J Grange is a British Rapper and Songwriter born in East London. After facing ongoing mental health challenges J found his passion for music. Through showing determination and portraying a never say die attitude he began his journey into his musical career in early 2019 and it has proven to be a successful first year in the industry. In October his second release ‘Buena Vida’ of which he released on YouTube via Link Up TV accumulated great traction. Appearances on BBC Radio stations , BBC National/Look East news and the BBC National website and additional interest from local newspapers and popular music magazines has helped establish J as a serious emerging and upcoming artist.
2019 you made your debut in the rap scene, how has it been for you?
So far it’s been great I can’t lie. I’ve had great success and support for a new artist with some great opportunities but I can still go much harder! I’m not where I want to be yet but I’m certainly getting closer and closer. I will keep grafting and consequently all the hard work will pay off. Fingers crossed!
How did music help you overcome challenges in your life?
Massively! In fact that’s an understatement I cannot describe how much music helped me overcome challenges. My mental health was leading me down the wrong path in society. I was excluded from various schools and I had altercations with the police and then the law. Things were escalating. I knew I needed to do something positive otherwise I’d be looked upon as another ‘failed member of society’ and I could not let that happen. Fortunately music was the answer.
Growing up in East London, how did your surroundings influence the music you make?
100%. By growing up in London it’s no secret that you are surrounded by crime and its so easy to be dragged down that path. There is also nowhere near as many opportunities as there should be in a place like London especially for people from disadvantaged backgrounds etc.
However personally I think the main influence I take when making my music is my past experiences. My past experiences make me strive for success on a daily basis. I want to prove anyone who doesn’t or didn’t believe in me wrong.
How important is it for you to use your music to inspire the next generation?
Very important! This is one of the main reasons I’m an artist. Not only do I want to inspire my fans and people who admire my music but also I’ve also got a bigger purpose. My mission is to address the issues and stigmas around mental health and change these for the better. I want to some who leaves a legacy for sure.
Your track ‘Buena Vida’ received a lot of love – tell us a bit about the response?
Haha! Yeah I dropped Buena Vida in October last year via Link Up Tv and it has amassed over 100k views which is a great milestone for what was my second ever single. Initially I received a fair bit of hate via the comments but of course this is has to be expected as an artist. The love by far outweighed the hate and shortly after my release I had an interview with BBC News and things started to pick up from there.
Tell us a bit about your latest release ‘Rocky Like A$AP’?
Personally I think Rocky like A$AP is my best track to date. It’s a track I feel many will relate with. It features motivational and inspiring lyrics which talk about ambitions for success, focusing solely on yourself and proving wrong people who doubt you. All my tracks are based around grinding and overcoming obstacles, such as haters, put in front of you to achieve your goals.
Who produced the track and how would you describe the sound?
The track was mixed and mastered by Platinum selling producer DUKUS, who has worked with labels and artists such as Since 93, Warner Music, Atlantic Records, Fredo and Yxng Bane to just name a few. The production is upbeat, bouncy and overall the track has got a real club vibe to it.
You speak a lot about the difficulties you have faced ‘starting from the bottom’, what has been the hardest lesson you have learnt?
There is too many to name! Life is all about learning lessons. For me I personally think the hardest lesson I learnt was the challenges of mental health and how that can affect you in many ways. I didn’t really know my own identity and that hits you hard. I also learnt that in reality nobody has got you like you’ve got yourself. It’s when you’re at the bottom you really see who’s real and who’s fake.
You have a video to accompany the track Tell us a bit about it?
Yeah, Big up Kelvin from Carterfilmss on the visuals, We shot a movie! We filmed in a few different locations. One of the locations is quite unique. I won’t say too much I will let people decide on the visuals themselves!
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
I don’t feel I have faced too many challenges yet as I am still quite new to the industry. Of course I have had some setbacks etc but it’s how you bounce back from this. I am not from a family with a musical background so I came into the industry hardly knowing a single person. I feel I have had to work doubly hard to network and get seen in the industry. A lot of the time It’s not what you know it’s who you know!
2020 has brought us many challenges, what plans did you have to put on hold, and how have you managed to keep active musically through it?
I’ve actually been much more creative during lockdown and it has given me more time to plot my next moves. My mind never stops ticking. I have still been active musically which is great. I had my debut EP drop in May and have been consistently writing and recording new tracks. I had a music video in Dubai planned for June but unfortunately that was put on hold due to the virus. However I’ve been networking with industry professionals in recent months and have been given great support.
What else is in store for you as an artist?
I’m at an exciting stage of my career. I’m still young and still got time in abundance. More Music! More Visuals! Hopefully some exciting collaborations in the near future with a possibility of a new project. I’m also in the process of looking to start up my own initiative and record label for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Where can we follow you?
You can follow me on Instagram @JGrangeofficial , my music can be found on all digital platforms and also via my website which has all information and latest updates via https://jgrangeofficial.com
Listen to ‘Rocky Like A$AP’ Now on Spotify