JEHIAH Q & A

Without a doubt one of the most talented artists that I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing about at Early Rising, 17 year old, JEHIAH, is up there with the best of them when it comes to rising artists in rap music. From a small town just outside of Houston, Texas, it is clear (at least in my eyes) in his sound that JEHIAH is a frontrunner for being the next big thing out of the area which is home to talents such as Travis Scott, Don Toliver, and most recently, HVN. I’m not one to jump on artists too early, but if there was one artist right now that I would put my chips on in the up-and-coming scene, JEHIAH very well could be that artist. His talent is undeniable, sound is fresh and unique in its own right, and his ear for melody might just be the best I’ve come across out of any acts under the age of 18. With collaborations with world-renowned producer, Cardo Got Wings, in the works and quite a bit of recent editorial support, we may not be the first to recognize JEHIAH’s special talents, but from what I can see there is only one way for this young man to go from here, and that’s up! 

Although this interview took place prior to the release of his most recent single, “Re Up”, releasing, JEHIAH has proven once again that he is as talented as any rising artist at the moment. If anything, the song only reinforces all of the points that I’ve made already and proves that my seemingly large claims might not be so surprising after all. An extremely gifted and kind soul, it was a pleasure getting to chop it up with JEHIAH and talk more about where he is on his journey and where his path will lead. Without further ado, let’s get into the interview!

JOE: For fans who don’t yet know of you yet, I always like to start these interviews off by getting to know a bit more about the artist. Who are you? Where Are You From? And What’s Been Going on with Your Project?

JEHIAH: Man, I’m from Beaumont, Texas. It’s like a bad part of Texas, it’s crazy down here. I just turned 17 on September 23rd. I’m pretty introverted, I just stay in the studio. I’ve got my equipment set up in my garage. I’ve just been recording and working on this tape with Cardo (Cardo Got Wings). My computer broke down. I had to get it fixed and rebuy pro tools. I had to rebuy everything over again, it was frustrating. It killed my whole vibe – messed me up. I go to high school everyday, regular kid life. It feels good now with where I’m at because a few months ago I was at like two thousand followers and I’m grateful for everything going on – all the people reaching out to me and stuff. I’ve got people that really support my music and really listen to me, like dedicated. It’s crazy. I’ve only got 10,000 followers and my monthly listeners are at like 20,000 on Spotify. It’s a blessing bro. 

JOE: There’s no question that Houston is one of the hottest scenes in music right now. Tell me a bit about what it’s like coming up in that scene at the moment? It’s got to be really exciting. 

JEHIAH: I remember shooting my first video, it was to my song, “Beau Jack”, it was off my first project I released, and I was recording the music video and I was by the Kobe murals and all the Houston legends (murals). And there were people crowded around me just watching me shoot the music video. After I shot the music video, people I’d never met before, they just walked up to me and asked me for my Instagram and I was like ‘damn, it’s some love out there.’ The love is out there, people are amazing in Houston!

JOE: Ya man, I think it’s really amazing what’s going on there too. There seems to be a really supportive community around the arts there that a lot of places just don’t have. 

JEHIAH: Most definitely!

JOE: You’re currently 17 years old, how long have you been making music for and what got you into it originally? 

JEHIAH: Man, I’ve been making music for like… I’d say I started at 13. It was kind of a joke at first. Me and my brothers started freestyling and stuff… My brother was like, ‘you should try making music’,  and I said ‘why not’. I was listening to Travis Scott’s Astroworld around that time when I was like 13-14, and that’s when I decided that I wanted to do this. So, I started writing and talking to my dad about it and he bought me all my music equipment and started me off. My cousin sent me a template for mixing and I just started really recording around like 15 and that’s when I started taking it really seriously, you know? And everything’s been going great after like  16, because that’s when I got a game plan and met my manager, my team, we got all together. It’s just growing, the team is growing, and the bond we are creating with everybody is new. I’ve got a cover artist, his name’s Jelani. I’ve got Jayda in there, she just does her own thing. And you know, we are just working. I’m excited for everything coming up project-wise and stuff. It’s been a long journey, three years of just “no’s” and negative people and everything. A&Rs and stuff, you’d be surprised man, people are crazy man. 

JOE: I remember seeing something on your Instagram story the other day where you talked a bit about the importance of being well-versed in all different facets of the recording process. I’d love to hear a bit more about your recording process and what a regular session looks like for you?

JEHIAH: The best part about recording and stuff is… you’ve got to really feel like making music. I originally started (recording) in my room back at my house, but sometimes I record in my best friend’s garage. It’s gotta be dark for me to record, you know? I don’t like lights when I’m recording except if it’s from the computer. I usually have beats set up which I just go through and whichever one I’m feeling, I load it into a session, and I have a mix already there… I have certain types of presets and I’ll just change the key of the autotune and then I just go. I don’t really write, I just like punch in. That’s what works best for me, unless I’m writing a hook and I don’t want to forget something. But like, writing isn’t really good for me because I’ll write something and imagine what it will sound like and then go record it and it won’t sound like what you wanted. And that’s like frustrating, you know?. Trying to mix your vocals and stuff. It’s crazy man, but everything works out when I punch in pretty much.

JOE: So you’ve released 9 singles and 2 projects as of now (this year), and have already started to get Spotify looks and other momentous moments have been happening. What have been the keys to your success and how are you able to crank out so much quality music?

JEHIAH: Bro… it’s really hard. You know, people don’t always understand. Creativity, it’s not always easy. If I’m being honest, I just started doing rapper stuff and traveling a little bit because I go to high school everyday, sit in the house, and record all day. That’s really the life. It’s really hard to talk about the stuff that’s not going on presently and be creative towards it. I’ve been learning to appreciate everything that’s going on and transcribe that into the music. You got to feel it bro. To make quality songs, you got to really feel what you’re talking about.

JOE: And be inspired!

JEHIAH: Ya, for sure! I listen to a lot of older music, l listen to a lot of Maxwell, Lauryn Hill, and Michael Jackson… I watch a bunch of rappers’ interviews and stuff, all artists. I even watch football player interviews. I just like hearing how people come up and how they executed everything. It really helps a lot. That was really my key. Documentaries. That’s what kept me going. Whenever I feel down, I’d just go watch the Travis Scott documentary, Kid Cudi sh*t,  or Young Thug interviews. He drops gems!

JOE: Most definitely! I know you’ve already talked about it a good bit, but from a sonic point of view, who are your biggest influences? 

JEHIAH: For sure, you’ve got Travis Scott, Nav, Future, Kanye, and Lil Wayne… And A$AP Rocky too.

JOE: You just dropped your new single, “Pop Out.” (and even more recently dropped “Re Up”). Talk to me about that song and what you’ve been doing for it and the process of making it?

JEHIAH: So I was hearing everybody do these, like, “rage beats” and things like that. My fans got on a live I was doing and were telling me to try some of those kinds of beats. So I did and it came out great! I didn’t expect that because you know, the type of music that I was making didn’t really align with that kind of beat. But I told the fans I’d try it for them, you know? That’s why you should always be open to trying new things, because you never know what will come out of it. You might make some crazy stuff and it might change your life. You never know, bro.

JOE: I know we talked a little bit about this earlier, but for fans wondering, what are next steps for you? I know you said you want to release another project by the end of the year. Are you going to drop another single or are you just going to drop the project next and what does that look like?

JEHIAH: I was thinking about that… because I’ve got so many songs.. I’ve got like 600 songs. I have so much stuff that I might not ever drop. I’ll probably drop a single. It’s looking like me and Cardo Got Wings, our project will drop really, really soon. So I might drop one single and probably shoot a video to one of those singles that I’m going to drop. But I shot two videos for two songs off the tape, and I’m thinking I’ll shoot 2 or 3 more videos. I’m going to really put my all into this tape. I’m thinking this is going to be really, really big. The music sounds really great. Really mainstream and everything. I can’t wait for y’all to hear this. I’ve been working on this for like 3 months now, it’s been crazy. I’m excited to drop that project with Cardo and after that I’m thinking about dropping my EP I’ve been working on called “XO”. And I’ve also been working on, I’ll call it a mixtape, called “Beau Jack 2”. It’s going to be crazy! A whole new sound, I’m going to set the bar with that. I’m going to go dumb on that. Me and my producer friends, we’ve been working on all new stuff, flipping samples and stuff, like Houston sh*t.  

JOE: In finishing these interviews up, I always like to chat about goals and where artists see themselves in the near future. Where do you see yourself in 6 months?

JEHIAH: In six months, I want to be past a million followers. I want to have collabs with Young Thug, Travis Scott, Lil Durk, etc. I want to do a collab project with Don Toliver. That man is talented. I’m also really going to try and do something with HVN.

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