gal-dem in conversation with Jay Prince

Last month, east London hailing musical prodigy Jay Prince released his Smile Good mixtape. More than just a London rapper, the musician and entrepreneur has previously gifted us with his EP’s BeFor Our Time and Beautiful Mercy. Now his newly released project is out and it features the likes of Raheaven, Jordan Rakei, Danny Smith, Michael Christmas, and a gospel choir.

With fans two-stepping to ‘Where You Belong’ and vibing to ‘The Beginning’, Prince had his fans smiling good at his last London show with Red Bull’s Music Academy Tour last month. Ain’t nobody really know him like his ‘Squad’ aka DRMCLB who vibed with the artist on stage during his final tracks.

The 22 year-old rising star has toured across Europe and North America revealing there’s more to his tours and even more behind his music. From performing at Soulection shows, Coachella and Dour Music Festival to supporting Jess Glyne and Chance The Rapper in his upcoming shows later this month, Mr Prince – a young black man of faith, talent and drive unveils that he is simply sharing his story as life gives him more chapters.

gal-dem: How are you feeling about the mixtape?

Jay Prince: Erm, I’ll say for this one there’s definitely a little something that everyone will like, I don’t like to make the same product twice, I just can’t do that. I like to show my growth and try to come with a different approach but this one is still me. 

It’s a versatile mixtape…

[sniggers] I’ll like to say so myself. It caters to people, people who know me, people who don’t know me and people who want to get to know me and want to hear my story. It’s the same me, just telling my story. 

So your work is your story? 

Yeah man, life will always give you the topics, I just talk about what I go through. 

The ‘Promises’ video dropped last month on YouTube. Do you have any upcoming videos from tracks in the mixtape to release soon? 

Music videos are definitely in the works, I released a song the other day called ‘Father Father’ so that’s the aim, to just get that video out. 

‘Father Father’ – sounds like there is a very personal story behind the song… 

Yeah man its personal, I’m a Christian and as well as that I have faith, period. It was more of just an insight for people to understand my experiences with religion as well as my experiences with life, stuff that I’ve gone through as an artist and a young black man. It’s just a conversation I have with God, my fans and myself – that’s where the song stems from. It’s a fun song, it’s a deep one but I like it. 

So the rumours have been confirmed, you’re touring with Chance The Rapper! How do you feel? 

[laughs] Yeah, that happens in a couple of weeks. I’m excited, I saw him perform at XOYO in 2014, 500 people, it was amazing, I’ll never forget. He ended his set with a Drake song because ‘Acid Rap’ had just came out and he didn’t have enough album music – It was turnt, like, this guy is sick and I love ‘Acid Rap’. 

Also you have to keep pushing, I feel good but I’ve just got to keep working, like it doesn’t stop – I’m the guy who’s in Chance’s position, where he’s touring the world – I want to be that guy, you know what I mean? 

Speaking of pushing on, these morning jogs you post daily on Snapchat, why do you feel the need to let us all know? 

[laughs] That’s that motivation to keep pushing. At first I did it because I wanted to lose weight, I wanted to feel better about myself because I didn’t feel like myself and all I wanted to do was feel good. I wanted to make losing weight fun for myself so I wanted let people know and as soon as you let people know it keeps you on your toes. 

Image by: Steve Stills

Cool, tell us about ‘DRMCLB’, apparently the store sold out stock very quickly? 

Yeah man, the hats sold out in 2 days, it was crazy. I had hoodies come out in first drop and they sold out in about a week. Initially the idea was that it is my music label and I wanted to attach the apparel side of it because I wanted to tap in to all different markets. Fashion has been a low-key passion of mine but I’m not a fashionista, I like the casual streetwear everyday kind of style. But this DRMCLB stuff is more of a lifestyle, it’s not really about the clothes, it’s a collective of talented people. It’s about believing in what you do. 

And when you do what you do on stage, do you get nervous? 

When it comes closer to the time I get really eager to go on because, as soon as I get on the stage the nerves go. Like, I can’t wait, I get very agitated like, you know when you’re about to get an injection and you’re like just do it! Hurry up! That’s how I feel. Its very similar to that. Then you receive that energy and you’re not thinking about hitting the notes you practiced in rehearsal but you’re just giving that feeling behind your song. Nothing else matters but that moment. 

Smile Good is out now, available to stream here.

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