Artist Name: J. Jamal
Song Title: Stand Still
Genre: Alternative/ Gospel
Release Date: 8/21/2018
Jamal – Stand Still
Driven by faith and a determination for change, J. Jamal is a young artist creating his own path. Cultivated by the California sunshine, his desire is to present a largely genre-less sound.
Influenced by gospel greats such as Donnie McClurkin and Kirk Franklin, and soulful crooners like Luther Vandross, Jamal spreads a message of faith, hope, inspiration, and love, that he calls his “LoveStyle.”
From singing solos as a toddler in the church to recording singles as an adult, J. Jamal has shown his ability to be soulful with a Baptist vibe. He’s used this to his advantage, performing as a contestant on the Next Up Concert Series in Inglewood, California, and other performances throughout the fall and winter of 2018. The best is truly yet to come. J. Jamal’s debut EP, iLikeMe, is available on all streaming outlets… The sky’s the limit!
Tell us your history.
I was born September 1st, 1991, and I’ve been singing ever since pretty much. My godmother was the one to put the mic in my hand. But it wasn’t until I was probably 18 or 19 that I had confidence in my voice, and until last year that I finally felt I could make a living out of it.
Describe yourself as an artist.
I don’t like genres, because I don’t like being boxed in or staying in a lane. I write what I feel. Sometimes, it’ll feel better in a rap song. Sometimes, it’ll feel better with an R&B flow. Sometimes, it’ll feel like rock. Some days, I’ll want to take it back to church. Whatever I feel.
Tell us the genre of your music.
LoveStyle. Everything I write is reminding you first of your worth, and that you are worthwhile. That’s the closest thing I can think of as a genre. (But if I must, I’d say soul).
Tell us the story behind your song.
Stand Still is a song I wrote from a place of strength I hadn’t felt in a while. I got the idea or inspiration for the song from Black Panther, the most powerful line to me was “stand up, you are a king”, and I kind of adopted it and adapted it into something else. I feel self-esteem and self-worth are often put on the back burner trying to please others, and often that leads to us feeling worse about ourselves than before. So I don’t want that, for anyone, especially those listening to me. You’re a king, you’re a queen, never forget that.
Tell us the problems you are facing as a musician.
Just exposure. I never thought I’d wake up one day and thousands of people would be listening to me, but some days it feels like I’m screaming at a brick wall. But I’m just going to keep knocking at the door until it’s opened, then I’m kicking it down.
Discuss the recording and production of the song.
The beat came together before the song. The beat came together before I even knew what it’d be about, really. Then when I started writing, it just flowed into what it ended up being. Then for recording, I went to Kairos Music Group, in downtown L.A. working with Wes. He was great and let me just figure out my sound, but when he was ready, he put his own spin on it.
List the names of blogs, radio, or television stations that have supported you so far.
Broken 8 Records, Middle Tennessee Music, Accelerated Radio – The Gospel Hours with Johnnie and Sheryl. Special shoutout to them, Johnnie, Sheryl, Mekai, thanks for everything.
Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career.
Everything I do at this point has been geared towards my music career. Like I said I don’t want to ever stay in one lane. I rest and relax on Sunday, but other than that, I’m always working. Writing, producing, designing some merch, anything.
Elaborate on your music career, experience, and future goals
Right now, I’m just building. iLikeMe was my first release, I’ve put out 2 singles since then. The next EP, Love Letter, is scheduled for Valentine’s Day. I participated in the Next Up Concert Series in Inglewood in June and fell in love with performing. I get to participate in the final rounds for that series on November 10th, and I’m scheduled to perform at the Airliner in Downtown L.A. on December 20th. Hopefully, these performances will be the next of many.
Brief us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.
I feel that I only write about things I’ve either lived through or dreamt of. These thoughts, these feelings, just push me to get out sometimes. So that’s when I let them out.
Brief us the top-secret behind making a hit song.
Write what you feel, how you feel it. If you don’t feel it, it can only go so far. But if it’s real to you, it’ll show in your performance.
Tell the advice you will give to an upcoming artist.
Don’t give up. Take any discouragement and use it as fuel to ensure you never feel that way again.
Discuss at length your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have received.
I signed to Exquisite Noise Records on a distribution deal in August, right before iLikeMe came out. They’ve been wonderful to work with and put me in a great place to succeed. The first impression is my “elevator pitch” to listeners, a peak at who I am as an artist. iLikeMe is in the same vein as Stand Still, just a song to bring back that love for self.
Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.
A lot of my songs come together after I’ve finished producing the beat. Then, I’ll sit down with the iPad, and flow till I can’t anymore. Then clean it up to fit the track. Recording for me is so disciplined, get in and just work until it comes together.
Name your favorite artists for collaboration.
Dream collaborations: Mali Music, Sho Baraka, Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino The ultimate dream, the impossible dream collaboration for me would’ve been Luther Vandross. I’d probably have ruined the song from freezing up in awe and crying so much.
Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.
I’d put it into the LoveStyle movement, every branch of it. I’d be careful to remind my brothers and sisters that they’re kings and Queens.
Discuss music promotion and how you are boosting your fan base.
Playlists are huge sources of promotion for me. I’ve been blessed to be a part of some good ones. Social media is important as well, it’s the easiest way for supporters to hear you, and new fans to find you. Word of mouth can be powerful; I feel that’s something we can all do better for each other. I’ve created my own network, to interact specifically with those who’ve been supporting me. It’s a part of Mighty Networks, called First Kings, For Queens. That’s what it’s all about. Growing with those around me.