We sat down with Northern Virginia artist Jaye Alpha to discuss his recent projects, come up, collective, and personal life.
Jaye! My man… Introduce yourselves to us.
Wassup it’s Jaye Alpha, you already know wtf goin on…
When did you start making music? Why?
I started making music when I was… 13. My parents were both rappers and they had a studio in the basement, all that. Naturally, I just took a liking to music. I still remember the first song I wrote on a plain piece of paper, no beat no nothing. From there it turned into a passion.
How has being an NoVA artist affected your music and career?
I feel like when people think of “DMV Artists” they think of one flow, one sound. A lot of people in the area have stuck to this familiar sound and most receive positive feedback. However, I tend to not to follow the crowd so my music sounds nothing like DMV music. It’d be easier to go along with what you think people want to hear. I feel like if I were to join the wave, I’d be in a better position than I am now. But I make music for myself so anybody that enjoys my songs I know I probably fuck with.
You’ve got a ton tracks released on your SoundCloud and two on paid platforms. Which is your favorite and which did you enjoy working on the most?
Ice cream is probably my favorite song of mine of all time. Every time I hear it, I crank to it and that’s a first with my music. I could tell while I was making the song that it was going to be one of my best yet. When I recorded it, it came out even better. Since every song after that, I’ve been trying to outdo myself to make a better and catchier song than Ice Cream. That’s the goal every time now.
You’ve got a number of videos directed and/or filmed by ShotbyJP. What was it like working with him? Did he do anything specific to make your videos stand out?
JP’s the homie, working with him was hella cool. When I moved to Cali I met JP through Twitter I think. I saw he was working with the only other rapper in the area I knew about so I hit him up. We linked up eventually because we had mutual friends and just started kicking it since then. Mind you this was before he got a little clout… But since the beginning, he was naturally talented at what he does. The videos we released together didn’t have a specific story line or anything. We were actually working on a video for a song I made fairly recently at the time. But it had a story to it and involved other people so it never really came together. That video would’ve shook niggas … on God.
Talk to us about your writing and recording process.
When I write a song, I can take 30 minutes to a week to finish it. After listening to a beat for 30-45 seconds, I know if I can make the song or not. If the hook and/or flow comes to me within that time, the song is going to be a hit. These are the kinds of beats where you don’t even think about writing. The song ends up writing itself and before you know it, I’m done and ready to record.
When I go to record, most of the time I’m one take Drake. After writing songs, I’m not usually in the studio immediately after so I have time to go over the songs. By the time I do go to the studio, the songs are practically memorized and I just work on the sound of it.
What inspires your music the most?
Honestly, new music inspires my music. Also, drugs. The art of music has been around for a long time and there are many different genres and subgenres that divide music into different sounds. With such a variety of sounds, it’s easy to pick and choose ones with your taste in order to create a sound to call your own. Whether I like it or not, as an artist, I’m easily influenced by the different music I hear. It allows me to create my music freely without limits.
Where do you see your music going from here?
Since I graduated high school I started taking my music seriously as a career. It used to be something like a hobby that I thought I could possibly get famous from. Now it’s become something I see myself doing as a career because no kind of work gives me the same fulfillment as making music.
Talk to us about any upcoming releases you have. Any features or projects to be on the lookout for?
I got my second EP dropping later this year, definitely be on the lookout that. I got a BigBabyGucci feature on there but I’m not gonna speak on the others, it’s a surprise.
Any shout outs? Thank you’s?
SHOUTOUT TO MY YUCK LIFE FAMILY YALL DISGUSTING <3
Like what you hear? Check out Jaye Alpha’s music on all platforms here. Let us know what you think of Jaye’s music in the comments below.