JAHKOY has popped up onto the music scene just the way all new young talent does—out of nowhere. He’s just 21-years-old. He took a leap of faith by moving to LA at just 20 with no plans and just a fan’s couch to sleep on. We were lucky enough to speak with this incredibly talented dude and hear a little bit about what makes him so unique.
You’re from Toronto. Do you think your background has given you a different view of music than other American artists?
Yes for sure. There’s a difference in texture and direction, and especially in the market. Once I left Canada, it was a new country and I was exposed to so many different things, a different environment, and different music operation, but it all inspired me. It really had a big impact on the way I view and feel music. You moved to LA on your own at 20. If you could give 20 year old you one piece of advice looking back at that decision, what would it be? If you ever think about it, just do it. A lot of times thinking talks ourselves out of it. Thinking brings doubt. When you execute, you just do it, and think about it after. I decided I wanted to move to LA, I booked the ticket, and I was gone. If I had thought more about it I would’ve talked myself out. It was all about the risk… I saw so much that could’ve gone wrong but I needed to take that risk to follow my heart and speak my soul.
Tell me a little about how having Pharrell as your influence shaped the music you make.
That’s always been interesting. I grew up with Ye, Andre 3000, and Pharrell as the only 3 guys I felt like were truly creating and stepping out of the box and avoiding the norms in music. Seeing that in my earlier music days really inspired me and was influential because I wanted to create new stuff, and most people don’t like new stuff, especially music, until its right in front of their face.
You started writing and making music at just 11 years old, tell me a little about the first poems you wrote that would eventually turn into your raps.
Oh man, I don’t even remember! It was definitely for school in English class. I didn’t think much at the time, but I just kept writing peoms to blow off steam. I read a lot of Shakespeare, and he told stories as if he was feeding you lyrics from his own songs. A lot of Shakespeare influenced the way I write and see music. Reading it was honestly the greatest thing to happen to my music. My first rap song was actually a rap/love song called “Fall In Love”. It wasn’t supposed to be a rap at first, just a love song/poem, but that’s just the way it sounded best.
We here at The Musies are HUGE fans of Disclosure. I need to hear the story of your first time seeing them, and how did that reshape your style of music?
I had actually just flown in to Toronto, and my friend invited to a show to see Vic Mensa because he was opening for some group, so my friend told me to come have fun. I had actually just dropped my last rap album, and was like “Okay, Vic Mensa is cool. Let’s go.” That night I experienced a new sound that I didn’t pay attention to or really know. It was SUPER dope. I didn’t know who they were or what they did, just the name Disclosure. Vic killed it, and then all of a sudden these guys had a sold out show and I was like, “They’re just house producers”, but I was listening and I said to my boy, “Yo they don’t even have songs with real lyrics, just production!” I was like they don’t have words, I wanna rap on this and make something different”, and that completely changed the way I wanted to make music.
Be sure to keep your eye on this guy as he continues to ascend in the music world, and check him out on iTunes and SoundCloud.