Interview with Lickle Jay
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I grew up around music from a young age. I always loved music with a passion and I was inspired by legends before me. I feel like becoming an artist saved my life and changed my mindset. Because the environment where I came from was designed for us to fail which made it very difficult for me to see outside of the box other than the street life. So if it wasn’t for music maybe I would be battling through drama, depression, trauma and more pain. I’m truly grateful that I am able to turn pain into power and I found myself and my purpose.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I enjoy traveling, reading, cooking and bringing flavours together in the company of real family And friends.
How long have you been making music?
I would say over 20 Years, I remember not having a computer and going to my good friend Gary’s (Reepa) house and Learning how to put beats together on a software called Reason. And music generator on the PlayStation. Those were the days! So the production started From there really.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I am based in Northampton And being a part of JAH Troopers Reggae Sound System alongside Hussla D, DJ Spess (RIP) Dolla, Keedz, Lady C, Jonny B, Junior Stones, Ruffy, Strika and Reepa. Together we covered Reggae, Dancehall, R&B, Garage and more. It became a big scene For the Community at that time because there was nothing going on so we started to put on our own events and gave a platform for performances and live shows to showcase talent. This would bring the communities together and was a great inspiration for other youths to follow. Seeing this gave me the confidence and influenced me to become a songwriter, performer and more.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, and what is your vision for a live show?
I remember I was the opening act for a show at Manchester HQ. For Reggae veteran “Luciano”and “Etana” that was an amazing night! I was so happy and honoured to share the stage with the phenomenal artists. Another show I remember was quite challenging for me was when “Beenie Man” came to Coventry Club and demanded the promoter was called Mark From “Top Secret Studios” and me and Hussla D was there to just play music, It was Ram Jam inside this venue, I remember seeing a artist on stage performing and the crowd was booing him off the stage! Then out of nowhere “Mark” came and said “Lickle Jay, you’re going on stage now!” I was in shock because I wasn’t prepared for that! So I followed Mark to the stage, and I see this Artist Getting Booed. So I was really nervous thinking they gonna boo me too.. So I go on stage I sing two songs, the first one was 'the People are Silent just listening then my second one they liked it and I could hear behind me “Beenie Man’s” bands Starting to Play Along with My Song then I come off to them Playing my Riddim Then “Beenie Man'' walks on stage it was just an Amazing Atmosphere like it was Meant to be. My Vision For A Live Show is Having A live Band you can’t beat that and Happy crowd of People Enjoying the Spiritual Music.
What is your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
In Northampton Roadmender is the best venue and I would love to perform at O2 Arena in London one day.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Damian Marley, Nas, Wiz Kid, Lauryn Hill.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
For anyone who is just starting to make music I would say learn about the business because you could be a really amazing artist but if you are not being heard, it’s hard because the music Industry is a tough game to play. You got to be strong and have a lot of patience,you got to keep on going and keep elevating. If I knew what I know now when I was younger I would be further in my career by now. However it’s never too late to make a impact in the world “you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”. Believe in yourself And lead by example so that others can believe too.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Music is so powerful. For me, it’s more than music because this gift God has given me. No money can buy it. “In These Times” I wrote during the pandemic the whole world was on lockdown and everyone was going through a tough time. So I feel the lyrics in this song were very uplifting and gave so many people hope and reassurance that whatever one was going through we all need love. Go check it out!
Which songs are your favourite to play and which get requested the most?
Most of my songs come from real experiences in my life I would Say “Don’t Leave” is always requested it’s a love Song about a breaking up with someone you love relatable so people really resonate with it. When I sing it you can hear my pain and truth you Know…You can hear I really mean it..
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I always challenge myself to become better by not competing with what’s out there already. I don't really listen to all this new music without substance it doesn’t do anything for my soul.. My everyday life inspires me to write. Real situations I go through, the struggles, the pressures we face Inspires me. Sad times is when I able to write the best songs.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music? If so, please tell me about them.
Sure. My music is spiritual medicine reminding you to never give the fight, to stay positive and faithful glorifying God. So if you may be going through something and are feeling low but I hope my Music can heal you and lift you up.
Do you have any new singles, videos, or albums out that you would like to tell me and your fans about?
Yes I have recently released a single called “My Baby” on all digital platforms produced by Crate Classics. I shot an incredible video for it in Switzerland With scenes on a mountain where the James Bond Movie ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ was filmed.. So go watch it On YouTube now please Like, Share and Subscribe! I have an album I’m working on at the moment but for now, it’s more Singles And cinematic videos from me before I drop my album.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Plans for the future is to own my publishing company, Community Recording Studio for the Youths.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Sure yeah my Instagram is @Licklejay , Tik Tok is @Licklejay , Twitter is Licklejay_ YouTube is Lickle Jay and Spotify Etc..