Music for rapper Jay’J Prime is his way of expressing himself and making an income. We all know that Hip-Hop and sneakers have a symbiotic relationship, so it is no surprise that he also owns and runs a sneaker cleaning and customisation business called The Sneaker Guy. 

Who is Jay’J Prime?

I know this question always comes, but I’m never ready for it… Jay’J Prime is a brand first and foremost; a brand that aims to inspire and show people a different perspective on life – to help make them believe in themselves realistically. Jay’J Prime is opportunity. I’m a very diverse musician who is trying to create an empire and empower other people and provide opportunities for other people. Because when I came up it wasn’t easy; fortunately for me I went to places that allowed me to see different ways of life and of thinking. 

Talk about the places you’ve been.

I’m a hotel management graduate and that led to me for the first time being out of my surroundings. I was aggressive; I didn’t know there was a different way of doing things and being in a corporate environment I learnt to adapt to that.

If you had to describe yourself with a song, which song would it be?

Robbie William, Feel. I would say the song describes me because it describes my struggle and if you listen to that song, you can put 1 and 1 together and get the perspective I would want you to get to. In that song he says he’s in a house and he feels alone, and I understand that.

What made you go into rap?

It wasn’t something that I chose; it’s something that chose me. I started out playing drums in church. I played for nine years, and I didn’t know it was a talent. Long story short, because of the guy I was then, I started skipping practice and as punishment they took me off the drums and I had to play the bass. But first I had to learn to play it. When I went to hotel management I started, and I was taught business and I took it further; same concept, different principle. Because I’ve been putting out so many vibrations and putting in positive energy like I don’t even do anything and stuff happens. Like this happens well, so I don’t think that I chose it; I’m just very passionate about music. And if I wasn’t a musician, I’d probably be something, definitely something.

What influenced you to begin the sneaker business?

It’s a struggle. Capital is a struggle; but I just left my job and my parents thought I was crazy. I needed an income to feed the music; so I could pay photographers, get venues.

Hip-Hop and sneaker have a symbiotic relationship but if you had to choose one, which would you choose?

I would choose the music. I would make music about sneakers!

If you had to choose a producer to make a beat for you, who would it be and why?

I have worked with a lot of producers the likes of Steeze, Xeno-D and PyschoBeats; but if I had to choose it’d be Quizzy. I don’t have to over-explain myself to him; he knows my key, my autotune.

The South African entertainment industry takes a lot to break into, what keeps you going

and motivated as an artist?

The motivation I get is from the people I inspire. They tell me; they come to me for advice. There aren’t many fans yet but they inbox me, and I believe they do that to people that are moving. I am lucky that I have the right people around me. I want to see progress. I am very realistic about my goals and there are indications that there’s progress; the people are seeing you and the stars are aligned.

If you enjoyed reading this, you may also like Meet Thobeka – Makeup Artist here 

Tell us: Do you have a talent that you think you can turn into a career?