There's no telling what James Awosola, aka J4, will do next for his music career. The young, ambitious artist is always making moves!
Born in Nigeria and later migrated and raised in Newark, NJ, J4 uses his significant experiences and heritage to engineer his sound that will proclaim as one of today's modern Hip-Hop rising stars.
J4's passion for music began with a guitar at the age of 12. The instrument ignited his inner strive to explore the music spectrum. J4 mainly focused on his lyricism, developing powerful remarks on his life during the time. Clueless on how to take the leap, a friend introduced the young J4 to his first studio environment, witnessing the beauty of music creation. "I just liked the vibe of it. It felt good; it felt comfortable." The young J4 then took it upon himself, invested with his own hard-working money, to purchase all studio equipment to orchestrate his music. Fast-forwarding to the present, J4 continues to strive for the pinnacles he wants to reach. We managed to get a few questions answered by the rising star himself.
Who are your biggest influencers that got you to make music?
When I first came into the U.S., the artist that caught my attention to Hip-Hop was Lil Wayne. I enjoyed his sound. However, the artists that inspired me to get into the game was Future, Travis Scott. They are changing the game, the way to make music. Their sound inspired me to start working on my own. Even when you hear some of my songs, you hear a piece of the two sometimes.
How would you describe the music you create?
I would classify my music as a melodic trap, atmospheric rap music. However, I also create other genres. Right now, I'm making music for myself. I produce what I feel at the moment.
What is your creative process like?
When I'm by myself, I go on youtube and search for beats. When the beat drops, whatever pops up in my head first, is what I'm going to put out. Sometimes when I'm in Jozy's studio - shoutout to Jozy - I have lyrics written in my notebook that I bring with me, and I piggyback on that. And if the beat and lyrics fit perfectly, I go off on that if there's a spark. I don't always spend a lot of time writing. The majority of it is freestyle, melodic flow.
Who do you currently listen to the most?
Right now, I'm listening to a lot of Kanye. Nonetheless, he hasn't dropped a song in a while; his old tape 808's & Heartbreak is my favorite Kanye album because of his creativity on that project. That's the tape I'm listening to heavy. He inspires me to make timeless music. Kanye changed the music industry with the sounds he makes. No one gives him credit for that.
Is there a particular artist or someone you know you would like to collaborate with?
I want to make a tape with my brother - $L Badmon - who is also working on his project. I'm shooting for January 2021 to start a project with him. He's crazy with his music.
Which song do you feel is the best one you released?
So one of the best songs I worked on is called 'Cannot Wait.' For those that listen to my music, their favorite is ALD Freestyle. If I had to pick between the two, it would be ALD Freestyle. I feel like this song captures my style, fashion-wise, and captures the sound I aspire to create.
Is there any advice you want to give to anyone that wants to pursue a music career?
What I would say is not to follow a wave. It's tough not to do because of the society we live in. When an artist sounds hot, others want to mimic their sound to magnetize that attention towards them. There's nothing wrong with getting inspiration, but one should try to be as real and original as possible. Try to find your sound. And people will like that. People will appreciate that you're you.
What can you bring to the music industry?
I want to set a solid foundation in the music industry. I don't want to be in the pattern. I want to stand out, start my own wave. Whoever rides it, rides it. And those who don't, it's their loss. I will still be doing my own thing, regardless.
J4, as of today, continues to enhance his righteous path of becoming a music artist. With the works on his upcoming tape (title classified at the moment), the 25th-year-old is still exploring numerous ways to construct, mold into his own form, and execute the sound that he would want the world to hear. Being the first Ones to Watch member, remember to keep your eyes locked on him. He's about to fly.
Go follow J4. Listen to his two latest soundtracks here.