In 2019, I started hosting a streaming radio show on the Stationhead app as an ambassador. For a year, the show was all over the place, finding the sweet spot for a show time, covering various genres, and offering lots of giggles. It wasn’t until January of 2020 that I focused my ideas and energy on creating a consistent show featuring independent musicians and artists on what became the “Friday Night Frequency.”
Interviewing independent musicians and artists is my favorite way to connect with artists I love while promoting and elevating their music. I also approach interviews a little differently. I don’t want to know what everyone else knows or what everyone else is asking. I want to get to know the artists as PEOPLE and help them connect with their future fans and followers.
To reach more of you and remind everyone how dope it is to pop up on the Friday Night Frequency, I am bringing all of the goods here to all of you, starting with my first interview from 2020.
Date: January 16, 2020
Host (P): Photobombshell
Artist (J): Jerellz
Listen: Hear the FULL unedited recording
J: Photobomb! What’s up, what’s up!
P: There he is! How are you?
J: I’m good. Thanks for having me. How are you doing?
P: I’m good! Thank you so much for coming to the show. I’ve had you on my calendar for the longest time!
J: Yeah, yeah. Highly anticipated.
P: It’s about time.
P: So tell us about you. For people who don’t know you at all, where are you from? What is your music style? We are bumping my favorite track right now, so that’s good timing.
J: For real?
P: Yeah. Talk to us about you and your roots and what you have going on. Give us the good stuff.
J: Well, my name is Jerellz. I’m from New York City. I’m 24. I’m an independent artist, not signed to anyone right now. Currently, I am working on my journey and exposure and everything that entails. I have a couple of different styles of music, as you know. Sometimes it depends on how I feel. Do you know what I’m saying?
P: Yeah, I was going to ask you about that too because this track here, My Side, is almost like dancehall music, but you have some hard-hitting tracks, too. I was listening to a couple of those in the gym.
J: Let me find out. For real?
J: That’s what’s up! That’s what’s up. OK!
P: Yeah, I’m a big fan. How did you come to have such dramatically different styles from one to the next? Is that something you did intentionally or were you inspired by somebody to move in those directions?
J: The way that specifically “My Side” came about was, I did want to step outside of my box. The type of music you listen to (that you go to the gym to), that hard stuff is what I make, a lot of my peers were challenging me. They say I have a different type of voice that can go to different ranges, high and low, so they said I should put out a song like this. I’m putting out that type of music, where it’s like, you play it, and it’s an instant club banger. It’s my friends who challenged me on that.
P: Well, they’re good friends. Hang out with those friends. That’s awesome. My Side is one of my favorites, and I like the fact that you’re not just rapping. You are singing. Not everyone can pull that off.
J: Yeah, as much as I can. Yeah.
P: Did you autotune a little bit? You snuck some autotune in there?
J: My engineer probably snuck in a little bit of autotune in there, I’m not going to lie.
P: It’s good! No, it sounds natural. Some people when they autotune takes away everything that they are doing. It doesn’t even sound like a person anymore. Not everybody can be T-Pain, but you didn’t go to the T-Pain level there. It’s legit. You’re singing.
J: The thing is how much autotune you use. On a scale of 100, some artists are using 60-70% autotune. On mine, I like to use 15% autotune and the rest reverb. Reverb is what makes it sound like you’re in a stadium.
P: Like an echo, yeah.
J: It gives a little bit more of that clarity, too. Yeah, you know, it adds a little sauce in this day and age, the autotune. You have to know how to use it. I think I do know how to use it, so it doesn’t overwhelm my listeners where they think it’s a robot singing.
P: Well, the fact that I even had to ask means you’re doing it well. That’s awesome, and if you perform it live, people aren’t going to be like, wait, who is this guy? Wait. That’s not how this song sounds. It will still sound like you, so that’s legit.
J: It’s funny that you say that because that’s why I don’t use so much autotune. When I perform, it doesn’t sound like two different people performing on the mic. I can still use my voice, so it sounds how I did in “My Side” because I’ve done that many times.
P: You have new stuff coming up or something that JUST came out. What’s going on soon for Jerellz?
J: Well, I have a whole bunch of music right now that is just waiting to come out. I have a project that’s about to come out on March 16, called Energy & Substance.
P: Everybody, mark your calendars.
J: I can’t wait for that to come out. It’s going to be fire. OOF! I’m not just saying it because it’s me. I’m saying it because I’m proud of how I keep growing as an artist. Every project that I put out, I keep hearing my growth. Oof. By saying that “OOF” at the end emphasizes to my listeners here, who have listened to the music I have out right now, that this is BETTER work. If you liked that, you’re going to love this.
P: Hell, yeah. You have to be leveling up all the time. If you were not a musician, who would you be, and what would you do now? What profession would you be in instead of music?
J: I would probably be somewhere selling something. I’m a salesman, naturally. I’ve always had jobs like that, multiple door-to-door sales jobs. I’m from New York City, but I went to college in Rhode Island, in Providence. I had a job over there, doing door to door, selling vacuums. I was grinding hard and going to school full-time. When that didn’t work out with my schedule, I got another job doing Verizon Fios. Initially, I wasn’t comfortable with door-to-door sales. A friend of mine in the dorms was doing it, and he said it was good money because of the commission. Us being college students, we need that money. I tried it out, and I was a natural. Once I started learning the pitches, it was natural. Every rebuttal they had, I learned to combat it. It also helped me with my music with networking and breaking down doors, and not being scared. “No” means next. That’s what I learned.
P: Nice. Listen, everyone needs to write that one down, too. Honestly, it sounds like it’s just part of you as a musician. You’re just hungry and ready to move forward. You’re a natural-born hustler.
P: You recently interviewed on another channel on Stationhead, right?
J: Yeah, I am on a lot of stations, meeting a lot of people. There are a lot of cool people on the app. I like the genuineness of people. You know who is cool; you know who is using the app to gain unnecessary attention. I am focusing on people that I instantly connect with. Your brain goes off when you see something that’s serious. When I come across a serious station, like this one, I’m going to follow you.
P: Yeah, I love it.
J: I am going to follow you and hit you up. If you like my music, maybe we can have an interview. It’s all about relationships, and that’s what I love about this app.
P: What is the weirdest question or funniest thing anyone has asked you in an interview so far?
J: To be honest with you, all of the interviews I have done so far have been about my music. I haven’t gotten into those interviews where we are breaking, where we get deep into conversation, and we are laughing.
P: Oh, get ready. You have homies on here, who know you and love you, but some people get into your music who don’t know you. If they get to know you as a human being and learn some goofy shit about you, that will attract them to you as a person and an artist.
P: I have some fun things coming for you. We are going to do the regular shit first. Of all of the songs you have released, which one is the best, in terms of quality and why?
J: If I have to pick one song that meets all of the things I am looking for, I would have to say, “Imaginary.” The song is well mixed, and the concept is good. On top of that, it’s also a good song to bump to. People can jam to that, so it meets all of the components to a good song. I think that “My Side” also has those, but I also think I need to do another mix on that just to make it sound crispier.
P: Do you produce them as well?
J: I don’t. I have an engineer who is a childhood friend of mine. I go to his studio, which is Plug Studios in the Bronx, and that’s where we make out magic. Sometimes I go to his home studio, but it doesn’t matter because he makes magic.
P: That’s great. You can work whenever. People fight for studio time, but if you have a friend in the business that’s great.
J: Yeah. Everything is about making friends and making connections because the next person you meet might be the person that gives you the opportunity to elevate yourself.
P: Speaking of connections, what musician, any musician in the whole world, would you collaborate with next?
P: Drake? Really?
J: I admire Drake so much. He is the ultimate chameleon. He can evolve and change. No matter what, he is going to drop it on you. If we were together in the studio right now, we would make some fire bangers. He is so versatile there is nothing that is out of bounds. We could go into the studio and come out with five songs that are in five different genres. I am like that too, so I look at myself like that, versatile like a chameleon.
P: What’s your favorite Drake song?
J: November 18th.
P: Drake is probably one of the most versatile artists out right now in general. Period. He gets a lot of hate because he is soft.
J: He is just himself.
P: Right, but if you think about his roots, he came from real goofy beginnings, so the fact that he doesn’t carry that around with him, getting clowned on for being Aubrey from Canada from a kids TV show..
J: Because he can spit.
P: Yeah, I mean, he is talented.
J: He is one of those people that is undeniable. He is eventually going to go into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I mention that because Biggie just got in and Whitney Houston. Seeing Biggie get in there, that’s dope for me.
P: That’s without question. Biggie has so influenced the culture of music.
J: For them to have accepted Tupac and now Biggie, it’s like people are accepting hip hop now when hip hop used to be laughed at. We are living through that.
P: What a time to be alive! Now, we are going to get into the goofy shit. If you could be a fruit, what fruit would you be and why?
J: A tomato.
P: OH!! A TOMATO!?!
J: Nobody will eat me. Everyone hates tomatoes; I hate tomatoes, so I am going to live for a long time.
J: I’m not going to be an apple or a banana. I’ll be dead by the first day! I’ll be turned into cider.
P: I didn’t even think f that scenario! If you could date any musician or any celebrity, who would it be and why?
J: Does it count if that person is married already?
P: Listen, it’s 2020. We do what we want. It does not matter at all.
J: I’m my age right now, and they are their age right now in 2020.
P: I am waiting for you to say someone like Betty White, who is 96.
J: It would be funny if said someone like Beyonce, because of all of the money, but she is way older than me. That doesn’t even make sense. It would make more sense to pick someone in my age range, but I don’t even know anyone in my age range that I would consider a celebrity.
P: I love how seriously you are taking this. You are really thinking about your future musical wife.
J: I think I would stay single.
P: Good for you! Single and proud! Those people exist still. What is something that nobody asks you, in an interview, that you would want to tell people who listen to you or maybe haven’t heard your music yet?
J: I would want someone to ask me what I need to make my career what I need it to be. People always ask WHY you do what you do. You’ll find that out, but people don’t ask what you need or how they can help you. As an artist, you have to knock down doors. People see you and acknowledge you but don’t help you.
P: I think there is something on the other side of the industry too. There are artists out there who are garbage, and nobody wants to say to someone, your music is terrible. In your case, that’s not true at all. Your shit slaps, and I feel you need a much bigger platform, so I am super psyched you were here tonight.
J: To add to that, nobody owes you anything.
P: You, as a musician, have something to offer that not everyone can do. So, yes, nobody owes you anything but, you have to understand that as an artist when you collaborate, the other person will benefit from it too. I think it’s a matter of networking and getting yourself to a space where people can see your value and how that will help them.
J: It takes two minds to click.
P: This is my last one. See? I didn’t ruin your life on this one or ask your favorite position or anything.
J: Those were great questions. Great questions.
P: Thank you very much! If you had a message to tell your fans, people who love you already, what would you tell them?
J: Don’t give up on me, be patient, and let me deliver; those three things.
P: Jerellz, thank you so much for being here! There will be a playlist going out on Spotify and Apple Music tomorrow. Let everybody know how they can find you on social media and get in touch with you.
J: Definitely. You guys can connect with me on Instagram @atajerellz. It’s the same name for Twitter. Right now, I’m not doing shows because I am working on this project, “Energy & Substance,” so look out for that.
P: Love it! Thank you so much for being here!
J: I appreciate everybody tuning in.
P: Goodnight, sexy beasts. See you next week.