There is no ques­tion­ing that a nation­al lock­down often brings out the worst in us and offers very little pos­it­ive work, espe­cially in cre­at­ive fields. Through­out this pan­dem­ic only a few good moments come to mind that we must be thank­ful for; Cap­tain Sir Tom Moore rais­ing over £15million for the NHS, four lads in jeans becom­ing a nation­al meme, Piers Mor­gan storm­ing out of his own morn­ing show.

But there is one icon­ic moment that is not being talked about enough! A1 (15) and J1 (17) meet­ing for the first time online. The two young boys from Cov­entry and Kent respect­ively have used their tal­ent, energy and cha­risma to build a core fan base and argu­ably the song for sum­mer 2021. Both A1 and J1 have fit­tingly stayed ahead of the ‘latest trends’ (title of their debut single) by ini­tially releas­ing snip­pets of the song on Tik­Tok which gained so much attrac­tion they were forced to fin­ish the song and release it.

The full-length song is now offi­cial out with over 6 mil­lion views on their You­Tube chan­nel and almost 17 mil­lion streams on Spo­ti­fy. With its catchy hook and play­ful lyr­ics there was no doubt in either of their minds that they pro­duced a hit song. I caught up with both of them to talk about their ori­gin story, new single and future plans.

Can you recap the story of how you teamed up for the read­ers?

 J1 – Cool, so have you heard of house party? A1 was in a room (vir­tu­al) with a couple females and I went to join it to see what was going on. We weren’t friends we just had mutu­als. We star­ted speak­ing and I found out he was a rap­per, I was like ‘oh mad ting’ and went to his Insta and I liked his tal­ent so we fol­lowed each oth­er and been talk­ing ever since.

A1 – It was lit­er­ally by chance we were on the same house party

Before you two had met, what stage of devel­op­ment were your careers in?

A1 – I just star­ted, so when I met J1 I lit­er­ally just star­ted post­ing free­styles on Ins­tagram. I only had one, it was my first one when I met J1.

J1 – I was just post­ing free­styles on Ins­tagram as well, record­ing a bit. I had like three free­styles on my page at the time, see­ing what people liked and thought of my tal­ent. I was get­ting around 7/8k views on them which was good.

How did you start the record­ings for ‘latest trends’ while liv­ing through a pan­dem­ic and being a couple hours away?

J1 – It was CRAZY, A1 went to record. The song was only a min­uet like his part and then he sent it to me and I said I would hop on it as it was short already. I went to a stu­dio in my area mixed it togeth­er then boom, pos­ted it on Tik­Tok.

A1 – When we made the song J1’s audio was ter­rible, so we re-recor­ded it and that was the first time we actu­ally met each oth­er.

How was it meet­ing for the first time?

 A1 – We met in Cov­entry and basic­ally (starts laugh­ing) I saw J1 and saw how tall he was and I just star­ted laugh­ing. He made me feel so short. But after meet­ing him for quite some time I got used to his height.

J1 – It was the longest jour­ney in my life. Def­in­itely worth it though! It was a fun day.

Whose idea was it to first release it on Tik­Tok ini­tially? Did you know it was going to go so vir­al?

J1 – A1 didn’t want to post it at all but I was like nah they have to hear this so I screen recor­ded it and pos­ted it.

A1 – I was so annoyed at him. I was like ‘what you doing? Why are you post­ing it on Tik­Tok?’ and then it popped off and now I have to say thank you to J1 ‘ahah!’

J1 – I didn’t know it was going to go vir­al, I just wanted to see what people would think about it. It was always my plan to post it on Tik­Tok regard­less.

What’s the most ran­dom video you have seen using the latest trends sound?

A1 – I think the one where someone gulped a whole drink in one go.

J1 – Yeah, the one where the guy has two mon­sters (drink) and pours it in a cup and takes it down in one.

You are both extremely young artists so I am curi­ous to find out who your music­al influ­ences are?

J1 – Santan Dave, he’s a big one for me. I like what he talks about.

A1 – Same, I lit­er­ally watched Dave from a young age. He def­in­itely is one of my inspir­a­tions. I can relate to him to a cer­tain extent.

In such a short space of time your careers have really accel­er­ated, what has been the most defin­ing moment for each of you?

A1 – Mine is just going stu­dio and just see­ing people I looked up to. Like I went to the stu­dio and saw Tiffany (Cal­ver) and I was like ‘Woah,’ Tiffany is just there cas­u­ally.

J1 – Yeah that was a mad exper­i­ence still. Also 1 mil­lion streams on Spo­ti­fy. I was with A1 when it touched 1 mil­lion as well.

A1 – Every time it’s been hit­ting a mil­lion we’ve been with each oth­er. It’s been crazy.

Your music video was released earli­er this year, what was it like being on your first pro­duc­tion togeth­er along with some of your mates?

 J1 – It was very fun!

A1 – Nah, you know what it is. At first with the bed­room scene I came in and at first, I was a bit taken back because there was so many cam­er­as in my face. Then after half hour I got used to it and real­ised this is a fun thing and a great exper­i­ence.

J1 – We wanted to bring Tik­Tok into it but the main idea was the story of how he texted me the verse.

A1 – Yeah at first, we are not with each oth­er so we were sort of show­ing the story of how we met.

What has your new-found fame been like dur­ing lock­down?

A1 – The best part, for me, is like people I have looked up to have mes­saged me show­ing sup­port. I haven’t really felt any type of fame yet. I don’t feel fam­ous. We have a long way to go.

J1 – I try to inter­act with fans over lock­down. I duet with them on Tik­Tok, chat with them on DM and we go live on Ins­tagram to speak to them as well.

A1 – We also play PS4 with them.

Are there girls in the DMs?

A1 X J1 – (Both burst out laugh­ing) ‘DTG for life man’

What does that mean?

J1 – ‘Uh oh’


What can we expect to hear from you going for­ward?

A1 X J1 – (At the EXACT same time) ‘More Bangerz!’

You guys have obvi­ously nev­er per­formed togeth­er, will we see that this sum­mer?

A1 – We’re play­ing the patients game right now with fest­ivals and shows we will have to wait and see. But we just want to per­form, even if it’s just in front of 5 people.

J1 – I feel our first per­form­ance togeth­er will just be mad energy. We will love it.

How has your careers impacted your school life and future plans?

 A1 – ‘Ahahaah’

J1 – They just sing our song non-stop on teams.

What would be your dream col­lab­or­a­tion?

A1 X J1 – Dave or Stormzy 100%

Have you thought about the next mile­stone / accom­plish­ment you hope to achieve in the near future?

J1 – Num­ber one in the charts man.

A1 – Yeah num­ber one. We want those plaques.

Once lock­down and restric­tions are over how are you going to enjoy your suc­cess?

 J1 – I wanna fly out, maybe Dubai.

A1 – ‘You’re feel­ing expens­ive J1 yeah?’  Yeah Dubai sounds nice I want that exper­i­ence that everyone’s talk­ing about.

Finally, what is your cre­at­ive pro­cess for mak­ing these bangers and what is the sound you look to rep­res­ent going for­ward?

A1 – It’s amaz­ing because we…

A1 X J1 – (fin­ish­ing off where A1 star­ted) bounce off each oth­er

A1 – If I’m strug­gling I have someone to turn to

J1 – Yeah, It’s the same. The chem­istry is just there.

It was clear to see the under­stand­ing these two boys had between them, they even joked with me about fin­ish­ing each oth­er sen­tences. They both pos­sessed very infec­tious per­son­al­it­ies and with their tal­ent, cre­ativ­ity and most import­antly humil­ity the poten­tial for A1 X J1 is unques­tion­able. As a team, each indi­vidu­al brings a dif­fer­ent dynam­ic while being on the same page cre­at­ively which is a recipe for, as they said, MORE BANGERZ!

See­ing as they only knew each oth­er for a few months I decided to put them to the test with a quick game find­ing out how well they actu­ally know one anoth­er. Remem­ber J1 is answer­ing about A1 and vice versa (all their answers are right unless in brack­ets).

Shoe size?

J1 ‘size 7’

A1 ’10’

Favour­ite drink?

J1 ‘Bigga’

A1 ‘Water’

Celebrity crush?

J1 ‘Maya Jamma’

A1 ‘I don’t know’ (Stef­flon Don)

Most worn brand?

J1 ‘Nike’

A1 ‘Nike’

How many fol­low­ers on Ins­tagram?

J1 ’44.1k’

A1 ’51.7k’

Favour­ite meal?

J1 ‘Papa Johns’

A1 ‘McDonald’s 20 chick­en nug­gets’

Vexes him most?

J1 ‘Don’t know A1’ (People who talk too much)

A1 ‘When J1 gets woken up’

Favour­ite sub­ject?

J1 ‘None’

A1 ‘Maths’

Snapchat or Ins­tagram?

J1 ‘Nah A1 airs all his mes­sages on snap, Insta still’

A1 ‘Snap 100%’

Child­hood aspir­a­tions?

J1 ‘Don’t lie you wanted to be Ben 10’ (Spider-man)

A1 ‘What did you want to be?’ (Power ranger)

Go listen and watch A1 X J1 single ‘latest trends’ and make sure you fol­low the boys to keep updated with their work. The remix to their single fea­tures the one and only Aitch and is set to drop Thursday 11th of March. We all look for­ward to hear­ing what’s more they have in store!

A1 — @a1orfundz

J1 — @j1mulla

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Oscar Green

Oscar Green

Oscar is straight out of North West Lon­don. A music enthu­si­ast who loves any­thing from Hip-Hop to Reg­gae to Drum and Bass. He is always on the hunt for new music and runs an events/blog page on Ins­tagram

About Oscar Green

Oscar Green
Oscar is straight out of North West London. A music enthusiast who loves anything from Hip-Hop to Reggae to Drum and Bass. He is always on the hunt for new music and runs an events/blog page on Instagram