me, and no one can take that away, in Jesus’ name.
What do you think makes your fan community/fandom different from others?
I feel like my supporters have just really been down for me since day one, even when my music was trash, people still supported me because of my constant growth and the potential they saw. Thank you to media outlets like Teens Wanna Know and Teen Music Insider for covering me from the early days as well!
How would you describe your fans? – what’s three words you would use to describe your fans?
Three words to describe my supporters would be, REAL, MOTIVATING, and INSPIRING.
What do you want your message to be towards your fans? What do you want your fans to take away from your music and shows?
I want my supporters to know: I APPRECIATE YOU ALL. A lot of my supporters was riding with me from the moment I started releasing music. A simple thank you will never be enough to thank all of my supporters. I want them to take away happiness and excitement from my shows and music. I’d also want people to be in their feelings sometimes lol
What do you want your fans to know if they ever see you in public?
I want my supporters to know if you ever see me in public, I don’t bite. I love taking pictures with people that appreciate my work. Feel free to shout my name and ask for a photo or anything, I’d be glad to take a picture.
What’s something your fans don’t know about you?
I listen to a range of different music from Héctor Lavoe, to Gabby Barrett, to Michael Jackson, to Chris Brown, to the ‘Hamilton’ soundtrack. I do this because I simply enjoy it and because it helps improve my artistry.
What’s one word you would use to describe what your fans have allowed you to accomplish?
One word, I would say “everything.” I’ve progressed so much because of how inspiring my supporters are.
With an already massive fanbase your fans must they have a name for themselves. What do your fans call themselves? And How did that fanbase name catch on?
Honestly, I haven’t really given them a name, but when I do, they’ll be the first to know.
Many of your supporters are starstruck when they meet you Have you ever been starstruck?
I have definitely been star-struck. I met Chris Brown when I first came to LA and I barely could get anything out. At the time I was a big fan and I barely could say my name lol
Is there anyone in the music business you are dying to meet?
I’d love to meet Beyonce, Lucky Daye, JOJO, and Kehlani! Hopefully I could collab with all of them one day!
Why do you think social media is so important for teen artists like yourself?
Social media is important for teen artists today because that’s what people are connecting with. People are finding new artists, new ideas, and etcetera via social media.
What would you say is your biggest dream/goal right now?
My biggest goal is to develop longevity in the music industry. I don’t want to be a one-hit-wonder. I don’t want to be known for one great project and then fall off. I want to be in the discussion with the greatest musicians of all time.
Any last things you want to tell your supporters?
The last thing I wanna say to my supporters is:
THANK YOU FOR RIDING WITH ME, WE ONLY GOING UP FROM HERE
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview!