LJak is an artist and poet who, through his music, inspires his audience to think. 1 In Music meets up with the music artist to find out more about him, his sound and his music projects.
1 In Music: You have multiple talents in your arsenal. How do they make your music unique?
LJak [LJ]: What’s unique about my music is its context and delivery. My music tells the story of my life as a writer, author, and poet. It speaks of the joys and struggles of being an artist. It showcases who I am. And I am someone who believes in cultivating philosophy. I believe in innovation, industry, empathy. I believe in going against the grain, in challenging traditional thoughts or theories, in learning how to love through trial and error. I guess you would have to be a judge of my delivery. But the uniqueness of it all comes down to context. For I am willing to shamelessly share my entire self so as to make even one person know that they are, both within and without, matchlessly beautiful.
1 In Music: What, in your unique story, inspires and shapes your music and supports you to keep at it?
LJ: Awareness of defects within my self, and the experience of overcoming them, especially through writing and music, has both shaped my music and supported me. I’m now being called, and am also now accepting myself as two things that I’ve never accepted before: the first is a philosopher and the second is an artist. Life has led me into the direction of accepting that I am an artist. And understanding just what that means is what continues to support me as a writer and entrepreneur.
1 In Music: So, at what point did this realisation you were am artist turn into a professional commitment?
LJ: I’ve always dreamed of having my own album of music. I started writing poetry at seven. Then, some years later, I was writing songs and had folders of lyrics. But with an awareness of lacking comes a period of time where you realize you need to withdraw. So, I stopped making music in my late teens and early twenties: I knew I wasn’t portraying my genuine self. Returning to music in my late twenties, I realized I had potential from the reactions of different people hearing me, both in and outside of the industry. When industry savvy folk began to accept and notice me, I figured I was moving into a special direction, and have since continued.
1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?
LJ: I like Classical music. Being from the 90s, I don’t listen to Rap or Hip Hop, Punk, Pop, or Rock that much right now. But I sometimes go back and listen to 90s Hip Hop or Rock. Also, when the mood calls for it, I listen to country music.
1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?
LJ: I’ll be honest with you, I don’t even listen to music like that anymore to be able to give you a good answer. I lightly tune in to music, so I have no idea who is undervalued. But since you use the word “artist,” I haven’t listened to all of his music, but I tune in to XXXTentacion. As an artist, I feel his intelligence for the carrying of his voice to produce sound, and for frequency, may not be as popular or as valued as it should be. I feel like in this new age of Rap or Hip Hop, his style was something that wasn’t heard or quite yet articulated.
1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?
LJ: For every performance, I like to embody the spirit of my words. I have no preparation, but simply let the moment dictate the performance. Because I am the mind behind the performance, and because I have the artist within me, there’s no need to prepare. Of course you want to manage what you can, externally. But internally, it is about “being,” and about remaining in “being.”
1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?
LJ: When I’m not doing music I’m writing and editing my books for publication. I’ve published several books since 2017, and I have one more that I am finalizing for publishing in 2022.
1 In Music: Success to you is…?
LJ: Success to me is consistently waking up and doing what I am born to do with my reason, skill, and talent.
1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?
LJ: I wish someone had told me to learn how to form simple connections with people who care as much for my message as I do. So often it is thought that money buys connections. And so, money is spent on people we believe are for us, but they only care about ripping us off.
I wish someone had told me to learn how to be a judge of character,
and to spend my money in a wise and simple way
for the construction of a lasting team.
1 In Music: We believe you have an upcoming album, right?
LJ: Yes! I have an album that is set for release at the end of this month in August. The album is entitled “Self-Esteem”. I’m so excited for it, and the buzz developing around it lets me know that it is not only greatly anticipated, but also greatly appreciated.
1 In Music: Tell us more about the release and its contents.
My album “Self-Esteem” has 21 tracks. Each track shows the listener who I am, hopefully causing them to think deeper about who they are. I have no features on it; it is strictly me in all of my phases as an artist and as a human being. I recently released a single from the album, called “Bullets”. This song talks about my conflict and frustration in the world of publishing and of philosophy, and also the triumph I envision my work having.
My career as an author, and in the subject of my books, inspired “Self-Esteem.” I have songs that I recorded back in 2018, and and then I have songs in this year of 2021 on the album. It is a flavorful account of my journey as an artist and writer, and I’m releasing it with the intention of inspiring someone to learn of or take their talent or skill, and to respectfully cultivate it.
1 In Music: Thank you so much LJak for taking the time to answer these questions. Before we part, tell us where we can listen to your music and view all your other projects?
LJ: You can find me on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCidSisMATGz2HMwOHjeLcwg
Editor’s notes; XXXTentacion was an American rap artist, singer, and songwriter who died at 20.