“The hardest challenge is being an independent artist and finding balance in my life. Sometimes my workload can be very overwhelming with all the responsibilities I have, but I work hard to get everything done.” – @jskillz1
Listen to the interview
Episode #309 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/03/24/episode-309-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW JSKILLZ
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
I enjoy the music business. I would say the hardest challenge is being an independent artist and finding balance in my life. Sometimes my workload can be very overwhelming with all the responsibilities I have, but I work hard to get everything done. Now that I have expanded my team, things are going a lot smoother.
I love social media. It’s opened a large platform for independent artists. It used to be you would have to try to get signed by a record label in order to have a music career. Now all a person has to do is invest in their craft, release it online and with the right work ethic can become very successful on their own. I think the biggest challenge in the beginning is finding what platforms work best for you and keeping up with all the new ones that come out.
Singles vs an album…
I feel right now it’s definitely a singles market but both are very important for different reasons. The goal of a single is to get you a large enough buzz that will attract people to purchase your album. When making an album everything record has to fit the theme of the title of the album. In my opinion, a single gives people a glimpse of who you are but with an album people can feel an emotional connection to who you are.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
I would love to meet Teddy Riley. He’s a genius at what he does. It would be amazing to see how he works in the studio and to learn what inspires him to create his own sound. I love the New Jack Swing sound. It’s very inspirational to see someone create their own lane instead of following the current trend. I have always wanted to have a New Jack Swing beat from him.
Hip Hop Trends…
In hip-hop especially right now it seems like everyone is trying to sound like each other. Most of my musical influences growing up come from 80’s and 90’s Hip-Hop and R&B. The originality of the artists and the variety of the music really inspires me to create my own sound and be creative with my music. I’ve never been someone to do what everyone else is doing.
I am most afraid of not reaching my full potential.
My personal definition of success is..
doing what you love and being in your control of your destiny. Graduating college with a Bachelor’s degree and making the honor role was a great success for me. During this journey there were a lot of setbacks and disappointments but I never gave up. In early 2014, my grandmother passed away from cancer. One of the promises I made to her is that I would graduate college at the end of the year. Graduating college was something that was always important to her for me to accomplish. As much of pain I was in I had to fight through it to make sure I kept my promise. I had so much negativity around me from family and friends and people not believing that I could do it. At the end of the year I made it happen. Walking across that stage and knowing I went above and beyond and kept my promise was one of the best feelings in the world.
My over all goal for my life & career is…
to continue to be successful in life and achieve all the goals I have for myself. Also just make my family, friends and fans proud.
3 Ways that I challenge myself…
1) Every song I’m trying to improve my craft and reach new audiences in the process. As an independent artist consistency is key. That’s how I’ve been able keep my fan-base growing throughout the years.
2) Every project my goal is to take things to the next level each time. I want my fans to be able to hear the growth each time I release a project. This builds anticipation for me because my fans know I’m very consistent so they can expect a great body of work from me.
3) I challenge myself to apply a new marketing technique each time I release and add it to the ones that have been successful over the years. This helps me build my own personal formula to make sure I’m more successful with each release.
I began pursuing my music career in 2005…
as a part of a rap and R&B group I founded called Midtown Underground. We formed the group in high school during our sophomore year. Before the group formed, my friends and I would hang out listening to rap music and free styling. I received a lot of positive responses so I decided to try my hand at writing and producing my own material. After that, Midtown Underground was formed. Our group became well known in the local rap scene and got signed to Ensemble Records that same year. We had a pretty popular hit called “This Is Midtown”. The group released five singles and a mix tape before eventually separating and venturing off into solo projects in 2006.
is about enjoying music no matter where you are if you’re at home, in your car or in the club. As soon as the song comes on I want people to have a good time.
I was going through all the “Positive Vibes Only” songs and I felt I needed one more record for it to be complete. I was searching for beats and came across a producer named J.Demers. As soon as I heard the beat I knew that was the one I needed. Once I got the beat I went into the studio at my place and laced the hook and once that was finished I did my verse shortly after. I told my friends Young5earch and Zig-Zag I had a record I wanted them on. Once I got both of my friends verses on the record we all listened to it and knew we had something special.
My latest EP, Positive Vibes Only…
was released in December 2015. I feel that “Positive Vibes Only” is more than a EP, it is a movement and how I feel I represent myself as an artist, positive and inspirational. To date I have released three singles off the project, “90’s Kid”, “Taste Of Victory” and “Gonna Get You”. All three singles are currently trending on Reverbnation and other popular social media networks. I just released the video for “Taste of Victory” and it is doing very well. I am really proud of this project. This is a very exciting time. I really feel blessed to receive all the positive responses. Positive Vibes Only is available on my Reverbnation, YouTube, Facebook Fan Page, SoundCloud and my official website jskillz1.com.
I’m from Davenport, Iowa…
It’s apart of the Quad Cities metropolitan area located in Northwest Illinois and Southeastern Iowa. The population is roughly 400,000. It’s about 175 miles from Chicago.
In my opinion, many of the hip-hop artists in my area typically follow the current trend or sound that is popular at the time. There are some great local artists that choose to create their own sound to diversify themselves from the crowd. I just recently moved to West Des Moines, IA. The vibe is nice here Des Moines is the capital so there are many business opportunities here for musicians.
The one fun thing I like to do is travel. This new project “Positive Vibes Only” is inspired by my first trip to Miami, FL. When you first drive into the city there is a certain vibe you get like you can just accomplish anything at that moment. The lifestyle seems really fast paced but everyone is really chill. I definitely look forward to going back.
Social Media Links:
Just Vibe SoundCloud Link:
Taste Of Victory Music Video:
Positive Vibes Only Album:
Official Website: http://www.jskillz1.com/
Official Jskillz App: http://rvrb.fm/11tbTA8