MEET JIMMY OF THE SAINTS, A YOUNG AND VIBRANT ARTIST
Q&A with Jimmy of the Saints
You've been writing music since 7th grade, what motivated you?
A: It honestly started off of me getting more into different genres of music, particularly hip hop, and coming from a family that wasn't much into various genres, all of it (even older music) was all new to me. What really helped me get into newer music was getting an iPod that had the ability to listen to online radio and youtube, so I had the whole world of music in my hands. That lead to me finding instrumentals to write rhymes to, and I would eventually translate my love for writing from the classroom to music.
Has it been a struggle to juggle college and music, or is music your ultimate getaway?
A: To juggle both isn't something that I would say bothers me. I attend Stephen F. Austin State University in a small town called Nacogdoches in Texas, and I like the fact that I have both, and that i'm able to do both, along with other activities that, to some, may seem difficult to handle, but to me, It is just the perfect mix and I've produced most of my best music right after finishing a class up for the day. Music has always been my ultimate getaway, and that's how I write songs. In my music I can make anything I want happen and I want my listeners to know that when they hear my music; that they are hearing my world, and that anything is possible in my music. Kind of like making my own movie.
What would you describe your music genre to be?
A: Growing up with mostly hearing R&B and country singers and not a whole lot of rapping, I would definitely describe my music to be a mix of everything I have had installed in me from my childhood till now, but for the most part I would say Hip Hop and R&B, but I love to always switch things up that'll have you questioning if you're still listening to a hip hop artist.
How has the age influenced the way you write about music? How has it affected your style of music?
A: Turning 20 now in September I've still got a lot to see and learn, but my generation in music is very versatile. I see guys that are my age already signed to major record labels, and more power to them, its just a 'who knows who' kind of thing majority of the time nowadays, but being this age, I can still write about being young, and having a lot to look forward to and learn, and going back to my generation being versatile with music, you've got the music that makes no lyrical sense but it has a great beat and everyone loves it, so you know me: wanting to entertain, I've got to make music like that sometimes to get noticed and get people turned up at a concert, and I love to see people having a good time, because I end up having a good time too.
You write and produce music with other female artists. How would you describe your collaboration with them? What about uniting both genders and creating the art of music brings you back to continue the work?
A: I love working with all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds, and when I work with females it's usually interesting. I'll get asked "write me a song about breaking a guys heart" and as guys we all have to experience that one bad breakup, and I feel women should as well so we learn from our mistakes. So when asked to write a song that's about getting revenge and breaking the guys heart who hurt her, I just have to really put myself in the mindset of the female artist who requests this song, but still knowing as a male what would really break another man's heart, and usually to write for the artist I ask to spend a day with them so I can see how they are truly so I can produce for them, an authentic sound and style. I work heavily with two females whom are some of my best friends, Madi and Alexis, and I actually had Alexis on my recent album, and it's always fun to see how they record and how bad they want their vocals perfected, it's great to see them strive for perfection before everyone hears it, and I feel it's great for both sexes to collaborate on music, its great to see what can be created from both ears and mindsets and you know a female will usually tell me what's wrong other than one of my guy friends saying "yeah this jams" I'll usually get a girl telling me "this needs to be changed" and i'm always cool with perfecting the details.
Nowadays we feel like we have heard it all, seen it all, so tell me, how is your music any different from those already on the tracks and records globally?
A: That is what I strive to do, I strive to make my sound differently than what is always heard from the mainstream but still relevant and mainstream worthy. You know Michael Jackson's album, Dangerous, was something that was heard and it wasn't the same MJ people would expect from hearing Thriller and Off the Wall before. Of course I wasn't around when the album came out but even when I listened to it as a kid, some songs felt like something that were meant to be released in a more modern time, so I always drew inspiration from the album saying to myself "I want this to sound like something new, fresh and futuristic with a retro feel". and I always have something to take from my past and before that, I love the 80s and 90s so there's some things in music sampled that you'll probably catch.
Who are your musical influences?
A: There's so many influences to me that it's impossible to name all in one article for me, but if I have a top 6 (in no order) it would be: Kanye West, Michael Jackson, Drake, George Strait, Travis Scott and Ice Cube. I say Kanye because, I mean half of my favorite artists wouldn't be doing the music they are doing if it wasn't for Kanye. Michael Jackson and Travis Scott, are two artists whom if you were to see them live, their concerts will be hands down in your top 5 and never failed to put on a great show using FX, visuals and lighting and soon enough I want to put on a show as great or greater than them. Same goes for Drake's shows and his sound is something that, at the time he debuted, was very different and provided the fans what they wanted; a song to put them in certain moods, some r&b and some hip hop, and sampling with a fresh feel. George Strait, just being a Texas boy I heard a lot of his music growing up as well, and analyzing his music over the years is interesting. Not what he writes about, it's how he uses scales and melody to make you feel a certain way and how his voice can be high and low at the same time, is something as an artist, one day I hope to accomplish. Ice Cube, well honestly he's got his hands in pretty much everything, and has been the starter for multiple for projects.
If there was one artist you could share the stage with, who would it be and why?
A: It would probably have to be Kanye West. I know for sure he would know how to make a crowd go wild and provide some great scenery, just hear the man out. Not everyone is truly what the media makes them out to be.
What experiences have influenced some of your favorite songs?
A: I was waiting for a question like this! Usually some of my greatest songs always are inspired by a female, and lately it's been this one female that I been trying to talk to but I haven't seen since the semester ended. I'm not throwing her name out or nothing but she's been a great help to providing some of my greatest work so far, and I hardly have gotten to talk to her but it's funny how I can make so much off of very small altercations, and it's worked for me. Inspirations for come from all sorts of things and activities that no one may even think of, or know why/how they came from certain things but my mind is just always over analyzing, and I can get some great things from that, but I love women, and y'all are a gift from God!
What have you learned as an artist that you can pass on to other’s who are following in your footsteps?
A: Be yourself, be true, explore different genres in art and sounds, and be creative, because that's what's always gonna be unique to you and that's something no one can take away from you when all is said and done. People will judge you, say negative things but you gotta understand, they just wanna have something that they don't have, and you gotta use negative energy as motivation and turn it into positive, oh and If you're not having fun and trying to reach the top...what are you even doing?
What’s your take on the media and how it objectifies women? What do you think we can do to continue to change that?
A: The media will always find a way to stir something up whether it be true or false, but as far as my take, I do think that media is now trying to take a step forward in showing women as strong characters. Im starting to slowly, but surely, see the progress, we see Wonder Woman came out this year, more female protagonists, and comedians like Amy Schumer making her way onto the screen more, as we're used to seeing male comedians and I grew up seeing mostly male protagonists in films, so to see the change is nice, and whenever I have kids, it's nice that I would have a film to show my daughter that women can be strong too. To change that? Well now a days to touch on any topic involving politics or controversy is always a way for people to try and pick you apart to judge your character, but I feel we, as human beings, should take a step back and try to understand people and not just judge off of one thing.
One day I hope to make it big in music, and it's more than just hoping to me. I have a strong feeling I will one day be known world wide, and I won't be greedy. I have so many goals and to be brief a few are starting a charity foundation, helping out communities back home and different parts of the world, giving back, making movies and having my own clothing line, which is already in the making and it's called Blessed Co. (@WeAreBlessedCo).
You can find more on Jimmy and his music by visiting his social media here.