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JClay: “Have fun”

Have fun. It’s so easy to get caught up in what someone else is doing and how they are succeeding, but the truth is that has nothing to do with you. If you’re having fun doing what you love, you’ve already succeeded. Continue succeeding. As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had […]

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Have fun. It’s so easy to get caught up in what someone else is doing and how they are succeeding, but the truth is that has nothing to do with you.

If you’re having fun doing what you love, you’ve already succeeded. Continue succeeding.


As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing JClay, a spiritual rap artist that makes music to heal even the most reluctant of minds. He exposes the false beliefs that limit our growth and frees us to be our true selves.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I had a pretty simple upbringing. I was just a kid that loved to have fun and loved music. In a way, I’m still that kid.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Music has always been a part of my life. I’ve even tried to put it down, but it always found a way back. I started off playing the piano, clarinet, and saxophone as a kid. Later, I transitioned to producing for other artists and then becoming an artist myself.

All of my spiritual content developed out of persistent curiosity toward wanting to know the answers to life’s tough questions. Now that I have them, it’s time to live them.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

One interesting story took place at a mall many years ago that led to a sponsorship deal with a major clothing company. Let me preface this by saying, my associates and I have gotten kicked out of every major mall in Houston for selling CDs.

One day my friend and I finished recording new music and had an open schedule. It was the middle of a Saturday so we decided to go to a crowded high-end mall and advertise by just walking around with our logo-branded t-shirts.

We also had many CDs with us just in case someone asked.

There we were walking, not bothering anyone and also not buying anything, but you could tell that we stood out. Many people were just looking at us.

So at one point, we made eye contact with the mall’s security and it looked as if they were going to come and speak with us. Not wanting any trouble we went inside this other area that had a pop-up shop for the day. This pop-up shop ended up being for a big, notable brand.

We walked around the area and as we were leaving a representative from that company says, “Let me talk to you for a second. Who are you?” We answered his questions and he ended up asking us if we knew where the hottest club was that night so that his company could promote further.

We just so happened to be friends with one of the hottest promoters at one of the biggest nightclubs at the time. After the connection was made, the company’s representative paid for us in VIP including bottle service, and everything that you can imagine that’s popular with rap culture.

It didn’t stop there. The next day, the representative gave us LOADS of free merchandise and later that year, partnered with us on a number of events.

This all came simply from walking around the mall.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

It’s not really a mistake, but it was funny. I used to rap in a trio and we were doing a talent show. While we were waiting to perform, we heard all these magnificent talents including singers. We were thinking there’s no way we can compete. In addition to that, the sound system was terrible.

So my group mates and I were talking amongst ourselves about how terrible this might be. They even made jokes to me because my verse was first.

Our time came and the instrumental played on the sound system. There was silence in the crowd and everyone just stared at us. Finally, when the beat dropped, I gave as much energy as I could muster and delivered my first words.

Instantly, the crowd went wild. Everyone got hype and the energy in the room just changed. We ended up winning the contest.

If there’s a lesson to be learned, it would just be that you never know. You never know how things are going to turn out so always give your best and never talk yourself out of something that you love.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m working on two projects right now that in a way accomplish the same things.

The first is with TMM Global, a non-profit with a mission to uplift young people by providing music that celebrates being alive.

The second is my debut album, IAMNOBODY, IAMSOMEONE. It’s unique in that its purpose is to heal the listener. Never in hip-hop has then been done before. Many are calling it spiritual rap music because it speaks directly to your soul in a way that you did not think was needed. It’s currently available for pre-order at https://jclay.org/pre-order

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

It’s important to have diversity represented in film, because to most, seeing is believing.

It’s so easy to believe that your way of living is the “correct” way and assume that the world shares this way of life.

By seeing others on film in ways outside of your normal perception, you can easily let go of the limits that kept you from expanding your experiences and relationships.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

This question is tough for me to answer. The reason is that had I known what I didn’t, I don’t know if I would have had some of the most profound experiences that led me to be who I am now. And I like who I am now.

For example, there was a time when I wished someone would have told me to not pursue my dreams as a side gig, and instead do it full time.

I worked at NASA for 14 years as a computer scientist while doing music in my free time. The grind of waking up for a job I didn’t love only to stay up all night working on what I did love, music, has been one of the driving forces for me to develop new habits and ultimately rediscover my purpose.

Seeing how it all unfolded, I wouldn’t change a thing.

However, just sharing that story did lead to some helpful advice that I did wish I knew.

  1. Your path is your path. Don’t compare yourself to others, ever.
  2. Because your path is your path, enjoy every second of it, including this moment right now. Things will always seem to change, but being able to remain fully in the present moment will last forever.
  3. Forgive always. Not forgiving takes you out of this perfect moment that you should be enjoying.
  4. Keep following your heart. It knows what you truly love.
  5. Know your why or your purpose for doing everything.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Have fun. It’s so easy to get caught up in what someone else is doing and how they are succeeding, but the truth is that has nothing to do with you.

If you’re having fun doing what you love, you’ve already succeeded. Continue succeeding.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Forgiveness.

Many believe that forgiveness is a form of weakness. It’s the opposite. It shows that you’ve overcome any littleness and that you recognize the perfection in your fellow human. It’s also a recognition that nothing can ever be done to you against your will.

This isn’t widely accepted yet, but for those that do, they experience a peace that cannot be put into words.

To practice peace, start with the little things. Save the big “wrongs” for last. By the time you get to those, you’ll realize the positive effects those so-called bad events had on your life.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are so many people, probably dozens. I’ll pick one for now. My high school band teacher EB Dixon.

He did two things that changed my life and probably didn’t even realize it.

The first was teaching me the jazz scale. At the time, I played the saxophone. Once I learned the jazz scale, it got me all kinds of access. I was touring the city of Chicago playing in jazz clubs and various churches at the age of 16. I also met many other great musicians. I was able to apply this scale to songs I wrote on the piano, which had a direct impact on the types of beats I made for other artists.

The second way Dixon helped was he allowed me to track out my first rap beat at his studio. It was for a song that a classmate wrote. I got to see firsthand what it was like to operate a studio and get the best vocal performance out of an artist. This led to me producing many music projects later on in life.

So Dixon, thank you!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Do everything purposefully.”

Sometimes we get caught up in habitual rhythm. We do things only because we’ve been doing them. It’s important to know you are doing something, speaking something, or sharing something. Nothing can outlive its purpose.

When you act with purpose you are channeling life and love. What could be greater?

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Michael Jordan because they say he’s the most competitive person ever. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to touch him in basketball, but in some card games, that’s another story. He hasn’t seen my competitive nature.

How can our readers follow you online?

The most important way is to sign up through my email list. You’ll get free music plus regular tips on how to step into your perfection and accept yourself truly.

In addition, I’m on all the major social platforms where I give other cool surprises.

Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, Instagram, SoundCloud.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Thank you as well. This is very much appreciated!


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