We were lucky enough to catch up with Stoke-based musician Bobby J for an interview following the release of his superb single ‘Body Of A Dancer’. Read now!
What is your earliest music memory?
This is a great question. It’s something I actually remember very vividly! I was around 4-5 years old, and my mum was driving me to school one day. I heard Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ come on the radio and I just remember every single line hitting me hard! That’s the first rap song I heard and it’s been one of my favourite songs ever since!
Who or what got you into music?
Back when we were kids, I used to hang around a lot with my older cousins Marvin, Danny, Ben and their friends. Danny (who sadly passed away last year) made a rap group, and I used to join in and rap with the rest of the crew.
Danny wrote a few of my first Rhymes, and then he taught me how to write myself. I must have only been 9 or 10 when I started writing and have been doing it ever since.
Who influenced your latest release ‘Body Of A Dancer’?
I wrote the song whilst I was out in the Caribbean. I’ve spent so many years working on cruise ships as a Personal Trainer, travelling all over the world. I’ve met so many people on my travels, and many of the girls I dated were dancers. I listened to the track, and it just made me want to write a story about my experiences.
It’s loosely based on a true story. The first verse was inspired by a girl I met in the gym whilst we were sailing around the Caribbean (hence the first date Barbados line). The second verse was based around some of the dancers I’ve met over the years on the ship. I had so much fun on my travels, and I wanted to tell a story that reflected that.
You collaborated with the multi-talented singer/dancer Flash Baker on this release, what sparked this collaboration?
He was working as a singer and me as a Personal Trainer on board the same cruise ship. We met at boat drill and just became friends from there. I’d already written the track and recorded a rough version.
I showed it to him on the beach in St Maarten, and he started singing along to the chorus. I was like ok, I need to get him on the track! As soon as I got back to the UK, I sent the song over to him, and I guess the rest is history.
‘Body Of A Dancer’ is a wonderful mix of afrobeat and rap, what draws you to this genre-fusing?
I really enjoy so many different types of music. I never really know what I’m gonna make before I start writing, I just let the music inspire me in terms of my style of writing and delivery.
As soon as I heard the instrumental, I knew I had to make a track to it. I guess it just reminded me so much of the Caribbean and I just felt so happy when I first heard it. I wanted to share that feeling with everyone else.
‘Body Of A Dancer’ has a brilliant hook, do you write the hooks first?
I don’t really have a rule as in whether I start with the verse or hook. I just play the music over and over and start piecing the track together. With ‘Body Of A Dancer’, I came up with the verses first and the hook at the end. Sometimes I prefer not writing at all and just constructing the song in my head. I find it flows better that way.
Other than music, what are you passionate about?
I love sports and fitness. Mostly Boxing and Football. Then just training in the gym or at home. Outside of that, I might have a weekend here and there where I go out and party, or maybe a week where I just stay in on my own or with family and listen to audiobooks and watch Netflix. I really enjoy my ‘me’ time. I also spend a bit of time creating fitness videos. That’s something I’ve gotten into pretty recently.
What changes would you like to see in the music business?
I suppose the past few years have been really good for musicians. There are so many platforms to showcase our music on, and it’s easier than ever for an independent artist to get their music out there. I’d definitely like to see more individuality within genres, but then that’s just my opinion.
I feel like the UK music scene is really strong at the moment, and recently there have been some amazing artists emerging. It would be nice to see more musicians make it independently, but I’m definitely not knocking anyone who’s working under a label. At the end of the day, you gotta get it however you can!
If you could choose one thing for fans to take away from your music, what would it be?
I always said I wanted to make music that made people feel something. Whether that’s sadness, happiness, love or despair. For me, it would be the fact that I’m just like everyone else. I go through the day, experiencing all kinds of different feelings and emotions, and I’d like my music to really reflect my reality.
I find it hard to write happy songs when I’m feeling down. On days like that, I just wanna play a sad instrumental and express myself! If my music can help someone get through the day a little easier, or make someone get up and dance when they haven’t been feeling themselves, I’ll be happy with that!
Have you started working on your next release?
Yeah, I have a few songs In the works at the moment, but I haven’t decided on which one I’ll release yet. I guess I’ll sit down and have a think about which direction I want to take my music in, and that will determine which song I go with.
FV Music Blog November 2020
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