GET ON YOUR J.O.B 9-5
GET ON YOUR J.O.B 9-5
Interview by R. B. Jones – Photos by Nine5four Photography & JOB95
Do you work at the job of your dreams? Does your 9 to 5 pay you the money you deserve? Does your boss treat you with the respect you deserve? The answer to these questions by most people would probably be NO! But, I think we have found a job that everyone is going to really enjoy. There is a Hip Hop/Rap group out of Boynton Beach, Fla. that goes by the name of J.O.B 9-5 that’s setting the music industry on FIRE! These three young men are looking to bring new flava to the game with their brand of music. They are hungry for success and will not stop until they reach their goal. Tight beats, crazy flow, sick punch lines and energetic performances have built them a great following in South Florida which is now starting to branch out. Music is their job from 9 to 5 (thus the group name) and to be able to do what you love most as your job is the most rewarding feeling anyone could have. Here’s your chance to get to know the members of the group (J Sharp, Juso & Boom) and find out more about what they have in store for the listeners and the music industry.
What’s up fellas, how ya’ll doing today?
[J.O.B 9-5] We feelin good…feelin great! Thanks for having us!
Let’s begin with your group’s name. How did it originate?
[J.O.B 9-5] We initially called ourselves “JBJ” but there was another group out there making a name off of it already. So we sat back and J Sharp threw out there that we use the initials of our nicknames (J Sharp, Juso & Boom) and that’s what we did…J.O.B 9-5! It also plays off the fact that making this music is our 9 to 5 job and we work hard at it!
Very cool concept…and how did each of you get your nicknames?
[J SHARP] My name came from an old client Ray Goody out of ATL and his group 50/50.
[JUSO] My name came from a dream back in 2002 where I envisioned fans were screamin “Just O” which is short for my real name Olen.
[BOOM] My father gave me the name when I was younger.
How long has each of you been in the Hip Hop/Rap game and what sparked your interest?
[JUSO] J Sharp and I have been doin music since elementary school doing talent shows which is where our grind began.
[BOOM] I found music 4 years ago when I was introduced to J Sharp. The rest is history!
Each of you brings something different to the table with your talent to make this group click. Describe each of your styles?
[J SHARP] I’m behind the madness as the producer/artist. So besides being a group member, I have to keep the wheels spinning at all times.
[JUSO] I bring that charisma! I’m a wild man and no stage can contain me!
[BOOM] My style is very detail oriented with animated add libs. My style of delivery and timing makes me unique.
I’m interested to know who are your Top 3 artists/groups that you feel are hot in the game right now (male or female)?
[J SHARP] Imma go with Niki Minaj, The Dream and Drake.
[JUSO] Dylan, Dylan, and Dylan lol… Andre 3000, Lil Wayne and Gucci Mane.
[BOOM] For me I’d have to say Eminem, T.I. and J.O.B 9-5.
I know you all rep 561 (Boynton Beach) to the fullest, but where were you guys born as I hear a hint of the Islands in some of your voices?
[J SHARP] I was born in Black River, Jamaica.
[JUSO] I was born in Manchesta, Jamaica.
[BOOM] And I was born in Dayton, Ohio. But we were all raised in South Florida!!!
What are your takes on the industry right now? Is it moving in the right direction or do you feel that change is needed?
[J.O.B 9-5] We feel the industry is movin in the right direction. You got artist really saying something again and it’s starting to cause a domino affect. So J.O.B 9-5 is right on time because our music has a realness to it that’s unique.
You guys have been killing the club scene in your home town. How does the feedback from the streetz make you feel right now?
[J.O.B 9-5] Just makes us want to go harder, because this is the beginning of our journey and it is far from over.
OK, now let’s get to the meat n’ potatoes. Big thangs are poppin’ for this group. Talk to me about this mixtape you’re about to drop. What do you have in store for the listeners?
[JUSO] The mixtape is called, “The Application” and it has a nice mix of original and industry tracks, but with our J.O.B 9-5 touch! Lol
[BOOM] We just try and stay true to ourselves and have fun you know…gotta give the people what they want!
I’ve heard a few tracks off the CD and its BANANAZ…real talk! But there’s one in particular that’s drawing a lot of interest. Talk to me about the “Waste Champagne” track concept and why so many people are buzzing about it.
[J SHARP] It’s us anticipating that moment when champagne is everywhere and due to success, we just keep it coming…drinking it, sharing it, spraying it and wasting it…you know. It’s a celebration type vibe for when you achieve your goal like winning a championship.
I understand a promoter is trying to put a tour together for the group because of this track. Give us the 411.
[J.O.B 9-5] That’s still in negotiations so we don’t want to jinx it, but just know it will be BIG! So go to job95music.com in a couple of weeks and some info should be posted.
Now J-Sharp, you are known as one of the hottest up-n-coming producers in FLA. I’m hearing that you got some people on the West Coast feeling you too. What happened on your latest trip to L.A. my man?
[J SHARP] The last trip I took to Cali, I went on business to represent J.O.B 9-5. I had a few business meetings and closed the compilation deal with World Star Hip Hop. We convinced World Star to put us (an unsigned group) on the album along side such artist as E40, Too Short , Big Boi, OJ Da Jucieman, Snoop Dogg and many more. The overall trip was good and a lot of business was handled.
I also heard that you had an opportunity to go to the B.E.T. Awards while you were out there, but you skipped the show to fly home and finish a project you were working on with an up-n-coming female artist. Is this true?
[J SHARP] Well, God blessed us with the opportunity to be apart of the Compilation DVD for BET and World Star Hip Hop, but I did have some unfinished business with up-n-coming female artist Tranea Cannon whom I have been working with that need my immediate attention back in Florida that couldn’t wait. Staying would have been more about fun and partying but work comes first…while they play, I work!
That was very commendable of you and speaks a lot to your character. You’ve worked with many artists I’m sure, so give me some names of the one’s that are about to or already doing big thangs.
[J SHARP] Of course there is “Ms.Swagg On Full” Tranea Cannon, Aces High, Garfield Vibes, Beky Glacier, 50/50, Miraj, Somong, Kevin Writer, Unique G, Triple Jay and Maxamillion. There are many more people that I know I’m missing....my bad in advance.
Which do you enjoy more, being a producer or artist?
[J SHARP] It’s like asking a parent which one of his kids is his favorite ...lol. I enjoy both equally!
Boom and Juso, what other talents do you guy’s posses outside of your lyrical prowess?
[BOOM] We get things done, constantly grinding, we are like the foot soldiers of the movement. Sharp has a lot on his plate with the producing side of things, so it is up to us to feed the streets this hot music. We true go gettas!
[JUSO] The other talents are not related to music so we will save them for now and surprise ya’ll later in the game.
Ya’ll already know the ladies are gonna wanna know if you guys have that someone special in your lives right now. Let’m know what’s good.
[J SHARP] Juso and I are single and waiting for that right woman!
[BOOM] I’m already involved with someone…sorry ladies. lol
What else can we expect from J.O.B 9-5 in the coming months?
[J.O.B 9-5] Bigger and better things like tours, a clothing line, more music etc. We just trying to stacking this paper!
Let the people know where to go to snag a copy of your mixtape and how they can hit you guys up.
[J.O.B 9-5] The mixtape will be on job95music.com, downloadingrecords.com, iTunes, dirtydownsouthmusic.com, and you can hit us up at ya girls house…lol! Naw but, check for us in the streets and when u see us act like u know us!
I’m looking for more major moves from you fellas in the very near future. Keep making great music and it was a pleasure interviewing you all. Go ahead and drop ya shout outs!
[J SHARP] We all would like to shout out family and friends!!
[JUSO] I would like to shout out all the future J.O.B 9-5 girls!!
[BOOM] I would like to shout out my psychiatrist and my street medicine provider!! lol
Interview by Nine5Four – Photos by Nine5Four Photography & R. Jones Consulting, Inc.
How many of you out there think you got SWAG? Everyone I’m sure, right! Ok, but is it “ON FULL”? Well we found a young lady representing Broward County and all of South Florida that is looking to make sure the music industry and the fellas know that the ladies got Swag too. Her name is TRANEA and she’s a new R&B/Hip Hop/Pop artist on the scene with a vocal game out of this world. The streets are buzzing about her new female anthem “SWAGG ON FULL” single that the ladies just can get enough of. And the fellas can’t help but give her props as well. The track is a club banga for sure and the rest of her debut album is filled with soon-to-be HITS. So radio and club DJ’s everywhere, you might want to get at her to spin this joint. Her friendly demeanor, sexy swag, top model looks, energetic performances capped off by her sensually melodic voice makes her an unsigned artist that no A&R can overlook. We are proud of the fact that we got the opportunity to bring you her FIRST ever exclusive interview. This girl can flat out SANG yawl, so show her your support when the new CD drops! Just remember where you heard about her first.
Thank you for speaking with us today Tranea.
[TRANEA] - You’re welcome and thank you for having me.
Tell me a little about where you grew up and what your childhood was like.
[TRANEA] - Well for the majority of my life, I grew up in two places. I lived in Deerfield Beach, FL from Pre-K to 3rd grade. My father had a job offer in Boynton Beach, FL and we move there. My childhood was absolutely amazing! I had a lot of friends and I was involved in a lot of sports. The neighbors where nice and the environment was peaceful.
When did you know that you wanted to be a singer?
[TRANEA] - Every since I was 3 years old singing in the church choir. I just new I wanted to be singer.
Who were your influences?
[TRANEA] - Destiny Childs, 702 , Blaque, Whitney Huston, Michael Jackson, Monica, The Temptations, Usher Raymond, Luther Vandroos…these where my favorites.
Have you had any formal vocal training? If so, who with and how has it benefited you?
[TRANEA] - Oh I had plenty! I had vocal training of course in the church and I took vocal lessons at a Performing Arts school in Miami. I furthered my voice training as I entered collage. I was on scholarship at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) singing in the concert choir under the direction of none other than a great mentor and teacher in the music department, music director Mr. Mark Butler. His method of teaching was amazing as he taught me how to use the right pronunciations on words and what vowels to use along with breathing exercises and timing etc. All types of methods that I defiantly need to use in order to be successful in my career.
Is it true that you tried out for American Idol back in 2006? What was that like for you as a 17 year old at the time?
[TRANEA] - Aw man, it’s was a long process but well worth the experience.
I am told that your performance at the Mango Festival in Deerfield Beach, FL back in 2007 went over so well that the organizers requested that you come back the next day to open for some big names. Talk to me a little about how that went down.
[TRANEA] – Yes, that was super fun! I was kind of nervous because I had never been in front of a crowd so big. But as soon and that music came on, the nervousness went away and I became a star! I was shining the whole time I was on the stage. It was VERY cool to share the stage at such a young age with famed industry heavyweights Angela Winbush, The Stylistics, Donnie McClurkin and Charlie “Last Name” Wilson. Truly a great experience!
You have a beautiful voice that’s very different than what is heard on the radio today. Is there anyone you would compare your voice to in the industry?
[TRANEA] - Not at all. My voice is one of a kind and I thank god for that.
In your own words then, what separates you from the other female artists out there trying to make it like you or already in the business?
[TRANEA] - My personality, style and most defiantly my “SWAGGER”, because it is like no other! You’ll see…just stay tune!! Lol.
You have a debut CD dropping soon entitled “SWAGG ON FULL” (which is also the lead single from the disc). This song is creating quite a buzz for you right now in the streets. What moved you to make a song like this and why?
[TRANEA] - I wanted to create something for the ladies, like a ladies anthem. You always hear the fellas talking about their swag, so I wanted to let the ladies know that we got swag too and we need to keep it “ON FULL” for the fellas to check us out!
For those that don’t know, you were apart of our widely popular “Broward County All-Stars” issue back in January of this year. Your song debuted at the concert/release party and your performance had the place going nuts (I think they even threw money on the stage at you). What was that experience like for you?
[TRANEA] – Lol! That was a fun and scary performance! I honestly didn’t no what they were throwing on stage. Not until I paid close attention did I realize what they were throwing…actual MONEY! But none the less, I did what I had to do as a performer. The energy from my fans was great and I love them all for that! I had a BLAST that night and thank you guys for allowing me to be apart of that great event.
I understand that well known singer/songwriter/choreographer out of FLA/LA/ATL, Miraj “The R&B Beast”, came up with the choreography for your performance. What was it like working with such a well respected artist and performer this soon in your career?
[TRANEA] - It was GREAT! I was truly blessed with the opportunity to work with such an amazing choreographer an artist. Miraj is truly what his name says, “The R&B Beast”! Thank you Miraj, but we got more work to do!!
Ok, back to the CD. What else do the listeners have to look forward to from your debut CD?
[TRANEA] - I can’t say… it’s a surprise! Just buckle up and get ready for a ride you won’t forget!!
I’ve heard the whole CD and I’ll cosign for it right now by saying that it is a must have…real talk! I enjoyed each track but I think “NEVA HOLD BACK” is going to be a sleeper HIT for you. Which track would you say is your favorite and why?
[TRANEA] - I love my entire album, but my favorite track is “How Deep”. I put all my thoughts and feelings into this track. And honestly, I think this song is what every woman wants to know from a man who has been hurt and still has his guard up.
You’re not just a beautiful voice but a song writer as well. How much of this project did you write?
[TRANEA] – Well, about fifty percent. Song writing is a passion of mine that I’m getting better and better at. I co-wrote this album with my producer J-Sharp and I think we did a great job! I hope the fans will agree.
Let’s talk about this super producer out of Boynton Beach, FL that helped you create this awesome CD. How did you hookup with J-Sharp and how was the vibe between the two of you during the process?
[TRANEA] - All I can say is J sharp is an outstanding producer. Whenever we get in the studio, we make guaranteed HITS! Our connection on music is absolutely remarkable. One time for my dude J-Sharp!
It’s obvious to me that you are already primed for a spot in the music business. Do you have a preference in signing with a MAJOR record label or would you go with an INDIE label that may offer you more control of your career and music?
[TRANEA] - It doesn’t really matter to me. I just want to get out there and be heard…you know. I want to share my beautiful gift with the world.
You are currently a full time student at FAMU majoring in Pre-Med. Has it been difficult for you to juggle your education & career thus far and how will you manage both going forward?
[TRANEA] - Truth be told, I don’t know. It has always been my dream to become a famous singer. And I believe it’s an absolute must that I get my degree. I am sure I will find some way to have the best of both worlds. I know it will be hard but nothing comes easy in life.
What other talents do you poses?
[TRANEA] - Well I can play the French horn, trombone, melophone and now I am learning how to play the piano.
Where do you want your singing talent to take you in the next 5 years?
[TRANEA] - To the top of the charts! I want all of my albums to go platinum! Hopefully I will get an opportunity to travel around the world and really experience LIFE. I would then like to focus on a charity or cause that I can help bring awareness to and do my part to give back.
Who would you most like to collaborate on a song with and why?
[TRANEA] – Will.I.am, Piles, Usher, Keshia Coles, Monica, Tyrese, Joe, Nikki Manij etc. They are all great artist that I would love the opportunity to make great music with each of them.
Is there anything else that you have going on that you would like to promote at this time?
[TRANEA] - I would like my fans and readers to check out a group of young boys by the name of the “Sabal Palm Temptations” on Google or Youtube. They dance and perform old school songs for people around the world. They attend Sabal Palm Elementary School in Tallahassee, FL and they are AMAZING!! Also, I need everyone to go to www.myspace.com/toyotamusic (or my Myspace home page) and vote for my song “I LIKE” that I entered into the “Toyota Music Rock the Space 2” contest. Just search my name “TRANEA” and click the button on the tape recorder that says “VOTE”. The winner receives a contract with Myspace Records. So spread the word, I need your help!! Thank you in advance!!
How can the readers contact you and sample/buy your music?
Before we end, on behalf of our entire staff and readers, I would like to wish you a HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY!!!! What are you hoping to receive on your very special day?
[TRANEA] – Thank you so much! I’m not looking for much, just recognition and spending time with family and friends.
We know success is right around the corner for you Tranea because your talent is so obvious. We wish you the best of luck in all that you do! Any final words or shout outs you would like to leave us with?
[TRANEA] – I would like to say to all my friends and fans, thank yawl for the support and God Bless! I also would like to thank everyone on my team that worked on this project (my management team, producer, choreographer, photographer, web designer, dancers, hair dressers and supporters)…Thank you ALL from the bottom of my heart!!
Photos by Tanya Rudenko and Elena Shameless
Everyone knows that hip-hop/rap music is a global phenomenon that has no end in sight. It’s always interesting to me when we get the opportunity to interview some of the top up-n-coming talent around the globe to really see how this genre of music has been embraced in their country. We know the roots began in NYC but now the music has branched out to all four corners of the earth. I had the pleasure of encountering a young woman from Moscow, Russia that has the hunger, skill, smarts, looks and grind that it takes to make it in the industry. She can hold her own in the male dominated music form and has the credentials to back it up. As an independent (unsigned) artist, she has garnered the respect of the rap community where she is from and is blazing a trail for future female mc’s to follow. Most importantly, she is loved and supported by her country. She has big plans for the future and I can’t see her not attaining anything that she puts her mind to. I’d like to introduce everyone to the young lady that is spear heading the evolution of the hip-hop/rap scene in Moscow…The Russian Rap Princess “KAYTA”.
Hello Kayta and thank you for taking the time to speak with us.
KAYTA: Hey! It’s a pleasure for me to have a chance to share my thoughts and feelings to the worldwide auditory through the pages of such a magnificent magazine as yours. Thanks for the honor!
You are quite welcome. Tell us a little about your childhood and where you grew up.
KAYTA: Well I can say I had an ordinary childhood that was colored up by my creative parents…however I doubt if this kind of childhood could be named an ordinary one though. I’ll always be eternally grateful to my mom and dad for what they put in me, and how they always let me be myself …see this formed me up and gave me what I can now share with the auditory
– My soul. Since I was an extremely creative child who always was in the mode of singing, dancing and composing something, I had the chance to spend wonderful times at different artistic schools. My first steps on stage were made at the early years and I guess back then my future was defined very quickly. Plus it’s kind of a dynasty cuz my dad is a musician too. And though our musical taste is, different due to different styles, the main role played by the feeling behind the music always gets us in the same direction. Most of ma childhood days I spent growing up in Moscow, Russia but also had the chance to travel a lot since my childhood. I’ve been to a lot of countries around the world and believe this in someway also formed my vision after seeing, feeling and getting to know different places and different cultures. I would rather say I’ve always had that international flavor around me.
Where did your desire to become a rap artist come from?
KAYTA: In my own words, I’m pretty sure that every rap-artist is a poet first of all. The poetry of the streets is more expressive than its conventional prototype and this is the mission of the modern poetical rebels to express their emotions to those who care about life itself. I always wrote and still keep writing. All my lyrics are like a reflection of my nature and ma ambient world. It didn’t start with any reason or beginning because I’m looking for some material aspects. It all came by itself, just that when I came back to Moscow after a year spent in Africa everything inside me said that I had no way besides being a rap-artist. This is my mission. This is my unconditional love to the magical mixture – music, poetry and the streets.
Describe to us what the current hip-hop culture is like in Russia.
KAYTA: Now I can proudly announce that we really have rap in Russia. It’s quite different from its western relatives, but during the last few years, really great steps were made that gave our hip-hop culture a good advantage. You know it was pretty strange that for many years a country that has always been the motherland of the greatest poetic talents didn’t take rap-music as serious as it should be. I guess it was the difference in mentality, but however, time did reduce the gap and misunderstandings between generations. This has favored the rise of really quality music, and has been of great importance in the development in general, both musically and culturally wise. Lots of talented artists, bunch of thematic shows and parties and etc. In my point of view, our hip-hop culture has a lot of ways for its development. It has many years of history, a lot has been done, a lot more is to be done, and a lot more is coming. I really believe in the potentiality of the Russian rap-music.
Was it difficult for you to be accepted in the male dominated music form?
KAYTA: Well as rumors say, we are living in a man’s world, but the truth is that I’ve never felt any male domination problems on myself. I’ve heard about it a lot though. To me, rap-music is a prerogative of the powerful persons, powerful by the state of mind I can say. It’s not a matter of sex. This is a matter of what you got to say to the world and how you say it. All of us are humans. Thus I see no reason why we shouldn’t respect each other and work to give out what comes from the heart.
You’ve done so much I don’t know where to begin. Let’s start with you giving me your description of your rap style and how it makes you unique.
KAYTA: Since my childhood all my lyrics were based on life itself so it makes my style pretty versatile. I grew up on 2Pac, Naughty By Nature, Onyx and many other iconic artists so all of them made a big addition on the forming of my own feeling about my own style. No matter the language behind the lyrics, be it Russian or English, club or just a lyrical track with sum political flavor– I always stay me, and my style is thus pretty recognizable. I’m a perfectionist, and that I admire. I always do music by the way I feel it so it rides in the same line with ma feelings and I’m glad that most often my vision coincides with those of my beatmakers and engineers. Also I’m always on the lookout for new ways to express my ideas and make them bright. So it’s all about how I spread my feelings to the audience around world, and to those in particular who know how to listen and hear what I have behind the lines.
Are there other female rappers making noise in Russia or are you alone in your battle to have the boys make room for you?
KAYTA: Nah, I’m not alone. And I’m happy bout this for it means our industry is developing in the right direction. Sometime I hear that we have no female rap artists out here except a few. But I see now we have a pretty good number of artists so it’s only a time question.
Who is “Da Duce” and what role does he play in your career?
KAYTA: Da Duce is a talented rap-artist who I’m permanently working with out here in Russia. We met a long time ago and our get together became very productive. He’s also an extremely talented Beatmaker with a distant vision of the rap industry and a pretty unique vision for the Russian rap-music industry. He has work with several Russian artist and other artists around the globe. I’m glad to get a chance to work with him because I’m always on the look out for collaborations with really talented artists who has their own feeling about music. It’s very important. We both working on our joint album that will be released this summer and I believe will make real noise by its fresh components that will be new to the industry and our industry in particular.
Your credentials are impressive. You won several awards in 2007. Which awards were they and how did you feel after winning them?
KAYTA: As it’s said – hard work pays off – literally. I’ve never been focused on commercial music or I can say I’ve never work for the material components or quick fame. I always did what I wanted to, but soon I realized that the auditory was really digging ma swag! Their love and support became the greatest proof that I’m doing what’s right. And often when interviewed with the questions about my own favorite songs, I couldn’t always give an answer because all of them are meaningful and have a part of ma soul inside. It’s an honor that people who voted for me felt me and that’s why I was nominated as the Best Hip-Hop Artist and Professional Sound of The Year at the Club-Awards-2007. The truth is that I didn’t even know the details. We were just invited together with Da Duce and my group to the ceremony that took place in one of the clubs in Moscow. It was a great surprise.
Then you followed that up with another “Best Hip Hop Project” award in 2008…correct?
KAYTA: Yes, absolutely! It was at the Best of the Best Award ceremony organized every year with the patronage of the government that governs Moscow. It was kind of a national annual award to various people of different professions that have professionally contributed in the development of the country but culturally economically or otherwise. It was an award for professionalism in the field of each and every nominee. I was nominated for hip-hops contribution of in the cultural development and its vision to the actions of humanity. I’ve been really honored. And I’m going to continue with my mission, because if my music can help just one child and I have the chance to see him or her smile – then ma mission is on the right part! Plus, Da Duce and I were the only rap-artists to have ever been nominated in the history of such an Award
You were the first rap artist to perform at one of the biggest clubs in Moscow called “Metelitsa”. How did the opportunity come about and what was that experience like for you?
KAYTA: For many years in our country rap-music had always been specific and had less preference as in position to pop or rock music. It was pretty difficult for rap-artists to have the chance to perform somewhere where only another music styles were preferred – including some clubs, concert stages and TV- programs. So when the organizers of one of the stars event called and informed us to perform at Metelitsa, I was a little surprised cause actually it was exactly one of the main clubs where rap was never allowed at all. But however, I always had that feeling people would soon change their position about rap-music - C’mon we living in modern world and there is no place for funny prejudices. Our performance went perfect. The auditory loved what they saw. The headliner of that event European pop star and his management agreed that it was really hot and fresh! Actually, it wasn’t my first experience performing rap at a pop-music event. One of the biggest was my performance at the big concert in Luzhniki (Luzhniki stadium).
One of your tracks caught the attention of the Russian Olympic Committee in 2008. Talk to me about this huge honor.
KAYTA: Yes, it was our greatest honor ever. It was a big live show with TV Bridge at the Red Square dedicated to Olympic Games -2008 in Beijing. And at that moment me and Da Duce were working on the track dedicated to Moscow-city (originally the track was created as a soundtrack to the TV-show dedicated to the Moscow life) and during process of work the organizers asked if we would love to take part in the Olympic Forum called, “Olympic Friendship-2008”. I was like Yeah! Fo’ sho’! So I sent a demo of our track “Moscow-City” to the Olympic Committee and as soon as we could expect we got back an official invitation for our participation. Finally, when we arrived at the Red Square, we saw not only a crowd of international auditory with a high number of children, but also found out that our track was chosen as the main track of the Forum. More over, it was their first experience in Russia to ever invite rap-artists to such a meaningful event.
It was an unbelievable feeling to perform at the Red Square in front of an international auditory, with video and photo cameras of mass-press from all round the world. And the main thing was that it was our “Moscow-City” tracks premier and he was doing his thang airing out the environment of the main square of our country that is and has always known to be the heart of Moscow.
You have been labeled, “the most popular rap artist in the Russian underground industry”. How does that title make you feel?
KAYTA: To me, it has always been an honor that my music has never been separated to commerce or underground only. It always had that golden middle, and I’m so glad about this cuz it shows I’m respected by both sides. I can be invited as a star judge to perform at the underground events or perform at the stadiums of any glamorous clubs, not only in Russia but worldwide – the result is the same – people take my music as their own. And it means it’s near to a universal stuff for those who prefer to listen to real style. Also I don’t think our underground has no future, see it’s only a streets prerogative. It develops and should be admired cuz most times the greatest talents have always come out exactly from the basement - meaning from the underground. And that’s why I’m so proud that I have a huge respect from them. It’s very important because that style is 100% real.
Do you have HATER’S in Russia? With all of the success that you have garnered thus far in your career, you must have some hater’s. If so, how do you deal with the jealousy and negativity?
KAYTA: Perfect quote concerning haters would be, “I doubt if the cat worries about what the mouse talks”. And I doubt if hate can make someone happy permanently. I feel sorry and sad about people who prefer to hate than to live their own lives. But on the other hand, haters do rise proportionally with your popularity, which means that you really got something they jealous of.
Now, with so much success regarding your music, are you currently signed with a MAJOR recording label? And if not, is that your ultimate goal or will an Indie label suffice?
KAYTA: First of all, I’m really proud to be Independent. I know such a part is harder and longer but it’s my way. Plus our industry has that kind of specific that sometime it’s much better off to be independent than signed. Like I always say it’s pretty easy to sign something, the question is what to do next. During my career I’ve had lots of offers from labels out here but they couldn’t offer something that I couldn’t do by myself. So I preferred to have rather a friendly relationship with some of them and we help each other on many subjects than to be their artist and risk getting stock into a situation that you start to do something that doesn’t suit your own point of view.
In fact, I got my own label Thug4Life which is coming up in the near future. The label will be based on helping young artists make their steps in the industry. Its also one of the projects I’m working on. Plus, I’m also featured on Da Duce’s label Hu$$le - On Productions. I still have many interesting collaborations with different labels, beatmakers, artists and producers worldwide. I don’t refuse the fact that one day I’ll get to work with a major label. But when I get to do so, it means the label is one of a kind…the best one I must say `cause I’m pretty picky to everything that concerns my music.
You can rap both in Russian and English language. Do you have any aspirations on one day coming to the US to further your bright career?
KAYTA: Yes, the States is definitely on my map. First of all, this is a good chance to touch the ground of a place where the story began, knowledge about the roots is always as important as its future. Plus, I really have a lot of plans and connections concerning my music and shows over there. So I think it could be really productive for both sides.
Are you currently working on a new album?
KAYTA: Yeah, I do. Actually during this year, I plan to release two new albums and several singles. This summer the album that I’m working on together with Da Duce will be released. It will be like a collection of different track that were recorded together during the past few years and it will include already popular tracks like “Moscow-City”, “Like Dat”, “Keep it gangsta” and more. Branded new tracks will also be presented on the album – “System Prisoners”, “Street Angels” and many more. We plan to shoot several video to support the album and make several promo tours. Also by the end of this year I plan to release my solo album. Work on it began already. I’m going to lay down my feelings to the fullest on it. It’s going to be a projection of who I am. I plan to have several features with talented artist from Russia, Western Europe and the states on it. I’m sure that my auditory will not be disappointed with that. At the moment most of its ingredients and secret flavor is top secret! Aight! Ha! Ha! We in the kitchen! I feel it will be what my fans, auditory and listeners around the globe have been waiting for.
You are an attractive young woman – respectfully - thus modeling or acting would seem to be a natural step for you. Do you have interest in either?
KAYTA: Thanks! Well acting looks very interesting to me because I think that this is one of those ultimate arts that can give you a chance to put a part of your soul in something that will be meaningful for the new generations. I’ve taken courses at the acting school and planning to continue this kind of education in the nearest future `cause I think specific education always is a good polishing point to even the brightest and most talented. I already have experience in movie shooting and a few upcoming projects are on the desk. But at the moment, my music career has the highest place on my charts. All others activities, including my own book that I’m working on at the moment is like an addition, but still also important.
Weren’t you a model for Latimeria Design Group’s new hip hop clothing collection a few years ago?
KAYTA: Yes, working with that company was a nice experience for me as a model. The collection’s designer wanted me as a female rap-artist and a few different male-artists to represent his new collection of hip-hop clothes. I was really glad to be part of that because it showed that even our Russian fashion designers got on the hip-hop bus and was feeling the hip-hop style and that’s quite impressive.
Is there anything else you have coming up that you would like to promote at this time?
KAYTA: Beside my upcoming albums and shows the main project at the moment is my single dedicated to the person who has had the highest influence on me and my vision about music, Michael Jackson. Since childhood, I was and still am addicted to his art and will always be grateful to him because he molded up a real artist and person in me. I can proudly say that I’ve always been a huge fan of his music and been impressed about all what he gave to the world indeed. Several times I even met him in person. And it was incredible and so much impressive.
I compose this track called “L.O.V.E” a long time ago and def this is the track that I’ve been working on for a very long time. But it’s impossible to hurry because in every sound and every word I tried to put a part of my soul and feelings about the legend and greatest person ever. I’m going to release that track this month of June and as bonuses to the single there will also be a few remixes on MJ’s classics, Jackson 5 tracks and more. I must say, this is one of the most important things that I’ve ever done in my career.
Your talent is evident and your future is bright. We appreciate you for sharing your talent and insight into your country. Please let the readers know how they can keep up with your career and sample/purchase your music.
KAYTA: First of all this is my official website – www.kayta.ru that was recently updated with the latest news, music and tour dates. I really appreciate the different social networks and websites that have been helping me communicate with listeners and build a unique fan base all around the world. My Myspace music page is – www.myspace.com/k8ta and Myspace personal page – www.myspace.com/babykayta . Of course you can follow me on Twitter and get the most out of my everyday living – www.twitter/KaytaOfficial . Much love and respect!
Photo by DutchMasterz
Club and party goers all know that the jump off doesn’t get started until the right music is played to set the vibe. It’s the responsibility of the DJ to keep the party people in the spot and hyped on the dance floor. There are several well known DJs in the game like DJ Khalid, DJ Laz, DJ Kid Capri, Grandmaster Flash and DJ Entyce (just to name a quick few) have built a career on doing exactly that. But where are the young guns that the main guys will have to pass the torch too someday? I think we found the perfect candidate to lead the next wave of party rockers. Although he may be young in age, he has already put in some serious time earning respect from several well known names in the industry. He is on the fast track to the top and has the grind to keep him there once he arrives. It’s my please to introduce you to Mr. Generation Next himself…DJ Legato.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us DJ Legato. First off, let the people know the meaning of your name.
(DJ Legato) Legato is actually a musical term and when used it means, smooth & connected; without breaks between the successive tones. When I saw that meaning I thought to myself, “that name is so versatile” and that is what I had in mind when becoming a DJ was versatility.
Very unique meaning to a name. How was it growing up in Brooklyn, New York and do you still currently reside there?
(DJ Legato) I was born in Brooklyn and stayed until I was about 5 years old. Most of my family are from and currently live in New York now so I do visit often. I currently live in West Palm Beach, Florida but my heart will always be from New York.
When did you get bit by the DJ bug?
(DJ Legato) Ever since my early teens I would go to house parties and teen parties and noticed how the music being played had so much influence on the way the rest of the crowd would act and feel. Whether it be a live DJ or even a CD playing; the feeling that the music gave the people was so unexplainable and at that point I knew I wanted to be the person controlling the mood of the party.
You’re a young dude with major league grind. Where did that drive come from at such a young age?
(DJ Legato) Well, once you feel that sense of loving what you do at any age, the drive begins right away. I look up to a lot of deejays and when I see the success they have achieved I know in my head I want to accomplish the same if not greater. And why not start at a young age!
I feel you on that. How did you and the Babalu Bad Boys (of radio station The X102.3 in West Palm Beach, FL.) hook up and what influence have they had on your career?
(DJ Legato) Honestly, I was the kid around school during the middle school and high school days who was known to always know where the hot house parties were going down at. Sooner or later I got connected to the Babalu Bad Boys Street Team and I started helping with street promotion for a Teen party they were hosting at the local skating ring.
Describe to me your style of Dj-ing.
(DJ Legato) If I had to describe my style of Dj-ing in one word it would be DIVERSE! I have promoters who tell me they love my style because I seriously play for EVERYBODY! I feel if the promoters can bring a wide range of ethnicities and cultures together I have the opportunity to play it all. Of course you have parties & promoters that stick to a certain genre of music for their following so I have to appeal to their request. I have done parties from House & Techno to Latin & Top40 and of course your popular Hip-Hop, Reggae and R&B.
I hear that you have the game on lock from the Treasure Coast to the Palm Beaches. Give me a few club names/cities that you have rocked the house for.
(DJ Legato) Wow, I have only been dj-ing for a year and I can say I’ve been all over Florida. Club Skye in Tampa; Fusian Ultra Lounge in Orlando; Ambar Nightclub in West Palm Beach; Iconz Nightclub in Orlando; Mokai Nightclub in South Beach; Temple Mega Lounge in Tampa; Mystique Lounge in downtown West Palm Beach. I felt really blessed when a promoter booked me out in San Francisco, California at this club called Apartment24. When I rocked the crowd there people were coming up to me saying, “You’re from the east coast? You’re really good!” All I could do was thank God for the blessings.
Damn you have been all over in a short period of time and that’s a huge compliment coming from the West Coast. You’ve also opened up and worked with some big names in the industry. Who were they and what was your experience like working with them.
(DJ Legato) During BET Spring Bling 2009, I opened for Dj Prostyle (BET 106 & Park, Heavy Hitter) and that experience was amazing as he is a very humble guy and has inspired my career tremendously. More than the Dj aspect Prostyle’s partner Boricua Jimmy is more of the business side of the industry and he actually spent time to give me advice and put a lot of sense into my head that still helps me till this day. During Super Bowl weekend 2009 in Tampa Bay, I had the pleasure of opening for Dj Khaled (WeTheBest, WEDR 99Jamz) as well as Dj Christion (Terror Squad) and that was amazing to sit there and open for what people already claim to be greatness from Khaled. After that club party I was introduced to Dj Nasty (NastyBeatMakers, WJHM 102Jamz) and he asked me if I wanted to open for him at a private party for an NFL football player. With only a year under my belt those are all major accomplishments to me!
Yes, I most definitely agree with you on that. Tell me about your radio show at University of Central Florida where you currently attend.
(DJ Legato) I hosted my own show at WNSC on the campus of the University of Central Florida and the reality is at first I did not get this gig because I was not a student at the university. My passion and drive for this was so strong though that I gathered up a friend who was attending the school and he signed the correct paper work for me to be a co-host. After the first week the station manager noticed how serious I was taking it and allowed me to have the main role anyway.
SIDEBAR: I have a niece that attends UCF by the name of Voguelais Jones (Shout out to my niece!)…don’t suppose you know her. But also, a very famous athlete has a son that attends there by the name of Marcus Jordan. Can the kid ball like his pops and what went down with the whole Adidas vs. Jordan brand issue that split the campus…from what I heard?
(DJ Legato) My opinion is that if he could ball like his pops he would have been recruited by the same college (University of North Carolina) and he didn’t; so that tells you a little something on that one. As for the Adidas vs. Jordan brand issue, I think everyone wanted to wear Jordan because I mean who wouldn’t!? But Adidas had paper work to prove they should stay so legally they probably had the rights.
Thanks for answering that question, now back to business. I understand that you are on the air at FSU also…right?
(DJ Legato) I only did one guest spot on WVFS 89.7Fm in Tallahassee. I was looking up other radio stations and noticed FSU had one and I got in contact with one of the Hip-Hop host who allowed me to do a guest spot on a weekend show. Even though it was only once, hard work pays off because recently the host noticed some of the success I’ve been having and got in contact with me.
I told ya’ll this kid has major grind! How is your internship going at CBS Radio in West Palm Beach, FL?
(DJ Legato) It is actually going great. I have met and worked with some awesome people in the radio business. It’s funny because as an intern you have to be ready to do anything at anytime and one day I had to work early in the morning at like 6am. It was right after I was done doing the club where I did not finish playing until about 4am. I had to go home shower and head over to the station. Believe it or not, that day I ended up meeting and getting breakfast for Nick Cannon.
I just love your hustle man; more young cats need to take notes from you. Nine5Four The Magazine did a Special DJ Issue last year that featured some of the heavy hitters in the game like DJ Laz, DJ GQ, DJ ZOG, DJ Pro Style, DJ Epps & DJ Entice to name a few. Who do you look up to in the game and how hard do you think it will be for you to carve out a spot for yourself and join this elite class of DJ’s?
(DJ Legato) DJ’s like Dj Laz, Dj Prostyle & Dj Entice are hard to follow just because they have done major things in their career but they always say don’t try to be like them, try to achieve greater than them and that is my mentality. I am originally from Brooklyn, New York so I do look up to DJ’s like Funkmaster Flex, Heavy Hitters, DJ Enuff, DJ Camilo & DJ Kast One. Kast One is a big one for me because he calls himself “The Future” for the reason that he has reached success at a young age. Not even 21 yet, I represent the same movement so hopefully Kast One reads this and co-signs me calling myself “The Future” too. Hahaha!
We’ll co-sign if he doesn’t lol…but I’m sure he would. Do DJ’s beef like some rap artist do?
(DJ Legato) The DJ’s that stay humble never beef. Then again you got DJ’s out there who think their stuff don’t stink and think they are better than the rest so you wind up running into haters. If anything like happens to me (which it has) I just let my performance and hard work do the talking.
What do you absolutely enjoy most about being a DJ?
(DJ Legato) There is no other feeling in the world when you see hundreds of people happy and dancing to the sounds you are playing through your turntables. It’s like when a doctor saves a patient and keeps them from dying. As a DJ, it’s up to me to keep the party alive when I get on set. When your job is done and people compliment you on a weekly basis, that feeling is always unexplainable.
What do you in turn not like about it?
(DJ Legato) There is nothing that I do not like about this job. Word of advice for everyone, the second you start guessing your choice of career or saying, “what if”, it’s probably because that’s not what you want to do for the rest of your life. I live for music! I live to keep people dancing and happy on the dance floor. I will continue to do this even when my time is up because at that point I will have worked with the next breed of entertainers.
I think you are carrying the torch for the “Next Generation” of DJ’s. How do you feel about that statement and what advice do you have for the young DJ’s out there that will be joining or following you now?
(DJ Legato) That’s a major major statement and I thank you for that huge compliment. I feel that if I am carrying the torch then my generation of DJ’s is in real good hands! Hahaha! Advice, I have for other young DJ’s out there reading this is remember this game has changed so much. There will be plenty of occasions where you’re going to have to throw your self-esteem to the side and really GRIND. There will be times where in order to prove your talent you may have to play for FREE! Once the promoters/club owners notice your talent then they know they can not afford to lose you which in that case they have to throw you a dollar sign. With that being said, it’s okay to do one or two different gigs for free but once your talent has been appreciated, that is the time you add value to it. If they want quality they will pay for quality!
That’s some great advice and I hope EVERYONE that reads that feels it. What other interests do you have outside of the DJ booth?
(DJ Legato) I am currently in school earning my AA in Criminal Justice and I plan to go to Law School. I said before that I would love to be in the music game for a life time but not everyone makes it to the big leagues so there must be a Plan B, that is just the reality of things.
Are there any special projects/performances coming up you want the readers to know about?
(DJ Legato) For my 21st Birthday (Aprill 22nd), I am planning a week worth of events in the Palm Beach area. Tuesday through Saturday, I got club events going down and then Sunday I am using my CBS Radio internship to gather a few radio personalities along with local DJ’s and promoters I have worked with to create a charity event. Sunday is bigger than any of the club nights for me just because I am giving back to the local YMCA Summer Camp Foundation. The foundation is for kids who can not afford summer camp fees and need a safe place to be when school is out.
Let me give you a BIG Nine5Four Family “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” shout out!! I knew you would have WPB on lock for that! We gonna have to come out and show support for you!! And EVERYONE reading this need to come out and show ya love DJ Legato!!!
(DJ Legato) Thank you very much!!
I love the fact that you are a humble guy; knowledgeable about all genres of music; pursuing your education and hustle to get as much experience under your belt as possible. I think you have all the tools it takes to be successful in ANY industry. Where do YOU see yourself in the next 5 years?
(DJ Legato) Where do I see myself in the next 5 years? Well, I see myself really being in the prime time of my career. Meaning doing radio, clubs, charity events, having big name brands asking me to support their product. I really want to touch it all. If MUSIC is touching the heart and soul of the people, I want to be there in the next 5 years!
It’s been very cool chatting with you my man. Enjoy your B-Day and we wish you much success in ALL your future endeavors. Any final words or shoutouts you would like to drop at this time?
(DJ Legato) I just want to send a big thank you to everyone who has been there since the beginning and has supported me since day one. To everyone who ever gave me a chance and helped me get my foot in the door. And a word of advice to anyone trying to make it, don’t forget where you came from, cause the people that were there when you were nothing, are the same people that will be there when you’re at the top or the bottom.
Also keep in touch with me: www.Twitter.com/DjLegato , www.Facebook.com/DjLegato ,
Photo by Ralph Giunta
Jesse Baumann is a local South Florida Indie/Acoustic musician. He was born in Hollywood, Florida and moved to Boynton Beach at the age of 8. He received his first guitar at the age of 14 and at 15 he began playing in a SKA/Punk band with no real musical background or teachings with friends from the senior class at his high school. The band was called No Chance and released two EP’s. After the band split in 2007, Jesse went into a depression. He thrived on performing his music and knew it was the only way to break that feeling. A year passed and he knew it was time for something new. He picked up his acoustic guitar and began writing and the style he created would later go on to get him back on stage.
His style can be expressed as sweet, thoughtful, and haunting. Many have compared his unique style to respected artists such as Elliott Smith, Bon Iver, Bright Eyes, and Nick Drake. His use of intricate finger picking and meaningful lyrics exemplify the feelings induced into each of his song. Jesse can be found playing at many venues and open mics all around South Florida as well as the occasional local independent radio stations. He recently did a live performance on FAU Owl Radio back in January. He is expecting to release his highly anticipated first full length album mid-2010 using many re-recorded versions of his songs off of his recent EP entitled “Lost In Thought.”
You can listen to Jesse’s music and find out more about upcoming shows by visiting his myspace page at myspace.com/jessebacoustic.
South Florida is becoming a hotbed for some of the most talented up and coming rap artist around. And that goes for male AND female. With the recent breakout success of Dade County’s own Lil Brianna, there is a movement gaining momentum where the Female MC is back on the rise. Staples in the game like Trina, Missy Elliott, Eve, Foxxy Brown and Lil Kim have held it down for quite awhile and now its time for an injection of new blood. Broward County also has a young lady that’s looking to join Lil Brianna in showing the industry that the future is bright for female rap artists. She goes by the name of Mz. E Baby and she has a grind that will make most guys want to rethink their hustle. She has built solid street cred by opening for several well known artists in the industry very early on in her career and absolutely ripping the stage. Fellas, you are going to have to step ya game up because this young lady has mad flow and lyrical skill. Motivated by success, this young lady is a force to be reckoned with and A&R’s everywhere need to sit up and take notice.
What’s good Mz. E Baby, how you feeln’ today?
[Mz. E Baby] I’m feeling good, couldn’t be better!
When did you first know that you wanted to be a Female MC?
[Mz. E Baby] I started doing a lot of writing on the side when I was in middle school but never thought about actually becoming a rapper. I use to fool around on the mic every now and then but never took it serious until around my junior year in high school. That’s when I realized that I have a unique talent and if I put these skills to good use I could be the next big thing.
Did your family support this career choice?
[Mz. E Baby] Yes, my family supports me 100%. They’re a major part in my life and I know that they can’t make it to every show or event but they’re always there in spirit.
Tell me about 3rd Court Records and the role they have played in your career.
[Mz. E Baby] 3rd Court Records is a label that was started by my cousins about 2 years ago. They’ve been supporting me since day one. That’s where I use to spend most of my time recording and just being productive.
Do you prefer being signed to an Indie label or is your goal still to be aligned with a major?
[Mz. E Baby] My goal as of right now is to be aligned with a major label.
Give me the 411 on your first club hit “So Fresh” featuring C-Coop.
[Mz. E Baby] I came across this instrumental produced by Pnut and I instantly felt a connection. This was one of those beats where the concept just came to me. The next day I went to the studio, I called up C-Coop and we just laid it down. This was my first official single that I released as an artist and this single really set my career off.
This song put you on the map. You went on to perform the song at several colleges and festivals. What was the feedback like from the crowd on hand?
[Mz. E Baby] When I first performed this song I was nervous as usual, lol. But once the beat drop and that spotlight was on me…I transformed! The crowd loved it! I feel that a performance isn’t really about the song it’s more about how you deliver the lyrics and I make sure I go hard each and every time I step foot on that stage.
Explain to me your unique style of talent that you said you have and how this makes you a one of a kind rapper.
[Mz. E Baby] I’m putting in overtime and grinding hard each and every day, doing what I have to do to get my name out there. Staying focused, giving my all every time no matter what the situation is. I’m just staying positive and dedicated to the music. You ask me to give 100%, I’ll give you 200%, no matter if it’s in the studio or on stage, I’m going in! A lot of artists think that everything is going to come to them but you have to go out there and get it. I’m aiming for the top.
You definitely have the right focus mixed with passion. From your single receiving a lot of buzz, you went on to open for artist the likes of Casley, Trill Entertainment, Ruin & Lil Boosie. How did those opportunities come about and what did you learn from those experiences?
[Mz. E Baby] The Casely show, I actually walked into that situation blind. It was a Music Conference where I knew I was going to be performing but I didn’t know that Casely was going to be there and that I was actually going to be opening up for him. The Lil’ Boosie show, now that was amazing. One of those shows I will NEVER forget! I never imagined that I would have an opportunity to open up for a major artist such as Boosie so early in my career. With me being a new artist to the game, I was blessed to be giving that chance.
What type of feedback from the streets did you get from your first mixtape release entitled “Access Granted”?
[Mz. E Baby] Access Granted was my first mixtape. It was more like an appetizer to let the world know that I’m here. It was only released online and I was pretty shocked with the feedback that I received. Nothing but love and I appreciate everyone who took time out their day to listen.
Talk to me about your promotion team “Skool Gang Fresh” and how they contributed to your current success.
[Mz. E Baby] I started Skool Gang Fresh (SGF) my freshman year in college. It was my support team/street team. I wanted to put together a team that was looking to help me out as an independent artist. They contributed by passing out flyers, cds, and putting up posters.
Do you feel female rappers get the same respect from the industry as their male counterparts? Why?
[Mz. E Baby] Yes and No. I feel that the majority of the industry looks at us as just a female and prejudge our talents before they hear what we have to offer. But what they fail to understand is that we take this just as serious as male rappers. As a matter of fact, I feel that I have accomplished more than your average male rapper and I put on twice as hard and that’s where the respect kicks in. As far as my lyrics and style goes, I’m getting respect and support because I’m that female that’s out here doing my thing.
What would you change or implement in the industry if you had the chance to do so?
[Mz. E Baby] There shouldn’t be a gender on talent and the industry is overlooking the talented female artists that are trying to make way in the music industry.
Let the readers know what they can expect from your new project entitled “Self Made”?
[Mz. E Baby] “Self-Made” is going to be my best work yet! I have been putting in blood, sweat, and tears, literally into this project. This will be my first mixtape dropping this year and they can expect some club hits, street bangers, and a few surprises. Stay tuned.
You have crazy flow; over a million plays & views on Myspace; stage performance experience; a strong promotional team in place and an Indie label backing you. What more do you think you have to do to make the industry take notice?
[Mz. E Baby] Grind Harder!!
WOOOOW, that’s not a typical response. You made no excuses…just Grind Harder…I’m feeln’ that! Are there any other hobbies or interest that you have people don’t know about?
[Mz. E Baby] Besides music 24/7, 365.…um, nope!
Who in the industry would you most like to collabo with and why?
[Mz. E Baby] I would love to work with Shawnna. I have always looked up to her as a female rapper. Her delivery is stupid and her rhymes go hard.
Let the readers know where to go to cop your music and to get at you.
[Mz. E Baby] My music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, and Rhapsody. Also at www.myspace.com/mzebaby, www.twitter.com/mzebaby, and www.facebook.com/mzebaby
I’ve listened to your music and you are definitely one of the hottest rappers out of Broward County. Stay on your grind and keep pushing. Your big break is just around the corner. Take a moment here to recognize the people that have supported your career.
[Mz. E Baby] Thanks....First and foremost I would like to give a shout out to the fans. Next, my loving and supportive family and of course God for blessing me with my talent. Everyone who supports Mz. E!! Deerfield, my home team and the whole Broward County movement. I appreciate all the love and support!
“THE NEW RAP REVOLUTIONARY”
Hip Hop is about to be taken to task by a young man out of Boston, Mass by way of Kingston, Jamaica. He is thoroughly displeased at what he see’s the industry doing to the music he loves most. He goes as far to say, “Hip Hop and I have a love hate relationship. The same revolutionary spirit that once inspired me has been transformed into everything it once detested.” Those are some powerful words from this new kid on the block…or is he? I don’t think we can call him that since he is only the son of the late great Reggae artist Peter Tosh. He goes by the name of Tosh1 and he is on a mission to help Hip Hop find its way and to get major record labels to support “REAL” Hip Hop music. We need more thought provoking music a-la pioneers the likes of Public Enemy, KRS-One, Queen Latifah, 2-Pac, Will Smith, Arrested Development etc. Tosh1 wants to deliver a message of TRUTH without compromise in the language he is most familiar with…the language of struggle. With his deep roots in Reggae and his passionate, conscious-minded lyricals, he is already creating a name for himself with his energetic live performances that have stirred crowds into a frenzy around the world. I found this young man to be very intelligent, driven and engaging and now you get to find out more about the self-proclaimed “Real Rap Revolutionary” Tosh1.
It’s a pleasure to speak with you Tosh1. How was it growing up in Kingston, Jamaica and why the move to Boston, MA?
TOSH1 - Give thanks, thanks for having me. Actually I have been living in Boston since I was 5 so I pretty much grew up in the states. But even though I moved up here at a young age I remember observing a big difference in the two cultures. Jamaica is more laid back where as things were much more fast paced here in the states. And of course the poverty that we see in the ghettos of America is nothing compared to what you find in Jamaica’s poorest communities.
You are the son of legendary Reggae great Peter Tosh. No need to ask where your passion for music comes from but how did your fathers gift influence you?
TOSH1 - I have always been a fan of my father’s music, but as I grew older and more mature, I began to understand the importance of the message in his music. I felt a responsibility to carry on his legacy to my generation. For me, Peter Tosh was more than a musician. He was a modern day prophet and his fight for truth and rights was spiritual war that still exists today. So it is important that the message that my father represented continues to have a voice especially in these crucial times.
Did you get to meet the other Reggae legend Bob Marley and how close was he and your father?
TOSH1 - Unfortunately not, I was only a baby when he passed away.
If I may ask, how did your father’s untimely death affect you and has the mystery surrounding his death been solved?
TOSH1 - I don’t think I truly understood the impact of losing my father until I got older. Anyone loses either one of their parents at a young age its like losing part of your self. The role of a parent is to pass down the truth of their life experience to you, so when that is lost prematurely, its like you have to start back at square one. As far as the mystery of my father’s death, the triggermen involved in the murder were brought to justice. But as far as I am concerned, these men were sent, and the individuals who ordered the murder will probably never be revealed.
How did you first encounter Hip-Hop?
TOSH1 - I first encountered hip hop in the late 80’s listening to artists like LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Public Enemy, Run-DMC, Kool Moe Dee, and Ice Cube.
I know you have some really strong feelings toward the industry and Hip-Hop as a whole.
TOSH1 – (Cutting in) Yeah, most definitely.
Please explain your frustrations with the game?
TOSH1 - In my opinion, the game has been completely hi-jacked by corporate interests and is completely saturated with artists who do nothing but promote materialism, egotism, and self-indulgence. Just look at BET and MTV, all you see is video’s depicting this fantasy life that 90 percent of listeners can’t truly relate to, although they would like to imagine they can. This to me is not by accident but is a calculated decision made by those in the industry who have the power and money to see that Hip-Hop does not represent anything conscious. In doing so they have replaced substance with pure vanity.
I definitely feel where you are coming from on that tip. Dose this stance of yours contribute to you proclaim yourself the “Real Rap Revolutionary”?
TOSH1 - I see myself as an artist that represents the struggle against a shitstem that oppress the masses mentally, physically, and spiritually. And I know that I bring the message raw and uncut regardless of who agrees or disagrees.
Do you think the industry is open to and ready for the changes you believe it needs?
TOSH1 - To be honest, No! And I don’t think they ever will be. But fortunately the game has changed now due to the internet. Now independent artist have a lot more tools at their disposal to compete with major labels. Therefore, artists like me are able to create their own buzz and distribute their music to a global audience. So basically it’s a mute point whether the game is ready for the changes I believe it needs. I just have to do what I need to do musically and continue to expand my audience.
Your intellect is very refreshing I must say. Now, I’m hearing that your live performances are already becoming legendary. You’ve shared the stage with some real heavyweights. Give me some names and reflect on the experience.
TOSH1 – Thanks! I have definitely had some great experiences in the live arena performing with artists like Shabba Ranks, Sizzla Kalonji, Sinead O’Conner, The Original Wailers, Damien Marley, and others. I believe my performances have been well received because people are always grateful that my fathers legacy is still thriving and to see his son performing his songs. Also I believe my music represents the change people truly want to see although they may not be willing to express it. I feel like they appreciate my energy and can see that I represent something genuine, authentic, and universal.
Tell me about the performance you had over in the Far East?
TOSH1 - I got the opportunity to perform with the Legendary Horace Andy. It wasn’t something planned as he just invited me to the show and I ended up performing. All I can say is that the Japanese showed me crazy love. The Japanese have a great appreciation for reggae music and it was made evident that night. I can’t wait to return.
You did a colabo with Daniel Brown (son of Lovers Rock/Reggae great Dennis Emmanuel Brown). What’s the name of the song and how did the two of you hook up?
TOSH1 – Yeah, actually Daniel and I recorded two tracks together. One is entitled “Roxanne’ and the other is “Rastafari Rules”. We linked up through a friend of my Father who was producing an album for him while he was in Boston.
Do you have a debut CD out now or in the works?
TOSH1 - Yes, the debut album is called “BABYLON BURNING” and will be released this coming summer.
Can you give us some insight on what to expect from this CD?
TOSH1 - My fans can look for something unique and original representing the true essence of Hip-Hop and Reggae infused with a revolutionary message.
Why has it taken you so long to produce your first album?
TOSH1 - Well it has been a slow process getting the necessary resources together to put the album out on the level we feel the project deserves. We are not working with millions but we still want to release the album on a major scale with top notch production and marketing.
That is understandable. Are you at all looking to get signed by a major label or would you be more content with and indie deal?
TOSH1 – Nah, I’m not really looking to get signed. I want to keep the rights to my music and release my album independently utilizing the same strategies the majors use.
Very wise decision. Has it been difficult for you to follow in your famous father’s foot steps?
TOSH1 - Well so far I have had a blessed experience carrying the torch and I have had many great opportunities.
I understand that you are an economics major. What suggestions could you give President Obama that could help us get out of the current financial crisis?
TOSH1 - Wooww. To be real, I don’t see any hope for the American Capitalist system. The financial crisis is just one small facet of the problem America faces and in order for this country to survive there has to be a fundamental change in ideology otherwise the decline will continue until the country is no more.
That’s deep my brother and on point. We might have to put a call in to the White House to get you in there. (Lol) What other talents or skills do you posses?
TOSH1 - More than being a musician I see myself as a gifted writer and orator all around. I also like to dabble in poetry as well and plan to incorporate some spoken word in my music.
Where do you see your budding career taking you in the next 5 years?
TOSH1 - I definitely see my music career taking me all over the globe attracting new fans wherever I touch down.
How can the readers find out more about you and your music?
TOSH1 - Well right now they can check me out on Myspace at www.myspace.com/jahtosh and look out for the official Tosh 1 website coming soon.
I want to thank you and your mother (Melody) for making this interview happen. I look forward to hearing your new music. Care to leave any final words?
TOSH1 – Yeah, to all my people in the struggle, continue to hold your head high and seek the Truth and decipher through all the lies and confusion. Continue to stand firm in Faith that the Great Day of the Father and the establishment of his eternal kingdom is near. May Jah Rastafari guide and protect you in all your ways.
Jalia “Lia” Pettis is a renaissance woman who juggles many hats; Daughter, Sister, Mother, Model and Entrepreneur. She is the modern day “Superwoman”. She was introduced to the entertainment industry at a very young age. Modeling sparked her interest which prompted her to attend various agencies & schools to broaden her experience and exposure. She grew up as a “military brat” and had the opportunity to travel to exotic places that introduced her to vast cultures that make up our society. She is trained to facilitate various leadership programs which have assisted in the development of her business savvy. She has cultivated
this experience and knowledgeover the years and began to plan and execute all types of events and promotions. Becoming a strong businesswoman has always been her dream. And now she is the visionary of her own company, 3Jay Productions, which offers a multitude of services catering to the entertainment industry. Lia is doing big things and her company stands poised to make a huge break through. This is a company I believe artist can definitely get their careers on track with, but I’ll let you bethe judge.
Hello Ms. Lia and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with me. You really have a lot going on, but first, give me a little insight into your up bringing.
[ LIA ] - Not a problem, thank you for having me. Wow, my upbringing? Well, I am originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan however my family is from the South, Mississippi to be exact. I was raised by my mother who in all honestly was a single parent. She was the breadwinner in our home and ensured my sister and I never lacked anything. We were raised in the church so a spiritual foundation was vital. High School was my rebellious phase, lol, but it definitely prepared me for college.
Being a self-described “military brat”, was it difficult on you with all the moving around you went through?
[ LIA ] - You would think so, but no not really. Our family moved every two to three years. It was exciting. I would have never had the opportunity to live in exotic locations such as Japan & Hawaii. It opened my eyes to the vast number of cultures that make up the world. How many people can say they have had that type of opportunity? I am grateful.
You were introduced to the entertainment industry at the age of four. What triggered your passion to get involved in the industry?
[ LIA ] - My mother must have seen something in me. She kept me busy from the age of four throughout my teens. She had my sister and I involved in modeling, acting and dance. I took a long hiatus for many reasons but made a concrete decision to come back kicking and screaming three years ago.
What type of jobs did you have as a teen that helped you gain valuable experience in entertainment?
[ LIA ] - I’m gonna keep it funky, I worked in Fast Food and Retail as a teen! However, seeing my mother as a small business owner gave me quite a bit of drive. I can be a little OCD when it comes to organization, lol, so that part of me just grew over the years.
You went on to attain your degree in Communications & Management at Western Michigan University. How long there after did the birth of 3Jay Productions come about?
[ LIA ] - My concentration was Communications & Business Management but I actually did not earn my B.A. I left WMU after two years and relocated in Arizona. I did one year there and completely left school alone with only one year to spare. While in college, I had a little bit too much fun so business and school were the farthest thing from my mind. Yet once I made the decision to stop going to school, I had to make some tough choices and getting a “real” job was one of them. The idea of my own business was always there but the seed was not planted until several years later. We celebrated our 3rd Anniversary this past August ’09 so we are still fresh but making moves nonetheless.
Tell me about the name of your company and why you chose it.
[ LIA ] - 3Jay Productions (smile), the best way to describe it would be what I call the foundation. 3Jay is a representation of an equilateral triangle. We have three sides; those being myself and my two sons. We are equal yet rest on one another, just as in day to day life; we rely on each other. We have individual value and distance yet meet at all sides. I am the baseline and my two sons are adjacent; we are continuous. The number three in biblical terms reflects divine perfection. Each of our names begin with the letter “J” which represents ambition. People don’t think names mean a great deal but I beg to differ as it tells a lot about you. For us 3Jay Productions is a legacy in the making.
Very well put. What is your role in the company?
[ LIA ] - 3Jay is my baby and my title is Owner & Visionary.
Who is Chris “Cris Coke” Jackson and what role does he have in the company?
[ LIA ] - Cris Coke is an Artist, DJ, Nightlife Host and Model, while Chris Jackson is someone else totally different; not going to ruin it for the “haters” and reveal any juicy details. LOL! Chris and I started a company together a number of years back which has since been dissolved. Since that time we have separate career paths yet support one another’s endeavors 100%.
Let’s get into the services 3Jay provides. There are five areas and I would like for you to tell me a little about each, starting with Event Planning.
[ LIA ] - The goal of the Event Planning division is to plan, execute, host and/or sponsor events tailored to each clients specific needs with style & excellence. We want to generate “Wow Power” and creativity. We plan and coordinate events of all types that includes: Fashion/Musical Showcase, Parties (Nightlife, Teen/Adult, and Theme Specific), Bachelorette Parties, Weddings, and Corporate Events.
What has been the biggest event you have put together to date?
[ LIA ] - Our biggest event to date would be our Style Exhibition which takes place annually. We first embarked on this journey in spring ’07. To say that it was a major project would be an understatement. Each year we have this event in the spring to showcase various up and coming designers, similar to a fashion week of sorts. It takes about eight months of planning and has featured models, stylists, designers and artists from New York, Detroit, Philly, Charlotte, Atlanta, as well as locally within the state of South Carolina. In our first year, Vitamin Water® was a key sponsor and most recently Kenneth Schuler School of Cosmetology among others.
Secondly, there is Model Management & Development.
[ LIA ] - This division manages the careers of models as well as develops them in the areas of self-improvement, healthy living, & overall appearance. We cast models for various fashion shows, hair shows, print & photo shoots. We also train aspiring models on runway, stage presence & overall appearance.
How many models do you currently have on your roster and are you looking for more?
[ LIA ] - We currently have 30 models that span between SC, NC, GA & TN. We are always looking to add diverse looks and talents to our team.
You are a model yourself…right? How long have you been modeling and do you enjoy it?
[ LIA ] - Yes, I am. Modeling is actually how my overall involvement began. I love the runway although my height is just shy of industry standard but I am still able to rip it! My modeling career consists of more beauty & editorial style work. I can be versatile based on my complexion, eyes & hair color so I utilize it to get my foot in the door for my company as a whole.
Third, there is Talent Management. Please describe.
[ LIA ] - The goal of this division is to support those who aspire to enter the entertainment industry. This facet is all encompassing; to include artists, producers, trained dancers and actors/actresses. The support we provide deals with each on a personal level from brand/image, training, etc. We also collaborate to promote the divisions work along side DJ’s, Independent Record labels, Productions Teams & Marketing Firms.
Next, you have Writing (Contractual & Publication). Please describe.
[ LIA ] - This division initially spawned as an outlet similar to spoken word. Being expressive and detail oriented is extremely important as such this area writes business contracts, press kits, music bio’s, reviews and columns. We have written columns and articles for various newspapers and magazines, so be certain to holler at us if you need someone to cover a story – HINT HINT!
I get the hint and will definitely holla at you about that. Finally, there is Casting & Promotions.
[ LIA ] - Yes, this arena is more client specific. We have a promo team that can either go into the community or draw interest via the internet. We promote groups and/or individuals along with booking shows/gigs, style video concepts, as well as offer support in the area of casting.
I also understand that 3Jay is branching out into Film Production. Talk about this exciting endeavor.
[ LIA ] - Oh not quite yet, we are a registered member of the SC Film Commission but have not dived into this arena in entirety. However, we do have one member of our team whose concentration is solely photography & videography, his name is Zalontate yet goes by Swag Photography. I will say we now represent fashion designers; we have two on our team. One is in Detroit named Kre’A’Shans and the other is in Philly called Scripted Designs. Both are true talents and jacks of all trades which is a plus in this industry and for our team as a whole.
As if all of this isn’t enough, you have been a Human Resources Practitioner for the last ten years too?
[ LIA ] - I know right, yes being a HR Professional allows me to stay abreast of the many employment laws and practices out there. It is all great experience to have under my belt.
And Fellas, we are going to have to step our game up big time. This lovely young lady is also a proud mother of three as she previously mentioned. How do you manage all of this and please give your kids a shout out.
[ LIA ] - Oh yes, proud in deed, I love my babies! It’s a juggling act but I manage. I absolutely have to give love to the single mothers on their daily grind! I like to have my children with me so that they can see the interactions that I have with people. They are very observant and extremely protective which is going to aide in their growth as responsible people.
I think we have found the “REAL” Superwoman! What do you do just to kick back and chill?
[ LIA ] - HA HA, Yeah Karyn White wrote that song for me; she just did not know it. I am an everyday woman. I rock the business suit during the day, get sexy every now and again for a nice adult evening but I mostly like to chill and rock sweat suits and sneakers, lol! I take my kids to the movies and out to eat but the real relaxation doesn’t take place until they are asleep. Then I can be a couch potato and have some time to myself to simply gather my thoughts.
Do you have anything coming up that you would like to promote at this time?
[ LIA ] - Of course…we will be starting a new division next year that will target children & teens. We will introduce two new annual projects; one which will take place next year around Mother’s Day and the other happening in the Fall along with our annual Style Exhibition each Spring. A few of our models have shows lined up out of state as such our team will be traveling to support their efforts. Then finally, we have been approved to start a non-profit organization which will benefit women and their development in the workforce which will launch in the next two years.
That’s what’s up! I’m positive that many of the unsigned/indie talent that follow our publication will want to hit you up right away. How can they get down with 3Jay Productions?
Let me say that I love your entrepreneurial spirit and straight up hustle. You are definitely a great role model for young women (and men) everywhere. There’s a lot we all can learn from you. Please give me your closing thoughts for the young people out there who aspire to achieve the same level of success as you have.
[ LIA ] - Stay true to the vision that God places within you. Realize that everyone around you is not destined to be apart of that. Be able to sift through who is in your corner 100% versus who is just taking a free ride on your coat tail. Above all, love God, yourself and your family!