Femme Emcee J. Irja Is Back For An HCM Exclusive

If you didn’t get a chance to check out her last interview, here’s an opportunity to take a deeper look into the female artist we’ve come to know as J. Irja. During our last interview, J. Irja talked about topics that were kind of touchy, and somewhat painful memories for the artist. But through it all, she still managed to prevail, aiding her with the ability to share those moments of her life by use of hip-hop. So pull up a chair and give us a few seconds of your time, because here’s something you don’t want to miss!

J. Irja Exclusive

HCM. Where are you from and how did you get to this point in your career as an artist?
J. Irja. I grew up super poor in Canada & moved immigrated in search of the American Dream. I came from nothing and had to work hard for everything I got. My journey has been so long and crazy, I could write an entire book on it. But the main point is, I got knocked down, a lot, and I just kept getting back up every time. I never stopped chasing my dreams even when I was homeless, even when I was struggling with PTSD and brain damage, and addiction. I knew what I wanted and I stayed chasing my dreams.

HCM. When did you know that you were going to make music a career?
J. Irja. My first memory is of me with a microphone on stage singing at my aunt’s wedding. My passion and escape from struggles was always music. I used to write songs, and even envision and act out the dances for the music videos with my little sister. I read and wrote sheet music relentlessly all through school. I have always been obsessed with music and always knew I would make a way to become successful. Even when it seemed impossible I kept pushing forward toward my dreams.

HCM. What musical influences did you listen to growing up that helped mold you into the artist you are today?
J. Irja. I grew up in a very strict household and used to have to sneak off to listen to music. I truly loved it. Eminem got me through a lot of hard times. That’s the type of music that got me through the struggle.

HCM. On your current/upcoming album… How did you come up with the concept for this project?
J. Irja. My current trilogy “stages of grief“ Chronicles, is my journey of dealing with intense loss. I lost my little sister, my mentor, who is like my father figure, grandpa, aunt, and baby daddy all in a period of three months. I completely dissociated from reality. I literally almost threw in the towel so many times. But when I saw my listeners and supporters going through tough times two, I knew I had to write about my journey in my music and release it so we could all heal together.

The songs that came out were categorized into the stages of grief: Sadness (Drowning Ft Royce da 5’9), Anger (Rage Ft Young Buck) & Redemption (Bounce Back Ft Benny the Butcher). I was blessed enough to have all of these major artists vibes with my music and even do the music video for the songs. Check them out. They are amazing and full of passion.

HCM. What are some of your greatest challenges as an artist, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
J. Irja. I am literally a workaholic. I know this comes partially from being a coping mechanism for my PTSD and everything I’ve been through, but even more so I know I’m going to have to work harder than everyone around me in order to make it where I need to go. My brain damage, PTSD, and overcoming severe abuse and trauma have been some of my greatest challenges. That along with staying sober for almost 6 years now. I share the story so I can help others going through things to know that they are not alone and show them that they can do it too.

HCM. What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your musical career?
J. Irja. I’ve been blessed to work with so many major artists, and I know my big break is coming through promotion and exposure. The shade 45 SiriusXM live interview and the ThisIs50 interview in Times Square in New York is literally next level. This is what’s going to take me where I need to go, or at least open the door to get me there. I am so thankful and humbled to be getting these amazing opportunities.

HCM. How do you see your sound evolving in the next couple of years?
J. Irja. I am looking forward to doing a lot of different experimental tracks in the coming years. One of my new tracks I’m working on is a techno-pop type rap feel and I love that. I am also going to be doing a lot more singing.

HCM. What impression would you like listeners to be left with after hearing your music?
J. Irja. I want people that hear my music, to be inspired and motivated to chase their dreams and do everything and anything their heart desires. I want them to feel like somebody understands their pain and that they can heal through music. After all, that’s the biggest reason that I share my story is to help others.

To learn more, contact J. Irja via email at j.irja.music@gmail.com

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Author: Mr. Hood Critic

Hood Critic Magazine was founded by Holland D. Witherspoon in Bossier City, Louisiana 2013. HOOD CRITIC MAGAZINE was created to cover up and coming unsigned independent artist.