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Daily Inspiration: Meet J T

Today we’d like to introduce you to J T.

Hi J T, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Growing up young, black, and talented in Oakland is very common but I feel what set me aside from my peers was my tenacity and actually knowing that staying true to myself and who I dreamed to be was essential. I knew I would be great. I started doing little school plays and joining dance teams as early as 7-8 in elementary school. I always felt as if my apparent and subtle differences were like a superpower/status that would like “save me”. I followed my intuition as time went on and it lead me to being 16 in a room with my potnas (Mkai and Ajai) in Oakland, hearing them make songs and just be great encouraged me to jump off the porch with the music shit fr. It was like everything I did from that point was me working towards comfortably asserting myself into my seat at the table musical legends. I started making remixes to instrumentals on Instagram and some of them started picking up traction, letting me know like, oh they fucking with me. From there, I started to notice that the business aspect of the music industry was fairly more important than the artistry aspect, in the sense that, in me wanting to protect myself and my artistry, I would have to know about the 360 deals, Knowing to keep my masters, protecting and promoting my brand, etc.

This is when I started moving like “I’m somebody”, an entity to protect you know. I started researching DSPs and how to navigate them and how to jump off as an independent artist. Watching duos like Kehlani and David Ali navigate through the game helped me understand, just because I could relate to Lani so much and how she moved/moved. With all that being said I knew I didn’t want to start dropping immediately so I invested in fashion as a means to fuel and release my creativity until I was charged all the way up for the music scene. Joined a Fashion Academy at my HS, Oakland Technical High School. My instructor Katita Johnson really guided me and helped learn the importance of focus and creativity as a young black person. The academy really changed how I viewed the world all together, my goals, my ambition, it taught me really enjoy my authentic artistry and learn to be calculated with my thoughts and movements, by the end of my three years with the program, I graduated having ran entire fashion shows by myself, conducted myself professionally, and with the intentions to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. I get to college and instantly realized I wasn’t interested in Fashion wholeheartedly anymore. That same year about four months post graduating, I dropped my first song Workout on all DSP, The Road has been everlasting since.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Since Releasing my first single “Workout” By JT, I Have still been full-time in College and working jobs Full and Part-time. Nothing really been too crazy or something I haven’t seen or envisioned before. Some of the little irritating things that I deal with being indie is like DSP fucking up my drop dates or like the constant desire to wanna conform that comes with being an artist who is abnormal but who also understands the need to appeal. My biggest problem has by far been myself. Controlling my emotions, Not in a simp way but in a chill bro you’re only 20 types of way.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m an Artist/Producer. I sing and write songs with meaning because there’s a lacking of that from the men in the industry and I would like to fill the void. I’m Me and Everybody is them, so I think that makes me cool. My Official website is that’s where you can find my music videos and content. I programmed my site myself so I’m very proud of that, go look!

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
One of my favorite books is blacked out through whitewash by Suzar. Definitely if you’re black(African American) you should invest in this book!

I’m now at Texas Southern University studying Entertainment and Record Industry Management(ERM) under Jordan Williams, His Book on ERM is truly amazing they’ve turned it into a whole program to enroll in at the school, worth the read if you’re a music head or artist looking to expand you’re brand and understand your game a little b better.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

@mattdemsie on the photoset of JT performing Live at 510Fest and photo of JT singing at Stanford University. Pink Photo and Glasses Photo are both shot by JT.

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