A Few Questions with JAHKOY (2016)

You just dropped your “Foreign Water” EP at the end of October.  What was the process of making that project and what has been the response from your fans?

The process of making the project was really good, you know, just to have fun and just introduce myself to the audience and give my introduction because I hadn’t put out a project yet.  At the time, I was still figuring out what direction with the music I was going to go because I love making all kinds of music.  The process was easy, I tried not to think about it too much and was just being more vulnerable and letting it all out and being expressive.  The response has been honestly been amazing and great.  Everyone has just been enjoying themselves.  I had a few fans who had hoped to hear stuff that was similar to my older stuff, but I wanted to show growth and show that an artist is creative.  What shows growth in an artist is the diversity they can show or some kind of difference to show that they are evolving and becoming more.  I guess what it was with me was not worrying about how I was going to do it, we were just going to get it done and we were just going to let it out and say, “Hey, this is me and I’m delivering the experience of a Toronto native coming to California and all the things I experience as a foreigner in this new place that I am adjusting to and the relationships that I was building while I was out there and finding my purpose in this new environment.”  I’m back in Toronto and I’m sharing my story with everyone and saying, like, this is what happened in LA.  I just recently moved to LA now, after everything.  I put everything together and now I’m just exploring and being more creative.  I went to California and I found what, to me, was my purpose and what helped me find what I consider to be my heaven.  I found my purpose in California and to me that was heaven.  I’m out there now and I just want to see what there is to come of that experience.

I definitely noticed California was a consistent theme throughout the project.  I was wondering what else you wanted to share through the project.

I just wanted to share my perspective.  There is only so much we can say with the words we have and what makes music different and unique and special is the perspective that you bring.  More than anything, music is relatable.  What makes it relatable is that people will feel the exact way that you do and how you deliver the message in the music.  It sticks with the listener.  I just want to deliver my perspective as a young, growing artist and also just being from one of the spotlighted cities in music right now, Toronto, and sharing that sound.  There’s a lot of things people don’t know about Toronto and Toronto has a lot of culture and a lot of diversity and I feel that there is a lot of in the city that people absorb and take from.  I want to just deliver my perspective on it and I just want to create good music and share my side of the story for everybody to enjoy.  

Who are some artists that influenced you or inspire you and your work?

My top four artists of all time would have to be Kanye West, Andre 3000, Pharrell and the fourth is Rihanna, just because she is one of those artists that has so much about her that people can relate to and take from.  She’s able to tap into the different worlds and appeal to the different audiences.  Rihanna does records like “Disturbia” or she’ll do a record like “FourFiveSeconds,” a record like “Work,” all these records show her diversity and how she’s able to stretch the bar.  She doesn’t corner herself into a specific sound but delivering as an expression and not necessarily worrying about how it sounds, it’s more the feeling than anything.  I love those artists because they are artists who aren’t afraid to step out and be themselves and not necessarily do what’s going on right now.  Right now, there are a lot of trends going on and a lot of music that is sounding similar.  I love these artists because they are able to show and deliver an exciting experience once they come out with some new music.  When I grew up, when a new artist came around, they brought something to the table and that’s why everybody loved that artist.  They were something fresh and new to be excited about.  I want to bring that with my perspective and creative ideas.  

Who have you enjoyed collaborating with on either this latest project or your music in general?

 I worked with quite a few names on the project.  I worked with Rico Love, Schoolboy Q, Jeremih on the project. I had Cardiak and Boi-1da.  There’s quite a few people on the project and I was able to work with people I grew up paying attention to.  They come from a generation before me and I watched them grow from songwriters to actual artists.  I was able to feed off their energy and a lot of the things they had.  They had a lot of good advice and writing techniques that I fed off of and it was really cool to be in a group with those people.  Even though it was kind of intimidating, I felt that I had to step my game up.  It made me feel that I had to go the extra mile because I was able to make something magical.  We did make something magical.  We made some crazy records and some records that are not even on the project.  The ones that we did choose for the project, they’re rockets and they are some of my favorite records ever and I’m so happy we got the project out.  

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