Q&A with Samjlowkey
What does your name mean?
The opposite of what people think it means, then the opposite of that. A paradox. Think, as I’m Lowkey I’m high key, I’m not really lowkey but I’m not really high key, I’m high key and I’m lowkey. I’m all of it and none of it. And Sam J? That’s just my name fool.
In what genre of music would you categorize your music?
Grunge hip hop rap
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
My smart ass response is "Too Legit To Quit," but for real, too real for anybody who ain’t legit. Too real for anybody who ain’t on some dope shit. So different sometimes it might make people uncomfortable. But it’s because it's brute and it’s honest. It’s honest and different
What can you tell us about your latest release "Lowkey Like Me"?
"Lowkey Like Me" is finally something where I let loose and didn’t try to be what anybody told me to be. There’s no walls, it’s just me. It’s raw, real, I just wrote it and created it like this. It’s probably the most authentic rap song I have so far. I trusted myself on this one, it was entirely me, I was honestly ready to quit the day before and decided to give it one more try. I guess it’s one of those things where when you’re at the end and feel like you’ve lost it all, you find it the most. Because there was nothing else left except for me so I laid it on the track. Call it my therapy.
Who are some other artists you have been compared to?
Yelawolf obviously. We don’t sound alike at all, lifestyle maybe but people expect me to sound like Yelawolf. There are certain aspects about me but the sound is totally different, I could never rap like him he’s just bomb, but people get the sound comparison totally fucked up. I get compared to Snow the Product too.
Who inspired you to make music?
People that came into my life that were making music and were helping me. I just saw them getting passed by for whatever it was, but I heard Kodak Black and he's actually a really big inspiration, he was so different. No one liked him at first. I remember hearing about how he would record at these shitty motels, he would just record. Those were literally the songs that would get released. That was a huge inspiration. I fucked with him once, I really stopped to listen to his music because at first I wasn't really fucking with it, it was really, really different. When you walk into a room and another song is on and then a Kodak Black song comes on everyone is going to pause and say, whoa what is this. I was lucky enough to get to meet him and people that were really influential to that process. It's hard to really think about who inspired me to make music but knowing what they went through really inspires me. They are still real and really went through it.
Which one of your songs would you most like to make a video for?
Lowkey Like Me and one of my slower acoustic songs. That way I would be able to show more than one side of who I am musically
If you could open a show for any artist who would it be?
Obviously because I have been so inspired by him, it would be really be cool to open for Yelawolf. DJ Paul and Three 6 Mafia would be epic as well. Those would be the topping of the cake when it comes to that.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Don’t kill yourself because your daughters are going to need a mom, there’s nothing worse than girls that don’t have a mom to turn to. And that came from a pimp. He said ‘Don’t die, I’m a pimp and I’m a boyfriend pimp, there’s nothing harder than the girls that didn’t have a mom to turn to.” He said, “The girls that are out there, the ones whose moms were dead, that had killed themselves or something like that, there’s no hope for them.” So that advice right there kept me alive.
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
All the fake ass not really experienced in having ass people leading people down the wrong direction. It really ain’t right. People rapping about guns who ain’t really experienced what it’s like to live in a life with guns and hustling and people dying and the struggle. I hate that shit, it really makes me mad, people are buying their way in. That’s not how it’s supposed to be, we as artists have a job to do, we’re supposed to be vessels guiding people and helping people. You can’t do that if you’re sitting there acting like you lived a life you never really lived. Who the fuck are you helping as an artist if you do that? You’re only helping yourself. You’re not helping the people that need it, the people who are going through it, they can’t listen to you. Because you don’t know. So many people suffer not getting the medicine they need because there’s artists out there that are getting the limelight that shouldn't because of money or whatever, and the ones that should be getting the limelight that are helping people, it’s all a popularity contest. People aren’t being held responsible. I would change that. I don’t know how or if it’s even possible. It's like the kids have cracked the system and hear what’s popular and do it to get ahead, acting like they have something they don't.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Not to follow in my footsteps. Just take your own footsteps. Something bigger and better than themselves and have faith in themselves. And don’t listen to anybody that tries to get them to do something they feel isn’t right. Always take advice. Listen to advice but listening doesn’t mean you have to act. Take it in but listen to your heart, and don’t ever give up. Persistence is key. Annoy the fuck out of people and just do. If nobody cleared a path for you, you have to clear it. So take a couple steps in my shoes maybe but then go on, learn some shit then move on.
What’s next for you?
Everything. All of it. Good stuff I hope, honestly I don’t know though. Only God knows.