Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jus Randy Exclusive Interview With Future of Rap Music

On November 29th, Jus Randy dropped his 'InfoBahn' album. Here at the Future of Rap Music Business blog, we were fortunate to receive a copy of the album for a review. We also managed to score this exclusive interview with the multiple-time Juno Award nominee, energetic performer, and charismatic persona that is Jus Randy.

In this exclusive interview, Jus Randy breaks down past, present and future of his journey through the rap music business. He also takes us inside his world with insights on how he balances time between business and family, and lessons learned from other artists and performers. Enjoy.

F.O.R.M.: First of all, thank you for this interview opportunity. For those who may not know, could you tell the readers and future fans who Jus Randy is and what your music represents?
Jus Randy is a music fan, hiphop artist, father, husband and an overall cool human being. My music represents myself, my environment and the future of where hiphop is going.

I consider myself one of the new leaders of hiphop who are able to still impact a wide audience with music that is not "traditional mainstream hiphop".
F.O.R.M.: Early into your career you were blessed with some great success. Many of us remember you from back in the days of Underground Canadian Hip Hop as May 1 9, a former member of BrassMunk. The group was nominated for multiple Juno Awards (Best Rap Recording in 2000, 2003, 2004), which forever engraves your name in Canadian Hip Hop history.

What inspired you to enter the rap music business, and what keeps driving you towards achieving more success?
I've always been close to music, especially hiphop. Being such a fan of music I wanted to be involved in someway. I started dancing, beat boxing, and rapping. Doing everything pretty much as a fan and rapping stuck with me.

I met the members of BrassMunk in grade school and highschool and we shared the same love of hip hop and we connected musically. We did great things as a group and I am proud to be part of history as I consider BrassMunk one of the hip hop entities out of Canada that had an impact on many people world wide.
F.O.R.M.: At what point in your career did you decide to become a solo artist and what influenced you to make the transition?
I never really wanted to be a solo artist. I enjoyed the process of being in a group and sharing ideas. Unfortunately with BrassMunk we came to a point where it wasn't working anymore for many reasons and my heart was no longer in the group. We parted ways and they continued on, but the group's existence from the time I was no longer with them kinda went downhill. I think overall the group just wasn't functioning the way it needed to be, to be successful.

I had a brief career as a solo artist under the name Broadway and made some fresh music, but my life was going in so many directions that I pretty much took myself out of the game. I chose to focus on my family and getting our situation right. I still maintained my love of music and hip hop as a fan. I continued writing and crafting music which allowed me to evolve behind closed doors into the entity you see today.
F.O.R.M.: On your new album "InfoBahn" you work with a select group of producers. Gameboy produced many of the dope joints, JLBR Productions, Sweet Spot from France, as well as a few others. What do you look/listen for when it comes to selecting a producer to work with?
I was blessed to work with artists that have new fresh thought provoking sounds. Gameboy, Sweet Spot, JLBR, and Eastboro Productions were producers who all had beats that "spoke" to me. When I hear a beat I don't necessarily choose it because it's "Hot". I choose beats that already have a feeling, a story, and I just add my piece to it.

I'm very pleased to work with the mentioned producers as they have provided me with the dynamic soundscape needed to tell my story.
F.O.R.M.: On the collaborative tip, you have guest features from Ray Robinson, Richie Hennessy, J De Guvna and Maccie Paqquette. That's a very diverse list of guests. How did you choose which artists to include on the album?
I choose artists who I know are also "Left field" and have a unique sound. My main goal is to bring a new sound, an original sound, with artists who strive for the same goal. Every artist I worked with on the album added a unique voice.

I definitely want to shout out Dvocalz (who sang on Hildskjalf/It’s Too Damn Late) and Patrick Christopher & Jessica Rose Sturrup (who sang on What's The Forecast?) because their voices were very key in the outcome of those songs. Most artists I work with, we share a connection whether it's spiritually, musically or a friendship.
F.O.R.M.: Having toured with many great groups and artists such as The Beatnuts and Snoop Dogg, who did you learn the most from and what would you say was the most valuable lesson?
I learned a lot from everyone to be honest. I picked up from Snoop that it doesn't matter how successful you are it's always important to strive for more. Snoop is a multi platinum selling artist but you could tell he's still having fun while being a professional.

When BrassMunk toured with The Pharcyde it was good to see that friends can still do business even after years of being together as a group. Beatnuts brought a lot of energy to their shows and they were humble and showed us lots of love.

The bottom line touring is work, but you still gotta approach it with the perspective of being professional while at the sametime of actually enjoying yourself. The days are long and nights are even longer so it's very tiring and you can definitely get homesick.
F.O.R.M.: With a track like "Family Guy", you're clearly a devoted father and husband. As a married father of two, what is your biggest challenge when it comes to balancing time between your family and music business?
The main challenge is quality time. I fortunately involve my family 100% in my musical endeavours so they usually are at all my shows, etc, but there are times when I am not around because of commitments that they cannot be at.

The music game overall can be short lived and the industry is very fickle so it's important for me to maintain a level head and my family helps me with that.
I strive to have as much quality time with them as possible and sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.
F.O.R.M.: Are there any up and coming or established artists who you would like to work with on future projects?
I would love to with Jay Electronica, Saukrates, Kendrick Lamar, Q Tip, and Kanye West, just to name a few. There are many artists out there that are great and im sure our paths will cross sooner than later.
F.O.R.M.: In your bio, I read that you had take a "regular" job during a rough stretch just to support your self and your family. Obviously you still kept up with the rhyming. This is something that I personally relate to.

Is there any advice you could offer to those indie artists out there who may be experiencing the very same struggle with separating from their "regular" jobs and pursuing their musical aspirations?
The music game is very hard to crack as far as success. Many times you will hear no before yes. My advice is you gotta believe in yourself. No one will believe you unless you believe. Even in the eye of adversity you must believe. You have to be logical and still maintain a regular life which means you still have to work and make money until the music is paying for itself.

Some artists are not logical at all so they quit their job and really experience problems. You need to balance life as an artist along with regular life meaning work. If it's meant to be it will happen. You have to believe so much that you can will it to happen.
F.O.R.M.: Now that you've officially released your first solo album "InfoBahn", what's next for Jus Randy?
What's next is pushing the album, doing shows, keep recording, and most importantly enjoying life as hiphop is life!

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