This week we are diving into the music of Jay Willz. He’s an artist, rapper, and producer from North Carolina and has much to share with the world. He recently released Category 5, a follow-up to his last album Bourbon Nights.
Here at The In Trive, Jay Willz shares about this music and Catagory 5. Have a read and enjoy!
Xoxo – CP
CP: Hey Jay Willz! Thanks for joining The In Trive. Can you tell us a little bit about your background; where are you from and what life was like growing up.
JW: I grew up with a single mother in New Orleans, Louisiana then moved to Greensboro, North Carolina at the age of 5 years old. I am starting to enjoy life in Greensboro. I used to always compare it to New Orleans and talk about how it isn’t as fun but lately, I’ve been taking the time to appreciate my city for what it is. I also like the fact that there aren’t really any notable artists that have come out of Greensboro so currently I’m trying to be the first one and that’s something that I take pride in.
CP: Who are some of your biggest influences?
JW: Some of my biggest influences are Kanye West, J. Cole, Drake, Lil Wayne, and the legendary group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. I grew up listening to these artists and they all had an impact on how my style is the way that it is.
CP: What’s the story behind category 5?
JW: Category 5 is actually based on hurricane Katrina. I have another New Orleans-themed project titled “Bourbon Nights” and this is kind of the sequel to that in a way. This will probably be my last New Orleans-themed project because like I said earlier, after the hurricane happened I left New Orleans and I want that story to be told through my art.
I also like to put myself in rooms with artists that inspire me because I am a firm believer that iron sharpens iron.Jay Willz
CP: What would you say are your favorite tracks on the album?
JW: That’s a very tough question but right now I really like the intro titled “Weather the Storm”.
CP: Can you tell us about some of the featured artists and what went into collaborating with them?
JW: Some of the collaborations on this album are Nick Courmon, King Joiner, Kuzi, and Kingtrebeezy. Nick Courmon is somebody I grew up around and went to school with. When I was growing up, a lot of my friends wanted to either rap or play basketball including myself. Nick does poetry and I always respected the fact that he had his own wave and wasn’t doing things just because it’s trendy. I’m also a huge fan of his poetry so I thought it would be dope to reach out to him and see if we could make a collaboration happen. King Joiner is someone fairly new to making music and I’ve been finding it very fascinating to see him grow as an artist. Kuzi is another person that I grew up around and he teaches me a lot about the melodic side of music such as harmonies and stuff like that. Every time we lock in at the studio we always make something good. Kingtrebeezy is a local artist that I found out about through a mutual friend of ours and I’m genuinely just a fan of his music. I thought he would be a good fit for this project.
CP: As hip hop evolves, how are you trying to evolve or craft your style?
JW: As hip-hop evolves I like to study younger artists and try to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes fans gravitate towards them. I also like to put myself in rooms with artists that inspire me because I am a firm believer that iron sharpens iron.
CP: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
JW: In 5 years I see myself spreading light on my city with my God-given talents and being able to help others win. I feel like there are so many underrated people here and I just want to be in a position to change that. I also see myself being known as a producer and a rapper on an equal level.
CP: The In Trive stands for The Inspired Thriving Tribe. How do you try to inspire others around you and what keeps you thriving?
JW: I try to inspire others by leading by example and making the best art possible. I know that there are people in the world who watch what I do even if they don’t let me know and that’s totally fine, I just want them to realize it’s okay to follow their dreams even if they seem far fetched. What keeps me thriving is my faith in God and the power of the mind. I know that you can truly do anything you put your mind to with perseverance and hard work.
CP: Where can people find you?
You can check out Category 5 now on all streaming services or by clicking the links below.