Interview With Jerry The Prodigy
SBS: Jerry The Prodigy! Dude! Thanks so much for being here on our pages and taking some time out to do an interview with us! I gotta say though…I’ve been doing interviews for nearly half my life brother…the amount of information I got in the initial communication setting up this interview, is hands-down the least amount of info I’ve ever had to go on! Not even a link to social media or even a mention of the actual name of Jerry The Prodigy…just a user-name, which thankfully…led me to the rest, and here we are. I think I’ve got an idea now from what I’ve heard, read and seen posted to the internet…but I know it’s not the full-story on Jerry The Prodigy, not yet anyhow… We’ll see if we can get some details on what’s up with you and your music nailed down throughout the interview…for now though, to start…let’s hear it from your perspective JTP – who are ya and what are you all about? What brought you to the life of a musician and what would you say sets you apart from the rest?
JTP: Thank you for having me. To say the least, I’m just a musician trying to express myself. Music’s been a defining part of my life, and I’m proud of that.
SBS: I’ve gotta admit too man…I’d never actually heard of ‘Cloud Rap’ until I researched you and your music. For those that don’t know about it as a genre yet…take a moment here and explain as best you can why ‘Cloud Rap’ isn’t just more ‘Rap.’ What are the defining characteristics, what makes it different than the rest, and what makes that style of music appealing to you personally?
JTP: Yeah, Cloud Rap’s a new sub-genre of Hip-Hop/Trap. Basically some characteristics which help define is having that trap-feel and sound, but doing something completely different with it. Cloud rap emphasises usage of auto-tune (ie; kanye west’s 808s and heartbreaks) with airy synthesizers and trap drum kits. I believe A$AP ROCKY has some albums/eps which have the exact sound I’m describing. However, for me, I have no idea what makes this sub-genre appealing to me. Maybe it’s the tempo, maybe it’s the fact I can mess around with cathedral reverb presets, maybe it’s something else. I have no clue.
SBS: A lot of what I heard sounded almost based in the ambient-style of electro & beats…I’m assuming that’s where the ‘clouds’ come in…at least until I’ve heard back from you on that. A lot of what I saw & heard as well, featured you in what seems like more of a behind-the-scenes role as a producer. How do you split your time these days? Do you end up producing beats for other people more often than you have a chance to work on your own stuff? How do you go about making sure you’ve got enough time for your own music as Jerry The Prodigy in addition to all of the other things you do and other artists you work with?
JTP: I’d say I’m definitely a behind-the-scenes role, make no mistake. I end up producing beats for my friends or artists which I think would sound good on my instrumentals. Every day I make sure I have enough time to dedicate to my craft, in addition to working on school or anything else at hand.
SBS: From when you first got officially started back in 2010 to here in the present of 2016 – what about your music would you say has improved, evolved or refined over time? Are there things that you’re doing now with your music that you wouldn’t have been able to six-years back?
JTP: Back when I started producing music in 2010, I was really lost. I had no idea what type of sound I would be doing, if I was ever actually going to produce, you know, what sort of stuff which new and upcoming artists (sometimes) struggle with when they’re trying to find that spark of creativity. Six years ago, I don’t think I’d have this level of precision or knowledge which is associated with music.
SBS: Six-years into it all now…do you still feel like you’re breaking into the scene, or do you feel established & secure in your place in music now? What still needs to be done for the music of Jerry The Prodigy to get out there worldwide and what’s your plan to take it there? Or is that even important at all?
JTP: I feel like I’m still breaking into the music scene, to be honest. Over the past 2 or so years, I’ve been getting my music out by having features, collaborations, radio placements, stuff like that. On the other hand, I’m thinking to myself if fame would be really worth it. Like, I’d rather have 10 loyal listeners than 1,000 people who don’t really “click” with my music, you know? Fame’s a secondary focus, making music and having fun during it is a primary focus.
SBS: I’m reading a lot about an upcoming album…Sheer Divinity…but I haven’t quite been sure what roles you’ve taken on for this record. Not even sure if it’s yours and not someone else’s to tell you the absolute truth! It’s not completely out there yet, but there are songs popping up online now that you’re definitely in on – so…take a moment here to set the whole record straight – what’s Sheer Divinity all about and what’s your involvement with it all?
JTP: Ah. So you’ve found it. Sheer Divinity’s a collaborative album between myself and a vocalist friend of mine from Maryland. I’m handling the production and mixing/mastering side of things while my vocalist buddy handles the lyricism/vocals/everything else relating to that. Sheer Divinity is basically a way for us two to express like the real gritty side of things, rapping about depression, being a social outcast, things like that people wouldn’t normally cover.
SBS: From what I’ve gathered…the Sheer Divinity project started to take shape for real around November last year? When you’re recording JTP – how is it that you know beyond all doubt that you’ve got the song exactly as you want it from writing to performance & performance to production? When is a song truly finished and what does it have to possess in order to make the cut for you to put out for the rest of us?
JTP: I’m not necessarily sure HOW to describe the feeling, but when I finish a track, I just instanteniously know the track is finalized and ready. Not to mention that from the moment I produce an instrumental, I have it with the vocalist in mind. Basically, a track needs to fit a vocalist perfectly (even if it doesn’t have vocals!) in order to make the cut.
SBS: How do you envision success for your music JTP? What’s it look like now…and what’s it look like in the future? What are the goals and where would you like to see it all take you?
JTP: Right now, I envision success by collaborative efforts with other artists. Sure, it may not be winning an award or getting thousands of plays, but it’s the work and the determination to get the track done. That’s success for me at the moment.
SBS: Do you feel your talents are more suited towards the mic, or towards the studio-boards? Or is it a case of the ol’ even-split? Wondering if you feel like you’ve had to work harder on one of those two main-skills in order to keep up with the other or if they both come naturally? How do you keep your skills & abilities sharp…like…any kind of practice regimen? What keeps your own writing flowing?
JTP: I feel like my talents are leaning towards the studio. To be honest, I’m really not much of a vocalist guy. Anyways, in order to keep my abilities sharp, I tend to do things other than making music, I have a couple of other hobbies I partake in. I don’t work on music 24/7. There are people who are so driven to doing that, they just burn out and lose interest and stop making music all together.
SBS: What’s the most meaningful advice you’ve ever been given when it comes to concerning your music? Where did it come from, what was said and why did it stand out more than anything other people have said before…what made it credible?
JTP: The most meaningful advice I’ve been given was from various people, and this piece of advice was to never give up or quit. I know this may sound cliche or not really having a profound impact, but this has an impact on me as an artist. I know I have talent and this innate ability to create, I just need to know how to harness it so that people can enjoy the material I put out, either solo or collaboration.
SBS: Better make sure I ask you about what’s up for the music of JTP this year throughout 2016…any major plans? Tours? Shows? Collaborations? You strike me as the kind of guy that’s always got something going down behind the scenes…so tell us what’s up for this year, what can we expect or anticipate as fans and followers of Jerry The Prodigy?
JTP: I really want to go on tour and play live shows, but I’ve had some really bad experiences with a certain pay-to-play venue promoter, and that really just turned me off to the whole idea of playing live all together. However, I’m still looking for venues/venue promoters which don’t actually suck.
SBS: SBS Open-Floor! Help yourself brother! Take this final opportunity here to say anything else you’d like to, shout-out some websites, people you love, things we didn’t talk about in the interview…anything at all that comes to mind. The floor is yours Jerry The Prodigy – thanks again for your time my friend!
JTP: Thank you for this opportunity. I’d like to shoutout the Simpy Boys (Smooth Syrup, Young Beep, E.T) as well as J. Loree, Luis, and Zay The Bandit.
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