HCM. How did you come by your stage name?
JAE. My middle name is Jamel and my parents always called me Jay. I really liked that nickname but decided to switch it up slightly and make it JAE. It used to stand for JealousyAndEnvy but that was when I was angsty. I’m at a way better place in life right now and don’t like to associate with that anymore. JAE stuck and I like the sound of it.
HCM. When did you discover your love for music and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
JAE. When I was a sophomore in high school, I discovered Russ. After learning how he produced, wrote lyrics, and recorded his own music, I realized that was something I could do myself. So, I started learning how to produce and after about a year I started releasing my own music. It wasn’t until senior year of high school that I decided music was something I wanted to do as a career. It’s the only thing I’m passionate about.
HCM. To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
JAE. While my style is quite hard to define I’d probably say its most similar to alternative rap, Lo-Fi, and or boom rap. My influences are always changing but right now, I would say Dreamvile, TDE, IDK and Mick Jenkins all play an integral role in my sound. They’re all I listen to basically.
HCM. On your upcoming release… How did you come up with the concept for this project?
JAE. Identity is always something I’ve struggled with whether it be about my ethnic identity or my musical identity. I really just wanted to highlight this internal struggle through my music because I’m sure a lot of people struggle with finding themselves. I hope that someone listening to my music out there can relate to it and know that they’re not on their own.
HCM. What are some of your greatest challenges as an artist, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
JAE. The biggest challenge I’ve been facing, especially in quarantine, is the lack of motivation to make music. Although I love making music, my songs reflect my life, and if my life is not really where it needs to be, then my music won’t be there either. In terms of work ethic, I think my ability to be able to make music anywhere and come up with a demo in like 30 minutes is super important. I just like to create as much as I feel like and see what sticks.
HCM. What are your plans for the near future?
JAE. Right now, my plan is to release my next EP in the fall. COVID has really thrown a wrench in this music thing but I’m trying to make it work. Music is not the biggest priority at the moment. Mental health and emotional stability are taking priority over that.
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