An interview with JTK

  • Please introduce yourself

My name is Josh, and I paint pictures with words and sounds.

  • Describe your sound in 3 words

Technical, sensitive, groovy. I do have quite a variety of sounds though if we’re talking about the actual sonics, and I definitely don’t want to put myself in a box here with my response, because I love to explore new styles.

  • Trap Music Came to Rule the World a decade ago, but at the moment the genre feels stagnant. What are your thoughts?

I heard a saying once that the longevity of a song depends on how timeless the lyrics are. I think there’s a lot of truth in that statement, but a song’s lyrics certainly isn’t the only determining factor for its longevity. That being said, a lot of the trap songs back in 2010 were good for the moment. The people who enjoyed them (the lyrics) then seemed to have moved on from such content, and the same content doesn’t seem to sit well with those in the same age group today. I don’t have any real evidence to back that up, but It’s just been my observation for a while. As for “No Be Mouth”, I certainly wasn’t thinking “Trap”, when I wrote it. It was about the good feeling of going home, and I missed it, so I didn’t care about the genre or if it sounded trap or not. I just wanted to make a good song that can be remembered.

  • Who is your favourite beat maker and which rapper’s flow do you enjoy the most?

Right now, it’s Sarz! He’s one of the best out there that I’ve heard and his versatility is what I admire the most. I also really like Boi-1da. I feel like if Boi1da produces your track and it’s not a hit, it’s your fault. I’ve heard some top quality stuff from him, and I’ll need to take my time to catch up on the rest of his works. Over my lifetime though, Dr. Dre’s sounds have certainly caused lots of the dopamine release in my brain!

As for rappers, the one whose flow I enjoy the most is Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick seems to always have uncharted rhythms up his sleeve. To me, it feels like he takes his time to craft out patterns that no one’s heard before, it must be the case. I listen to a lot of music and rappers and I don’t think I’ve heard any sort of recycled flow from Kendrick before. Well, maybe 1, but that’s it. His stuff always sounds so fresh, and I love it!

  • What is the difference between Nigeria and Canada in relation to their music scenes?

It’s very different! The dominant music genre is the biggest difference. In Nigeria right now, it’s Afrobeat, while in Canada, I believe it’s alt-pop/electro-pop. If you can make something Nigerians can dance to, they’ll love you, but Canadians seem to care more about the electro sounds and lyrics. There’s been a growing mutual audience though, over the years, as the world’s getting more and more connected. In 2015, the two biggest artists from both countries at the time, Wizkid and Drake, collaborated on the song “Come Closer”, and that for sure introduced lots of new people to the Afrobeats world. In summary, it’s the style, lyrics language, audience, and media behavior that makes the difference, but still there are a lot of other genres that thrive really well in both communities, so there’s a lot to explore on each side for sure.

  • What do you miss the most from Nigeria since you are abroad?

The culture and I mean the whole of it. The food is a starting point, but I also miss little things like wearing my native dresses for parties/ceremonies, speaking my native language more often (which I feel like I’m losing), not worrying about the temperature outside before I go out, etc. I also miss my family and old friends too.

  • If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?

The phenomenon of artists sticking to one stage name for the rest of their careers. I want to be able to just make music, however the inspiration comes to me, to just express how I feel and not have to worry about whether or not it will fit in MY genre or how it’ll be received by a certain group or my core fans, etc. For that reason, I’ve thought about creating music under different personalities/identities/monikers. Miley Cyrus is one artist I know who’s done it, but I want to really make it a thing, like releasing an album under the name “Josh”, and another under the name “JTK”. That way, I can easily organize the different music styles I have, keep a consistency in my albums, and still give my audience a variation. I think of it like how some large brands would have other subsidiary brands for different products, like Pepsico and Lays for example.

  • One last thing we should know about you?

I have a degree in Electrical Engineering. Many people get so shocked when they hear that, so I’m just going to flaunt it more often now.

Thanks JTK!

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