Branching off on another path of his already multi-platinum musical journey, JVCKJ, who you may better know as Jack Johnson from Jack and Jack, recently released his debut solo EP, PASTEL: The Early Days!
Known for his rap skills as part of the duo, JVCKJ shines in his latest project filled with perfectly crafted lyrics and vibey beats as he takes on the pop and hip-hop scene, and we are loving the direction his solo endeavors are going so far! Pushing his talents and creativity to another level, JVCKJ takes fans on a rollercoaster with tracks that go from flawless bars to a downtempo beat leaving you in your feels.
The transition from being in a duo to a solo project can be a huge change, but JVCKJ did it smoothly and is showing the world all he has to offer, with tracks touching subjects as deep as the current state of the world like ‘BAD NEWS’ and ‘YOU LIE’ that talks about toxic relationships.
He continually leaves fans wanting more, and it’s good to know he’s not planning on stopping any time soon! Are you wondering how we know that? Read our exclusive interview with JVCKJ as he talks about his latest project, beautiful merch line, what he’s been up to during lockdown, and an upcoming podcast, with Jack G, Sammy, and the rest of the Omaha boys!
Most people know you as Jack Johnson from Jack&Jack, but for your solo career, you changed the “A” in Jack into “V,” what pushed you to change the “stage name”?
Well, to be honest, it was for legal reasons. There was already a band in Europe named JACK J, and so I took it as an artistic opportunity to do something more head-turning!
You and Jack Gilinsky have been working together for a large portion of your careers- what’s it been like venturing out on your own and releasing solo music? Now that you’re the only one on the track, are there any artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?
It’s been very liberating for the both of us. I think it’s going to make us so much more self-aware as artists- this chapter. The list of people I want to collaborate with is endless, but some that come to the front of my brain are Anderson Paak, Kaytranada, and Kendrick Lamar.
Who or what has been your driving force during this solo career journey you’ve embarked on?
My self-belief. There have been people [with] who I’ve had to cut ties with that simply didn’t believe in me as an artist, and now I have a real chip on my shoulder. Proving that I am a true lyricist, producer, songwriter, and overall great artist, in general, is my motivation. It’s been so fun having the reigns in my hands as of late.
What has been your favorite thing about releasing solo music? Are there any parts of the process you particularly enjoy or that you get to be more a part of?
Oh, everything. Just like any J&J music, but now I truly get to see fans react to something that I fully curated myself- from [the] artistic direction to the videos we’ve made, down to the music itself. It’s a great feeling like the captain of the ship, but now it’s time to really set the ship in motion.
This year has changed things for almost every industry. How has the process of creating music in 2020 been for you? How did it differ from the norm?
It’s helped me a lot. I’ve had a lot of free time to get creative and work on my musicianship. I feel like I’ve improved in all aspects, and the pure boredom of quarantine helped me focus in a lot.
Like many, you went into creative mode through the pandemic, and your single ‘Bad News’ is about the current situation. Do you think lockdown has helped you to explore different aspects of yourself, and are there any practices or routines you started that you plan to keep as things open back up?
I wouldn’t say I’ve started any new practices or routines, but I do think lockdown has helped me learn a lot about myself. Being alone really shows you who you are. You aren’t acting any type of way because people aren’t around- it’s just you, your thoughts, and your creativity. So, in a way, I have found a silver lining out of all this madness.
What can fans look forward to in the future for this solo journey?
Non-stop music, for starters. I’m never going to take a massive gap between putting out music, at least not in the foreseeable future. Hopefully, more music with Jack G and Sammy, and the rest of the Omaha boys, who I consider to be my closest collaborators. We are all starting a podcast this month, which I am over the moon about, as well.
Your merch line is eye-catching and in tune with the current trends. Where did the inspiration behind the apparel come from?
Well, I want to do something aesthetic and special for each release. The PASTEL line is what I’m most excited about. However, it’s gonna be bigger than me: a brand the young people of the world can rally behind as they are growing and finding more opportunities in this world day by day.
Tensions have been high this year with everything going on, so if you could give your fans some advice to help get them through the rest of this year, what would it be?
Don’t snap at those whose opinions may differ from yours. We have to find common ground, even if we don’t see eye to eye. The worst thing we can do in a tension-filled time is [to] add fuel to the fire by having hate in our hearts. Hate nobody, love yourself, and look forward to the better days that I KNOW are on the horizon.
Can you tell us five songs (you can include your own) that have been on repeat during the lockdown?
‘7 Summers’ – Morgan Wallen
‘I Want You Around’ – Snoh Aalegra
‘Santeria’ – Sublime
‘Breathe’ – Pink Floyd
‘Cheers To Nothing’ – Skeez
We can not wait to continue to watch JVCKJ on all his future endeavors and if you already can’t get enough, be sure to tune into his virtual live show this Saturday! Get your tickets here.
And we even made it easy for you to repeatedly play the same songs JVCKJ has had on repeat at the playlist below!
Featured Image Source: Courtesy of Donovan Public Relations