UA Little Rock has an underground variety of artists across campus. This column was created to showcase some of these artists.
This month’s Student Artist Q&A focus is on UA Little Rock student Quincent James Jr., the first candidate of the column, is a senior who is majoring in Marketing. James always knew he wanted to be an artist. During his junior year, he branched out to accomplish his music goals. His supporters may also know him as JeromeJamesJr.
MB: Can you tell me exactly how you got into music?
James: “Well, I first got into music- I’ve always played guitar since I was like ten years old and my mom listened to 80’s music, my sister listened to metal music, so naturally I kind of gravitated towards guitar. When I first got my guitar, I was really ecstatic. I always knew I wanted to be a studio artist, I always knew that deep down. So over the years, I have honed my ears [by] playing guitar, getting in jazz band and taking AP Music Theory in high school, to really just know the ends and outs of music and what makes good music, good music. That’s how I got my start in music, just playing guitar at ten years old.”
MB: You said you’ve been into music since you were a kid, so was it something your parents knew about or did you keep in under wraps?
James: “Well yea. I kind of expressed it to my mom and she didn’t take me seriously. You know when you’re that young, they think you just want things to want things. When I told her I wanted a guitar for Christmas, she was like OK. I didn’t get one that Christmas, I got a Gameboy Advance instead. They say be thankful for what you get, but I was so mad [because] I got that Gameboy and not a guitar. The very next Christmas, I got my guitar, so I was happy. So she knew about it but it’s just a matter of your parents taking you seriously.”
MB: And how long did it take her to realize that you were on to something?
James: “Probably when I was 13. Probably like three years after I got my guitar because that’s when I really started learning songs and learning how to play music. More importantly, when other people could tell when I was playing.”
MB: How would you categorize your style of music?
James: “I have two different styles of music that I create. I call it Neo Rock. Most of my songs have elements of guitar in them. It’s a new wave.”
MB: ’m not familiar with Neo Rock, so is there a [mainstream] artist that is in that same category?
James: “Umm… I take elements of different artists and combine them into the Neo Rock style. Some of my favorite artists are Swae Lee and Drake and one of my favorite bands is Avenged Sevenfold.”
MB: I want to know about your recording process.
James: “So one thing I’ve had to learn over my short time really, I’ve only been doing it for a year, is not to force it. That’s the most important thing about recording. Honestly being a musician period, you want to come from a place of honesty. I always told myself if you’re having trouble coming up with lyrics to a song, it may not be for you.”
MB: Yeah, I’m a songwriter too. So when I get stuck on a song, I’ll just take a break and come back to it. It just flows naturally.
James: “Yes! I was about to tell you that. With a song, I had already had this beat made for a long time. I just didn’t have any lyrics to put to it. So when I finally stepped back, took a break and didn’t force anything, it all came naturally. That’s the biggest key in the creative process.”
MB: Now let’s talk about your music that’s coming out this month. Tell me about it, is it an album or single?
James: “This is a single, but this single is a prelude to the upcoming album. The album is called Duality. The reason I called it Duality is because I wanted to give people both elements of Jerome, both hemispheres of me. We have all those different elements like Rock, Hip Hop and R&B, all coming into one. It’s also coupled with my religious beliefs of duality and opposites. For everything in this universe, there’s an opposite and it’s all about balance. Duality brings balance.”
MB: What’s the name of the single?
James: “The single’s called Stranger Things. I kind of started watching the latest season-“
MB: Oh my God! I was going to ask you that. What was your inspiration behind the name?
James: ‘So I was watching the latest season of Stranger Things and I didn’t even think anything about it until I got in the studio and started recording. I’ve never done a song like this before in this way, but it is mostly freestyling in Stranger Things. It was kind of like a perfect storm with the latest season of Stranger Things coming out and me kind of using that as a play on words for having nice things.”
MB: So are there elements from the show in song or is it just the title?
James: “It’s just the title.”
MB: How can listeners get your music?
James: “Listeners will be able to get this song on Oct. 30 on all streaming services.”
MB: So when the album comes out, how many songs are on it?
James: “I’m shooting for eight songs.”
MB: And this is out when?
James: “Honestly, it’s to be announced. I would say Spring 2020 for Duality. I’m halfway done with the album. I have five songs done and I need three more. “
MB: Are there any videos?
James: “I do have a music video for a single on the album called Santorini. Also, Santorini is [my] most-streamed song. It has 1.8K streams on Spotify right now.”
MB: How does that make you feel?
James: “Pretty good! It’s crazy because you don’t know who’s listening. I’ve had people from my high school message me and [say] ‘Yo bro, keep it up. This is great stuff.’ At a party randomly, the Kappa Deltas started playing Santorini and were all dancing to it. That was the best feeling in the world.”
MB: So since you’ve started this music journey what has been your most memorable memory?
James: “Probably performing at Optica. It is a music festival in Little Rock that one of my brothers throws every year. It’s slowly grown over the years. There are a bunch of Electronic and Hip Hop artists from around Little Rock and beyond. I got to perform live.”
On October 30, Jerome James Jr., will release Stranger Things, a single off of his upcoming album called Duality. The release date for the album is yet to be announced.