Following a recent tour of the Far East and release of Late Summers, his critically acclaimed mixtape, we spoke to Jay Prince, ahead of his Deezer backed headline show in Hackney. Having been heavily supported by the biggest DJs, from Zane Lowe (Beats One), DJ Semtex, Annie Mac and Mistajam (BBC Radio 1/1Xtra), it’s evident that Jay Prince is a name going from strength to strength, with nothing stopping his momentum! Nick Russell caught up with Jay to speak on the progress with his career, his movements with his creative imprint The Dreamclub, his work with Deezer and more! Keep up to date with Jay on Instagram and check our Q&A with him below!
Blatantly Blunt (BB): What’s happening, how are you doing?
JAY PRINCE: Good man, how are you doing?
BB: Brilliant man, thank you- so first off, what’s been the highlights of 2017 for you?
JAY PRINCE: Being able to continue touring; I did a run in Asia and a small run in America and just put out a project too. I was in Shanghai, Beijing, Taiwan and Chengdu, all of which I’ve never been to before, and it’s a really different audience, so it was good to do shows out there.
BB: What’s the story about building your fan base out there? Was there a strategy behind that or was it just an organic thing?
JAY PRINCE: I think it was organic – people wanted this tour to come out there, which I already had a genuine feel for. I had come out there before for a one off show, so from the first moment I felt that reaction, I felt cool – just continue doing it and keep it natural with the right people, wanting to support the music.
BB: Would you say they have a very different crowd reaction to the way that we do in the UK and Europe?
JAY PRINCE: I feel like everywhere is pretty different but it’s definitely different from here. As they don’t have an East London rapper performing every day, they really appreciate it, not that people here don’t appreciate but you can see why and there aren’t many rappers from Europe that come out as regularly. But I guess it’s happening more now – overall the whole experience is just great!
BB: Do they show the same amount of love when you do the hits, and do they respond differently?
JAY PRINCE: When I went to Korea, it was crazy, I mean literally – they were going wild, from the beginning of the show to the end – as long as you just come correct and keep that love in the room, it’s all blessings.
BB: Have you been soaking up much of the afrobeat explosion this year?
JAY PRINCE: I mean I’ve listened to African music all my life, so it’s just good to see the power of how it has been used, and that people are really listening. A lot of London artists are doing it, so you get to hear it, and I’m a fan of the music as well, so I just enjoy it, and been showing it love, so big up those guys out there doing it.
BB: What’s been happening with the Dreamclub this year? Has it been an active like movement as it was before?
JAY PRINCE: Definitely more so now – it’s a part of the stepping stones towards the whole process, just trying to get established. I’ve just been cooling with it for the most part, not trying to force it and just try to make everything happen naturally, for example my boy Dualeh is a part of it. For now it’s steady, and if everything feels right it will make sense. I’m also continuing what I’m doing with the music so there’s absolutely no rush and I’m just trying to keep fans notified of this – it’s more of a lifestyle thing opposed to being a ‘cliquey’ thing.
BB: What are your aims for this year?
JAY PRINCE: I just want to be able to continue doing what I am currently doing. It’s taken a long time to even get to a point where I can have a foundation – with a team, a manager and everything where we’re able to translate what we’ve been working on, to be at the stage where we can see the progress. Just being able to make moves, is a big thing for me. We’re just trying to get the position we deserve to be in…
BB: Any names that have been bubbling who you’re expecting to make a big impact this year?
JAY PRINCE: I definitely feel like everyone I’ve worked with, from Mahalia, to Avelino, to Kojo Funds and Yxng Bane. I feel like I’m rooting for everyone that’s just doing their thing and I feel like naturally they’re just going to do well.
BB: How has it been working with Deezer and what have they provided you with?
JAY PRINCE: I feel the genuine support has been good. For example I did live sessions with them, so having done that and then being able to take it to the live show, with them wanting to contribute to it, I can’t really ask for more, it’s beautiful!
BB: A message to your fans?
JAY PRINCE: Oh man, thank you, I appreciate everything, I’m just grateful.
Stream Jay’s mixtape ‘Late Summers’ via Soundcloud or your favourite streaming platform –