Artist Interview – JA

JA (pronounced Jay-A) is from Hertfordshire in the UK and is a talented hip-hop artist. Despite being just 17 he has already developed a following as a performer and has been noticed by BBC 1Xtra, receiving air play in the UK. Here’s an interview we completed a short while ago. Check him out.

Q: So JA, What is your musical background?

Well I started off writing my own music around the age of 15 after becoming highly influenced by my friends and people that I spoke to. After recording a few tracks I tried to experiment and form a duo called “The Progression” between myself and one of my friends, after 2 months of us recording a couple of songs I sent 2 of them into BBC 1Xtra Introducing hoping that we may get chosen but obviously looking the bigger picture your competing against thousands of other artists who are in the same position. We was lucky enough to be selected and had our track “Spotlight” played by Dj Target in April 2010. Shortly after this I felt like I wanted to remain solo as I felt I would have less to hold me back. I went on to release a promo video late 2010 and got to support Giggs when he came to perform at Ignite/Lava Hemel Hempstead. I’m now currently focusing on collaborating with more artists/singers/producers and getting my name out there even further!

After getting really stuck in and trying to get involved in music as much as possible I noticed that there’s a lot of negativity in music these days. I’m a fan of all genres so I appreciate most of the music that comes out from anybody to be honest but I don’t support people that feel like they have to put on a character when in the booth.

Q: How was 2010 for you?

It came as quite a surprise as it was probably the biggest year for me so far music wise, as I got more than I expected completed and got my hands on a few unexpected opportunities!

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Chipmunk, Tinie Tempah, Loick Essein, Example, Professor Green, Eminem, Labrinth

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Tinchy Stryder, Chipmunk, N-Dubz…they are all having a strong impact on the UK Music scene!

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

Well if I managed to succeed, complete and fulfill my dream there would definitely be a lot of UK Artists as well as a few US Artists but I would say N-Dubz, Chipmunk, Professor Green, Labrinth & a few more, the same sort of people who inspire me really!

Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?

At the moment I got quite a lot of Tinchy, Skepta, Ya Boy….I’m also really into High Rankin’s overall dubstep mix for 2010! I suggest that all dubstep fans download that from

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

Well normally whenever I hear a beat I can instantly put a concept to it. Once I have the concept in place I start trying to think more into detail of that concept and lyrics will naturally start coming to me. Sometimes I will listen to the chorus of the beat and try to imagine what sort of style could be adapted to it until I decide how I want it to sound.


Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Both…..A catchy melody can stuck in somebody’s head and have them humming it away for hours, if not days, however if you can write the lyrics for that song in a way which it will relate to not only yourself but others as well, then you will attract more listeners especially when they are feeling the same emotions as you show in the track.

Q: Where are you based?


Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

It’s not too bad to be honest; there are just not many recording studios about!

Q: What are you currently working on?

At the moment I’m working on an EP and mixtape, which will hopefully feature a few different artists/singers/producers, and there will be a few extras being released around the same time as I decide to drop the mixtape. I will be allowing the artists/singers/producers that feature on my mixtape to promote their logo on my cover as I believe that everybody should gain from it!

The EP will be dropping before the mixtape and will be used for promotional purposes!

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Getting the opportunity to work with other artists/singers/producers of other genres because you never know what the outcome will be like!

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

I’m hoping to release another video or two. Get my EP heard

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

I’m hoping to have quite a few through out this year but none of the dates can be confirmed yet but if you follow me on facebook or twitter then you will be able to keep up to date with everything that’s happening!

Q: What do you do to relax?

I hardly get time to relax I’m always on the go! But if I get a chance I will be smashing out FIFA on the 360!

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

I think that’s about it! Make sure everybody get’s involved and follows’ me on either Facebook or Twitter!

I’d like to thank Essential Pop for giving me this opportunity!


Ana’s note: JA has incredible potential and already appears to have a following in his local area. Essential Pop can see 2011 be a very good, eventful and fruitful year. Ja’s definitely part of Essential Pop’s One to Watch!


If you want to contact JA find his links below:

twitter link:

facebook link:

soundcloud link:

reverbnation link:

About Essential Pop

Essential Pop is an online music magazine all about the best aspects of popular music and incredible interviews from the best up and coming artists. We're also on twitter, follow us @essentialpop!