At the start of the year, rapper, singer and record producer, Je’kob Washington gave out his first solo effort for free on his website. The album “Minor Setbacks for Major Comeups” became an instant Yada favorite. Harry Itie got a chance to catch an interview with the multi talented musician. Enjoy
YADA: What is the concept behind Minor setbacks for Major comeups?
Jekob: Life is full of ups & downs, light & dark shades of blues. The concept really drives off of both the ups & downs life brings us. For every down there is an up. I really try to connect on a personal & real level with the listener on each song. Transparency is the overall goal. I’ve received a lot of random hate from the industry because I don’t butter things up or make living life with Christ peaches & cream. I address some issues & struggles even with myself. But at the end of the day I have to be real with the listeners. I’m in my own lane, & even though sometimes it’s hard, it’s just who I am.
YADA: What inspired you combining two genre’s of music to create an awesome sound?
Jekob: Mainly my influences. I listen to a little bit of everything from classical to hip hop, dance, pop & rock so all those genres naturally come out in the music I create. I always felt like if my record is eclectic but sounds like a NOW cd with a bunch of random hits than I’ll be satisfied.
YADA: You have recorded over 50 tracks for your solo project, how has the entire process been for you?
Jekob: Man it’s always a crazy process. I have been sitting on solo material for years doc. I’ve never really focused on releasing anything solo but when I began to really focus on it my heart just came pourin out.
YADA: On the album booklet you talk about depression and hopelessness and how God helped you through it. Do you want to share?
Jekob: Yeah definitely. 100% transparency bro. Man I’ve been told I’m like eyore from winnie the pooh at times. I love the rain, I love bein solo on a beach far away from everything and everyone sometimes. Not necessarily because I don’t like people or I don’t love company, but I just get down & that’s really the only thing that cheers me up. I just get super depressed with the way life is in general sometimes. I have to stay in prayer & stay focused or I get real down. I hate all of the hurt that constantly surrounds us in this world. I wish I could do more to change the way things are. For the last 6 years I’ve been oing through some crazy transformations that I believe are bettering me as a man for my ministry, wife, family & career. But it’s been a long road & I honestly owe my sanity to Christ & the incredible angel God brought in my life.
YADA: All my Friends, Haters anthem and the rescue are three songs that have been playing in my head. Would you like to share with our readers what inspired those songs?
Jekob: Well “All My Friends” is basically a song about all the people who are close to me who think I’m a hermit. They don’t see the grind behind closed doors you know. So they invite me places, & I never show up. Not on purpose, I mean I honestly put it on the calendar & want to make it, but when the time comes around to head out the door I usually have my headphones on and I just get sucked in man. Some peeps take it personal but I hope they can forgive me. I love all of the friends & fam in my life, but there is something so powerful about tunnel vision man. The best stuff I’ve done has come in either those moments or in dreams. “Haters Anthem” is self explanatory doc. I Get mad hate from judgmental Christians who don’t understand my vision or mission. I look at it like this – In terms of fishing for men, some people are called to deliver meat in the message & some are called to deliver bait. I do what I am good at, & that is tell real life stories in my music. So if a song about relationships, love, politics, salvation, trials or temptation comes out than so be it. I don’t confine my reach to the inside of church building. I don’t mean it in a negative way but that’s the last place I want to be pegholed. I want to reach the young impressionable youth out in the world who can & will change things if led to the light. “The Rescue” is a picture of a lot of the people out there strugglin to make ends meet today in our world. There are millions of people all around the world who live below the median income level & feel that given the cards they’ve been dealt in life, they have to hustle, sell drugs, join a gang etc to come up in this world. What we do here matters. The song challenges the person who may be struggling on the street corners trying to be the next kingpin to spiritually step outside the world they are in & view the pain & hurt they are causing by selling drugs, or joining a gang with absolutely pointless values etc. It’s also challenges the listener to view those particular people from a loving viewpoint instead of just judging them for living different lifestyle than them. Then it just drives the point home that at the end of the day we all have an unpredictable expiration date. If we lived our life with that thought consistently in mind there would be no way we’d be out there hurtin eachother. No one wants to die in sin or sinning, that’s a fact.
YADA: Tell us about the album that is dropping in mid 2011. Is it still going to be a dual album? What are the plans for the album? Is there going to be a tour?
Jekob: Details are still in the works so I can’t say much other than it is gonna be alot of material. I may be linking up with this new management team so all the details will be lined up soon. I’ll definitely keep you posted.
YADA: Swagger Rock and McPhly Enterprises are your creations. Would you mind telling us about them?
Jekob: Swaggerrock was actually a name my bro in law came up with. I worked up a nice definition for it.
SWAGGERROCK: Urban Definition – Swagger; “How one presents him or her self to the world. Swagger is shown from how the person handles a situation. It can also be shown in the person’s walk.”, & Rock; pertaining to “The Rock Of Ages”. Hence the full meaning of Swaggerrock – “A boldness in ones walk & lifestyle that is inherited when one places his/her faith & trust in the true Rock Of Ages”.
Mcphly is my production label/brand. It’s the flag I produce under. No real deep meaning behind it. I’ve just always loved that name.
YADA: What are the challenges of being an indie artist in the United States?
Jekob: 1. Money 2. Money & 3. Money. Everything else is easy as pie. Basically if you have a little bread to spend on promotion & advertising & you have some great music, you’re set. I mean indy numbers will always be lower than the majors who have major labels to spend upwards of $500k on promo & production but as you can see with some of the competing indies, a little bit of money for promo can go a long way in the digital market.
YADA: Apart from music, what are your other interests?
Spending as much time as humanly possible with my beautiful wife. Going to the beach early in the morning and just staring out into the water. Graphic & web design. Watching good & terribly made films. Apple computers.
YADA: Give us an insight to Je’kob on a saturday?
Jekob: 7am – Wake up & shower
8am – Take our dog Bentley to the beach & pray/devotional
10am – Working on music
12pm – Lunch
1pm – Working on music
5pm – Dinner & a movie with the misses
9pm – Shower
10pm – Working on music
2am – Sleep
YADA: Do you have a role model or mentor?
Jekob: Nobody I really give the title of mentor to. But if I could strive to be like one earthly man it’d be my father. He’s the most unselfish giving person I have ever met in my life. It’s to the point that you would think it’s not real or that he’s putting you on, but he’s 100% authentically unselfish. It’s incredible. He’s really showed me what it means to be a Godly man.
YADA: A final word to our readers especially the Nigerian youth.
Jekob: Never let anyone tell you what you can or can’t be. If mustard seeds of faith can move mountains than fill your pockets with them & go 100% in on your dreams. God is so much bigger than man. No matter what you were born into, poverty, pain, or wealth, do not let the limitations that man has set determine how far you can go. Only God commands the waves to stop at the shore.
Favourite food: Sushi & Frozen Yogurt (Pinkberry) Songs on your playlist:
Heres a random playlist I have –
Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal
Michael Jackson – Earth Song
Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor VI – Confutatis & Lacrymosa
Roger Subirana – Point Of No Return
Favourite movie: 1st – Amedeus – 2nd is a tie between Back to the future, Home Alone & Never Ending Story
TV show you are watching now: Heavy, I shouldn’t be alive, House & Anything on Nick @ Nite after 12am. Cologne you are using now: It’s called Big Pony #3 by Polo Favourite song of all time: Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor VI – Confutatis & Lacrymosa (This is the most moving piece of music ever created) Peanut butter or Jam: Nutella. Favourite book: God Calling By The Two Listeners – Edited by A.J. Russell Favourite bible verse: Phillipians 2:15 (so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky)
For more on Jekob, Visit his website on www.jekob.com or follow him on twitter @iamjekob