A Wisconsin transplant, JJ, p.k.a. scruffpuppie, is a young artist recording indie and alternative lofi music. Their Never Coming Home project, released in October 2020, in addition to consistent releases on their YouTube channel, helped scruffpuppie to quickly become an online sensation. In this interview, JJ chats about their recording process, upcoming work, plans for 2021, and more.
Hey JJ, thanks for chatting with us. You’re based in Wisconsin right now, but you’ve lived all over the United States. How has this shaped you and your music?
It’s really made me a lot more open minded, I’ve met so many people who’ve made so many different styles of music. It’s super sick to work with so many different artists and learn how to make music of all kinds.
Your first album, Zombie Boy, released in 2018. What inspired this project? And, is this the first project you’ve recorded, or have you been making music for much longer?
Zombie Boy was a compilation of songs that I had been writing over about two years. It was the first project I had actually fully decided to put together, but I’ve been writing music almost all my life.
What’s the process behind writing and recording a song like?
It mostly consists of me sitting in a concrete broom closet in my house, in the dark, thinking about shit that I’m going through or have gone through. It’s a very personal and emotional experience and it often consists of a lot of crying.
This year, you released your second album, Never Coming Home. How has your music changed since releasing Zombie Boy and what did you want to accomplish with this project compared to Zombie Boy?
It’s definitely a lot more polished. I think Never Coming Home was kind of my transition into becoming a more professional artist, but while the songs are songs I’m proud of, they aren’t my favorite sitting in my drafts. It doesn’t feel as raw as it should be. I’m working on another project currently that really reaches back to my diy roots.
You’ve released some singles with cmten to be released on an EP under your side project, grimtweakr. What separates the grimtweakr project from scruffpuppie, and what else can we expect from the EP?
Grimtweakr is a representation of my emotions, but a lot more literally written. Grimtweakr music is a lot less raw and more like a “hey im fucking sad” to the face. I have a lot of fun making grimtweakr style music, possibly more fun than writing a scruffpuppie song. But, you didn’t hear it from me…
What are your plans for 2021?
Hopefully a new album, and a tour, if this COVID shit doesn’t keep up.
Have any shoutouts or anything you’d like to mention?
Shoutout cmten, digiteto, and Scott Ryan. Be on the lookout for the grimtweakr EP titled junction 15 soon. Thanks so much!
With more music planned for 2021, and two incredible projects already in the books, the future is bright for JJ. Interested in listening to more from Scruffpuppie? Check out their full discography on Spotify.