SHIFTER’s Jhamesha Millord Ashford sits down with Atlanta-based Mississippi rapper J Lock to talk about the Grammys, his new single “Selfish, and much more.
Jhamesha: Knowing that you started using music as an outlet of expression at the age of 14, could you give our Canadian readers a bit of insight on your background and how you got started? How did music first introduce itself into your life?
J Lock: I fell in love with music at a very early age. Growing up in a household in Mississippi, I didn’t start off listening to rap music. It was Motown Records, Blues, Jazz and Gospel. At that time I didn’t know I had a gift and talent for music.
Jhamesha: Being from Mississippi, what made you believe Atlanta was the city to start your career in?
J Lock: I felt that Atlanta was a great place for entertainers. There’s more visibility and promotion opportunities. To me, I felt like Atlanta was the new Hollywood.
Jhamesha: How are you able to remain authentic and true to yourself as an up and coming artist?
J Lock: The only way I can remain my true authentic self is by being myself. There’s been a lot of people that try to change me and try to make me into something that I’m not. The only way I can be true and authentic is being that to myself first.
Jhamesha: How would you describe the evolution of your sound since your very first release?
J Lock: As with anything, I’m going to get better over time. I would have to say the genre and sound of my music has evolved for the better.
Jhamesha: You have a brand new single out called “Selfish” featuring R&B singer RL. Can you tell us a bit more about the track and the meaning/message behind it?
J Lock: The title speaks for itself. Ego, love, lust and jealousy all together in one track. This track describes the emotions of a person who just wants you and don’t want nobody else to have you.
Jhamesha: How did your connection with RL come about?
J Lock: I met RL at Patchwerk Studios where this legend just blessed me and anyone else in the room with his stories. The rest was history!
Jhamesha: I noticed that you attended some Grammy events this year. How would you describe your experience?
J Lock: I met a lot of great people casually that you’ll only meet in a lifetime. I’m just blessed and highly favored.
Jhamesha: As an artist, I’m aware that one of your goals is to leave a mark and footprint of your work and to inspire others. What is one thing you would want others to remember you for?
J Lock: He was the one that made it happen from a small town in Mississippi. He did it first and he did it right. One of the greatest.
Jhamesha: Following the release of your new single, are there any other projects in the works or performances coming up this year?
J Lock: There will definitely be many performances and projects coming. You gotta stay tuned.
Jhamesha: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Please drop all your social and music platforms for folks to check you out.