UP CLOSE WITH DR.MONEY (JKL4real
The Asia based young talented music sensation, Justin Kingland is a reggae/ dance Hall, artist, who’s mashing up stages and making waves on air and online with his new song (Whatever) around the globe. It’s now clear that when we talk about people changing the face of African music in the Diaspora dance-hall Dr. Money comes in mind. After listening to the songs of the artist, I had to bring him to my Hot Seat and make him answer some questions…
KV: How does technology impact your music?
JKL: Well let’s just say that things are not as they used to be when the only way to own a record was to walk into HMV or any music store and have a physical purchase of copy of a record… NOW it’s the 21st Century so everybody wants to download from the net and I mean almost EVERYBODY. And there are phones and all kinds of gadgets that can be used to download and upload music just some within seconds. There are a lot of websites, and so many technological means of sharing music. There are Bluetooth devices and social media networks that support this and all you have to do is to type an artist’s name or song title and BAM you have it, lol. So I guess it’s an easier and faster way of pushing the music out there. It’s not always
KV: Tell us a little bit about your background- where did you grow up and go to school, how many siblings do you have?
JKL: I grew up in the South Eastern part of Nigeria, Anambra State precisely, with my mum, dad, and my siblings… I have brothers and I’m the 3rd seed. I attended St Jude and St Augustine primary school in Aguleri and Anam both in Anambra state and i was later admitted in St Dominic savio seminary Akpu Anambra state Nigeria and atended my , J.H.S. at Community Sec Sch and USSA both in Otuocha and Agulu in Anambra state. I furthered my education when i was in Malaysia which i finally came out with my degree in Business Admin.
KV: How did music influence your childhood?
JKL: In our home, i think each person has special talents and I can say that my mum is a better singer than me. She use to sing in the church and she was part of the choir so music was a way of survival for us…a place of joy, a place to escape emotionally and mentally, and even spiritually. My Mum had the music on 24/7. Music was food and water for us when money was down. We were so full and satisfied as long as music was blasting through the speakers in our home. It influenced every aspect of my childhood. I love listening to reggae because my elder brother always blasts it.
KV: DID YOU HAVE ANY FORMAL EDUCATION IN MUSIC:
JKL: Yes, music is a ‘Technical Discipline’ that you need to study. Just like accountancy before you can comfortably work in a bank. I learn everyday when writing and recording our songs. Music is dynamic in nature and need to be studied with all the senses fully opened and it means if you don’t study the trends and how it is evolving over the years, you will only be producing what nobody wants to listen to. Yes I study the rudiments of music on my own but, no formal classroom education.
KV: What is the importance of music in society, as a whole?
JKL: I think music is the soul food therefore all artist should be absolutely honest with what we write about, because music never lies… and good music never dies it addresses all issues that are so hard for the average person to talk about. Society is filled with so much politics, gender issues, spiritual issues, class issues but at the end of the day music is the only element in life that EVERYONE is so cool with. Music is the society’s best friend… so you can always count on it.
KV: WHAT INSPIRES YOUR KIND OF MUSIC
JKL: It is quite amazing, first of all. Music is my God giving talent so it comes from above. But JKL4Real on a normal day is inspired by the crazy beats by my sound engineers. Most of songs are like reality checks. They are things that happen to people including you and I every day.
KV: Who were your favorite musicians when you were growing up? –
JKL: I never really had or have a favorite musician because, I’m an all-rounder when it comes to that but I know Bob Marley was an artist I listened to EVERYDAY…and Joseph Hill, Still waters, Fella Kuti,, as well you know, talk abt Nas, 2pac, B.I.G and some various artist. I also remember my Mum constantly playing Gospel because my dad was Osadebe fun and then my older brother too and his friends won’t give a break about their arguments which got me also addicted too. Listening to shaggy, Daniel Wilson, Majeck Fashek, Sizla Kalonji, Elephant-man and couple of other artists got me attracted to the Dance hall music at a tender age
. KV: Who are your favorite Ghanaian musicians now?
JKL: I just try and update myself with what’s new around the world and in the industry , that’s all, and I have specific songs that I really like…and of course I still listen to old school jams. I listen to artist’s like Sarkodie, , stonebowy,Ras Kuuku, Bisa K’dei, Obibini,Shatta wale and many more
KV: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT DANCE-HALL IN GHANA’S MUSIC INDUSTRY?:
JKL: The industry has its own challenges. But Dr Money feels more can be than to resolve some of the horrible challenges facing us. The future of DANCEHALL in Ghana music is safe if we the artist understand the dynamics in music and will learn to put a good content in our song. The backbiting, selfishness, greed and beefing is already part of a Black man’s mind..lol. But Musicians in the west are putting best measures in selling their songs out, and their various industries support them. So we can also find a way out. And one good thing about this whole thing is that African rhythm has taken over the World.
KV Aside Ras kuuku, Shatta wale, Stonebwoy, Which Ghanaian musician would you like to work with and why?
JKL: I would love to work with the legends. I can’t name them because I would work with them all if I could, lol. I grew up listening to …Bob Marley, Peter Touch, Joseph Hills, Culture, Shaggy etc, so it’s all about conscious vibes and positivity… and when it comes to our own time
KV: WHEN ARE YOU RELEASING YOUR THIRD ALBUM?
JKL: I have a tall list of songs that can make up an album but my team and i are very careful as to what to push into the market now? We are still working on our brand and strengthening our fan base before any other things. So when we’re ready my public relation’s team helpful though because of copyright issues and other disadvantage but I think it’s just a matter of getting your music up on to the right sites and the right people. In a whole it makes music making much easier and i hope it’ll not make the artist feel lazier. Most of my singles and album can be purchased on ITunes, CD-Baby, Rhapsody, E-Music, my songs are on over 150 digital stores on-line, some are free to stream and download while some are strictly pay as you download.
KV Since entering the music scene, what’s the most important thing you have learned?
JKL: I’ve learnt to trust and believe in God, Prayer is the master key, also that time will tell in everything, and good works will surely be rewarded as the evil will not go unpunished and That you have to stay humble no matter what because a lot of unexpected things are going to hit you like a ton of bricks and that can make you lose focus and remain untrue to your art. I know we live in the projects broke with no lights on, but still we have to be strong and mostly be true to yourself, be good and as well help others in need.
KV: HOW DOES YOUR FAMILY SEES YOUR MUSIC CAREER?:
JKL: Well it was difficult initially but with time they have realize music chose me and therefore i have to response to the divine call. Am coming from a very religious home where circular music is not a family thing because of the negative perception. And those who knows me too well calls me Justin Prophet.
KV; A LOT OF GIRLS OUT THERE WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU ARE SINGLE:
JKL: Music is my focus right now. I don’t really want to be talking about relationship as the focus is the business now. I love all my fans all day and respect their concern as well.
KV: Out of all of the songs you have released, which one is your favorite?
JKL: I love the new one that’s out now, ‘What ever’…it really shows the serious side of me, the African part of me which the fans are love and this song is the introduction to that side of me. And I’ll always try to stay true to myself. I also have a few more favorites on the list but I can’t tell you about that now, as i wish to use that as a surprise to the fans lol .
KV: Tell me a bit about your hit song “Google Me”. What influenced you to write that song and how did you come up with the concept for the video?
JKL: Haha!!! those were the Really Good times and that particular song I had the concept all about my life and people surrounding me .The Google me video was shot by DeeJay Obino under 4real Records, sponsored by Ofu Obi International Club of Malaysia and co sponsored by 4real Records, directed by Obino……………………..
KV: What were you doing and where were you the first time you heard your song on the radio?
JKL: Jah know! I think it was a foreign presenter that played my song first and I was actually being interviewed by him at the same time and oh my! To myself, it sounds better on air, lol, but I was euphoric and so confident because I knew it already sounds good.
KV: Describe the way that you write your songs—what factors into your music writing process?
JKL: It depends…on what I’m writing about, my environment/atmosphere, my mood and whether I have a beat already or not…I think maybe I should take you around with me sometime so you can see how it really works, the different and many ways I handle writing, recording and production sessions etc. You would love it cos I like to work with a concept therefore most of my songs have a good story line. Most important part of it is that i don`t write songs down first before recording them, i do normally sing what i have in my head out first before writing them down, most times when i picked up a pen to write, one voice will be asking me why am i forcing it and i will drop my pen, walked into the booth, offload the whole inspiration by voicing them out and then listen while i write them down.
KV: You tend to sing in English, patoa, French and Igbo. How important is the language when composing a song and how do you determine which language a song will be sang in?
JKL: I’ve done a few songs in Igbo, English, and Patoa before, hehe…I just hear a beat/rhythm and HEY there has to be another dialect in there because it just comes to me like that and feels like sometimes someone control my mind. I can just enter a studio and just do a good track just like that. The English language is what I’m more used to, Igbo is my mother’s tongue, and patois is for the streets so the three always remain a priority in my works still.
KV: What are your goals for this year?
JKL: More videos, more music, more shows, Charity works, travelling to the world and spreading the word… JKL Music, Justin Kingland Foundation.(JKF)
KV: If you were not making music, what do you think you would be doing in your life?
JKL: A priest….Those who really knows me too well calls me Justin Prophet…
KV DO YOU HAVE SPECIFIC DIET IN KEEPING YOUR GREAT VOICE:
JKL: I’m not so religious to that extends but I’m also very careful not to lose my voice. I eat what every African eats. I don’t joke with my regular voice training session and that’s all..
KV: WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO TELL YOUR FANS OUT THERE?
JKL: I want to thank God, My Team, #Team1withGOD, 4Real Records, FOA, BIG30 FUN CLUB, and the loyal fans out there for the love and support they are giving me. I’m so grateful. I have a lot of songs including collaborations coming up this year so they should keep their fingers crossed. They can get interactive with me on the social media. They can get interactive with me on the social media. On facebook/jkl4real: on Twitter: @jkl4real, my channel on Hulkshare/kingland1
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CREDIT: KWEKU VIBES