HangTime Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with youngest member of Cartel Music Group, $JAYY, in Plainfield, NJ. This charismatic soul dabbles in just about everything he finds a fascination in. From photography to production, there isn’t a dull moment in $JAYY’s life.
We give you an inside look at the now high school graduate of North Plainfield High, and the few things that make him who he is!
HangTime: What’s a typical day for $JAYY?
$JAYY: A typical day would be just waking up, I guess finish school (laughs), I’m just going to brush pass school. Since I got this camera, a typical day would just be me coming home from school and hit up anybody through Snapchat like, “yo, who wants to go shoot?” And if no one responds, I would just go out and shoot street photography, or go somewhere random like the park, and [take a picture] of a dope ass flower in the most randomness place. Or just burn something real quick and shoot a photo of that. A typical day is just something artistic, I can’t not do anything, or just sit at home and do nothing!
HangTime: Have you ever had a moment where you felt like you couldn’t do anything artistic, or anything with music?
$JAYY: Hell yeah! That comes with being an artist. You’re not going to have everyday where [you] just do something, get up and create music or draw. Art comes naturally, I’m not going to rush a song that I have to do. I used to do it back then… Every morning I would wake up and create something new. Before I would rush a song, put it out, and BOOM! One day, one of the big homies [Nadus] hit me up and told me, “you have to slow down and stop rushing everything and releasing things prematurely. You need set dates, you need to start working on songs within months instead of hours.” There was a big change in it, so stopped doing that.
HangTime: Do you have a favorite song?
$JAYY: Um, I have two. Me and Gutta are actually working on a project, and there’s this song on it called ‘WXNTD’. It was just a mixture of like this mellow ass trap, infused with jersey club — and that was my favorite track for me. The second I want to say is my remix of Nadus’s ‘Marriage Proposal’ like the first song I made when I came back [onto Soundcloud].
HangTime: Can you think back to your favorite gig?
$JAYY: Hmm... HOT ACTiiON [Bounce Gallery]! When I first met all of you guys, that was like my favorite gig. That was my first gig, EVER! And I could be the first of my family to say “my first gig was in New York.” I don’t anybody else could say that, so that was my favorite one. Plus you guys were lit! [They] played like all my shit! That was a chill vibe... I never thought that I could have a day where I could talk to you guys.
HangTime: What are some of your musical influences?
$JAYY: My dad, I wouldn’t say he was an influence, I think he’s more like a late teacher because I felt like he should have taught me more than he should have — like at an early age. But I’m glad that he taught me this year, honestly. Since I got into jersey club a lot more, Nadus has been number one top influence. I feel like with him, every sound is different, like no song is the same. So I kept him as one of my favorites. This dude switches up every genre like crazy and just masters every single thing. But I didn’t know moombahton, juke, all that… Speaking of juke, Lakim! Who else… TR!CK$, definitely TR!CK$! I know he’s like a teacher to me, but I see myself [as] him, and I know he sees himself in me.
HangTime: What would you like to accomplish in your music the next couple of years? Is there something you would like to try?
$JAYY: I started getting into juke so much and I don’t know how… Swisha, that guy, when I found out about his music, I was like that’s the shit. I want to take my music everywhere. I feel like my music should be played in the most randomness places that you wouldn’t get mad at, but you just thought, “yo, this shit is dope!” Personally, I remember last year I had an epiphany, and I thought “what if I could have this song on ‘Adventure Time’ or ‘The Boondocks’?” I just want to have it everywhere honestly.
HangTime: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
$JAYY: In 5 years, I see myself living/based in California. I can see myself being apart of Soulection, that’s one of my goals! I want to be the first music producer from Jersey to get on Soulection. They have such a dope vibe!
HangTime: What advice would you give to someone your age and aspiring to pursue a career in music production, djing, photography… you know, all the good stuff?
$JAYY: I’d tell them to be themselves and that anything is really possible. Coming from where I come from, I thought that none of this shit would ever happen. That I would never become part of Cartel Music, I would never be good at club music, I thought all of that just wouldn’t be possible. Till this day, I still tell myself “you have this!” Also, the fashion, dress however you want to dress! It would be so “ass” a few years back, but in the future, it’ll be so lit!