“Music always changes and times do too. It’s just a matter of if the culture and music is being pushed to the next level and opening doors for us all.” Hailing all the way from London, Hip Hop recording artist and music producer JAY PRINCE will be gracing us with his presence alongside GRAVEZ at BAR STANDARD on Thursday, March 24th. This event has been in the works for some time, so don’t miss out on your chance to catch one of the UK’s most up and coming Hip Hop artists. For such a young producer, Jay has an incredible amount of passion and drive which really shines through his work and makes him stand out amongst the masses. To learn some more about the man behind the magic and some of his recent work, here’s some words that Jay was kind enough to take the time to share. Hey Jay! How has the response been for your recent EP “Beautiful Mercy?” The response has been great, I’ve definitely built much more of a relationship with my supporters and new listeners too. Having done a European tour it really put in perspective how much people connected. How long was this EP in the works and what were some of the influences behind it? This EP was in the works for about 10 months. I didn’t really have as much time to make this one in comparison to previous projects which was a new challenge but still enjoyable to say the least. In the process of creating the EP I listened to a lot of Erykah Badu “Worldwide Underground,” J Cole “Losing My Balance,” and Mos Def “Beauty in The Dark.” I also listened to a lot of Earth Wind & Fire and Robert Glasper. My life experiences played a big part in this. That’s what I try to depict when creating music, being able to get my listeners to understand who I am a little more and what happens in my life thinking the way I do. Being a young kid from East London Newham, it’s not easy to make it out here with positive vibes always. Being challenged with situations that can easily put you in threatening scenarios which also shaped me as a man. Do you have a favorite track on the EP? This tends to change a lot but ‘AfroPhunk’ is one I always revisit because it just means so much to me on a personal level. I really wanted to come with a vibe to uplift people. And really do my part as a black man. Now realizing I have a voice to touch people globally. ‘Fountains’ is also a favourite record of mine because I revisit my childhood and events in my life that really tested me as a youth. Tell me about your history with music. Do you come from a musical family? Play any instruments? When did you know that you wanted to become a full time musician? I come from a church background, I’d play instruments for my church as a kid. My mother is very religious and is always reminding to keep God, Jesus & love in my heart. I think that really kick started my career as I got older understanding what I wanted to do. But this all just eventually started happening organically. I eased into my music career. As a nineties baby, who was your most influential rapper while growing up? As a youngen I listened to 2pac & Kanye west, eventually got introduced to Jay Z Blueprint & Blueprint 2 & Outkast , these are artists my brother had introduced me to. I then went on to listening to music on my own searching for different rappers such as Nelly, Lil Jon, Petey Pablo, Mos Def. etc etc. What’s the hip hop culture like in London? It’s growing, there’s a bunch of talented rappers and musicians pushing the culture forward. I’m just grateful and happy I’m a part of something that puts eyes on our city. Is this your first US tour? Which city are you most looking forward to perform in? This is the second North American tour I’m doing, the first was with Soulection. This is my first on my own doing a headline show. I don’t know what to expect too much. I think I’m looking forward to performing in Los Angeles the most, my song really popped off in London and Los Angeles. But honestly I’m looking forward to the whole tour and performing in all these cities as a headline. Especially the Canadian cities. When did you first start writing music? What does the process of writing and producing one of your tracks entail? I started writing at the age of 14. At that age I did a lot of poetry and just wrote songs. More “singy songs” not much raps. With the process it’s always a vibe, it’s just all how I feel when it comes to producing it all comes down to how inspired I feel I just go with the flow and see what happens. What kind of music do you enjoy other than hip hop? I love jazz and soul music. Sonically there’s nothing much like it in today’s music. ROBERT GLASPER is one of my favourite pianists and musicians of all time. I aspire to be as great as him musically just the decisions He makes musically is out of this world when he’s playing. CHRIS DAVE, also a sensational drummer. I’m also a big QUADRON fan. Tell me about some of the artists who are featured on “Beautiful Mercy” JOYCE WRICE, SiR & ARIMA EDERRA are artists based out in LA who I got in touch and connected whilst I was out there in California working on the EP who are real cool people that I learnt a lot from during the process of creating the records. Definitely have more music in the works with these guys. ALLAN KINGDOM who I’m sure you know of also who did a great job on Kanyes “All day” record. I also had BRASSTRACKS, ALEXANDER LEWIS, Gravez & DREWSTHATDUDE on the record. I’m a fan of all of these guys music that’s what attracted me to these guys the most and we built real good relationships. Do you see yourself leaving London anytime soon? Who knows, maybe yes. Maybe no, I’m still figuring everything out with my life and having a music career. Home is where the heart is though… Always. How do you enjoy spending your recreational time? I paint a lot in my spare time. It’s something I’ve been doing on the low for about 4 years. And draw. I also write a lot of potential film ideas I’d want to direct. And also photography is another passion of mine. Which artists and genres are currently dominating the UK? Grime is definitely a big deal here in London and has been for a years. It’s definitely the focal genre here in the UK which is great there’s more eyes on the UK now and more people are now on the lookout for what’s bubbling here in my home city which is refreshing. STORMZY is killing it here. SKEPTA been in the game for years now killing it right now with BBK too. Describe what “modern hip hop” means to you and how it differs from classic hip hop. I’ve never had to answer anything based on “Modern Hip Hop.” I don’t think it’s something I think about I think as long as the music has a feeling and a vibe for the people to relate and gravitate to I think that’s what’s important. Music always changes and times do too. It’s just a matter of if the culture and music is being pushed to the next level and opening doors for us all. Sonically there are lots of differences. But I think ultimately music in Hip Hop is at a great place and is opening doors for artists like myself in london. Who are some of your favorite CURRENT hip hop artists? Roy Woods, Majid Jordan, GoldLink, Masego, Smino Brown & Monte Booker, Chance The Rapper, Social experiment (who I also had a chance to be in the studio with last summer). The list can go on forever. You can get tickets and find all of the show information on the EVENT PAGE. For a chance to win some free tickets, don’t forget to enter our giveaway!