Dedrick Jamaal just released his new mixtape, In Time
Dedrick Jamaal is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and native of Baton Rouge, LA. His music video for his first single “Broadway” has been featured on over 50 urban & internationally based websites as well as being voted #1 on numerous music video countdown shows. Comparisons are already being drawn to icons in the rap world due to the unique style and delivery that separates Dedrick Jamaal from many others.
Dedrick Jamaal just released his new mixtape, In Time on Halloween. His first single of the same name have been gaining much praise in the blogosphere. In Time gives insight into Dedrick’s world, whether he talks about living in Baton Rouge, LA, his love for music or his viewpoints on life, everyone will get a chance to know more about Dedrick. In Time features Blacklight Music Group’s own Dylan Cage and Hey Daem as well as special guests Megan, Virginia Bee and more!
We recently we had an exclusive interview with Dedrick Jamaal, to find out just what makes him tick within the business.
- How long have you been in the music game and how did you get started in the first place?
Dedrick Jamaal: I’ve been in the music game about three years and I got start by my peers urging me to do music. I’ve always had a passion for it and would write poems and freestyle with the homies. One day my good friend and labelmate Dylan Cage gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse to jumpstart my career and now here we are today.
- Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
Dedrick Jamaal: The first influences I can remember are Lil Wayne, Jay-z, and Kanye West. Those guys inspired me the most growing up.
- Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?
Dedrick Jamaal: Right now, I don’t listen to anyone currently other than classics by the guys I just named. I don’t want to get caught up in the trends, so I only really hear what’s out now in the club. I would love to collaborate with Big Krit or Rico Love though because they both are from my region and can produce as well as engineer.
- Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ or skepticism from within the industry, and if so how have you handled that?
Dedrick Jamaal: The only real resistance I can speak on is being in the south. Hip hop isn’t prominent, so the internet has been the best tool for me to use and gage where I am as an artist by seeing the response from all over. I handle it by continuing to push forward regardless to change the culture where I’m from.
- Do you consider video an important part in promoting and marketing your music?
Dedrick Jamaal: .I definitely do. Visuals allow the listener to become more familiar with you as an artist and bring them into your world. Now that I have new music out, my focus is quality over quantity.
- Studio work or performing live in front of an audience, which of these do you prefer most and why?
Dedrick Jamaal: To be honest studio work because I can really vibe with the music and take my time with it. I enjoy every opportunity to perform, but I record way more than I perform at this stage in my career. So I have to say studio work.
- Tell us something about the beats and music production on your releases. Do you create them or do you work with other Producers?
Dedrick Jamaal: I’m not a beat maker currently so I don’t make my tracks but I do work closely with producers that I come in contact with and executive produce when the opportunity presents itself. The production on my latest release only had two tracks from someone I know personally. The rest came from producers I came across on soundclick.com which has been another great tool on the internet.
- On which of your songs do you think you delivered your personal best performance so far, from an emotional and technical point of view?
Dedrick Jamaal: So far I would have to say “Ain’t Nuthin’ Better” from my latest release and my verse on a song called “The Challenge” on my soundcloud. Both have people texting or messaging me telling me how crazy they felt those verses were for different reasons. “Ain’t Nuthin Better” was a song I got real personal with and what was going on in my life and the relationship at that time. I think people can really connect with that. “The Challenge” really showcases my skill as a rapper.
- Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre overflowing with new faces and ideas?
Dedrick Jamaal: I think it’s my heart. I really care about the music culture and making a mark in it for my region that hasn’t been done yet. To balance out the equation for the south means everything for me and the music I create is very organic.
- If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
Dedrick Jamaal: Passion hands down. I’m so passionate about what I do and it doesn’t always come out the right way but it keeps me going.I love music so ideas and concepts just come to me all the time. I take this as a sign.
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Dedrick Jamaal: The creative control being independent excites me the most and that independent grind discourages from time to time. You can’t do everything by yourself as I’ve come to learn. Having a strong foundation and team helps keep me grounded when things can get discouraging going up against the machine big record labels with indie budgets. The internet helps balance out that equation though. Anything dealing with making music excites me from picking beats to recording and performing.
- Tell us something about your songwriting process. What usually comes first the lyrics or the beats?
Dedrick Jamaal: It varies. I prefer to have the beat first so I can create around what’s already there versus the unknown you know? My process is simple though. I vibe to the track until something special hits me. Until I feel like this has happened, I won’t record because I don’t want to force anything.
- How involved are you in any or all of the recording, producing, mastering, and marketing processes of your music. Do you outsource any of these processes?
Dedrick Jamaal: I’m involved with every part but we are starting to outsource when need be. At this point we will do whatever’s best for the brand Blacklight and my career. Every part of the process I’m hands on with my team.
- The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Dedrick Jamaal: Follow your heart has been the best advice I’ve received and I really don’t go against the grain with advice from people I respect so I don’t really have an answer for the second part of the question.
- At this point, as an independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit the your future (for example increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, bigger live gigs etc…)?
Dedrick Jamaal: More media exposure hands down. I have a better situation with the people I work with now and feel that’s all I’m missing. With the music I have in store and the rest of my plan I think the sky’s the limit once more people know about me and what I have to offer.
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Dedrick Jamaal: A bit of both. The internet is an awesome tool to be able to compete with the majors for artist. The fact that anyone can use it just comes with the territory. It’s on the people to support good music period for it to emerge. That’s just how I feel.
- The beats, the lyrics or the flow? We know they’re all important factors in a great song, but which of these do you consider the one predominant factor that any hip-hop song cannot be without?
Dedrick Jamaal: I gotta say the beats. That’s the first thing that gets most listeners attention that I come across so production value has to be there.
- Could you tell us something about your latest single, album or mixtape releases and where fans can find them?
Dedrick Jamaal: This question is easy because my latest single and mixtape are named “In Time”. The single has been doing great on my soundcloud and the mixtape just dropped on datpiff for Halloween. The mixtape consists of seven songs and will serve as a promo for my next full body of work, Journey of Kings, releasing later this year.
- What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie artist, in your quest to achieve your goals and wider spread success?
Dedrick Jamaal: Establishing myself in my region will be the toughest challenge because hip hop just isn’t as prominent in the south as say the east and west coast or mid west. It’s a challenge that I’m up for though.
- What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
Dedrick Jamaal: Sell my soul for it. I have morals and values that I won’t compromise for a dollar. I stand for something and I feel that’s another thing that makes me special in todays watered down industry.
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