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BJ THE CHICAGO KID FOR CORRIDOR | BJ THE CHICAGO KID FOR CORRIDOR | BJ THE CHICAGO KID FOR CORRIDOR | BJ THE CHICAGO KID FOR CORRIDOR
INTERVIEW WITH BJ THE CHICAGO KID
CM: Conor McKeon
BJ: BJ The Chicago Kid
CM: I’d love to talk about joy, because it emanates so beautifully from your music. Do you need to be in a joyous state to make joyous music?
BJ: We’re human people, man. Some days we are down, some days we are up. That’s what makes music powerful and spiritual. It helps transfer all of that, whether you want to translate or transfer your emotions, it comes through. Somebody said when you create music, the first listener is the Creator.
But yeah, music brings me joy period. Otherwise I would definitely be trying to cut hair or some other shit. It’s not a forced thing, I want to do this. It’s what I chose to do and what I was chosen to do. There’s no confusion, there’s no other option.
CM: You have to love it.
BJ: To make it a career, yeah, there has to be a love for it. Everything with me is real, not just musically but where I come from, and that’s the only way it could come out like that. Music is spiritual like that.
CM: You moved to LA when you were 19. What kind of community have you built there?
BJ: LA is a very small knit community. Good people pretty much make the world around in all industries, and good people brought all of us together. Those are friends that you make that go beyond that time or moment or year, these are people I have love for for life. But that’s true whether they’re from Paris, Africa, London, anywhere. Music is my first connection.
CM: I have friends in LA who say it can be difficult to get work done out there, have you found that to be true?
BJ: The good thing about music studios is they don't have windows or big clocks, so you kind of can be anywhere in the world, and you’re still just in your mind. That's kind of the purpose, so you can kind of stay focused on what's in the room.
"WE’RE HUMAN PEOPLE, MAN. SOME DAYS WE ARE DOWN, SOME DAYS WE ARE UP. THAT’S WHAT MAKES MUSIC POWERFUL AND SPIRITUAL."
CM: Speaking of which, how did “Studio”, your collab with Schoolboy Q, come about?
BJ: He hit me up and told me he was working on something and he would need me for it. I showed up at the studio, he didn’t have any idea just knew he wanted me to say the word Studio. I’m a chameleon in the studio, I just needed time alone with it to figure out how I wanted to say it, and listen to his verse back and forth and figure out how I could make it make sense and continue his message. And boom.
CM: Is there a sense of competition when you’re collaborating?
BJ: I think everybody musically is competitive in some kind of way, spoken or unspoken. The competitiveness only draws the best out of the artist. That’s the only way I approach it, people just trying to get better, just trying to improve musically. Everybody wants to show out.
CM: And I'm sure you're inwardly competitive before anything else.
BJ: That’s the only thing that pushes me, competition with myself. Knowing what my best is, what my last best was, how to improve from that.
CM: Getting off music for a little bit, you’ve been in LA for so long, are you a Lakers fan now?
BJ: I'm Chicago for life. The type of question is that?
CM: Listen I had to ask. I’ve seen it happen.
BJ: Definitely not Knicks fan, I'll tell you that.
CM: Thank God.
BJ: No I’m Chicago to the bone.
CM: We're about the same age, those 90s Bulls teams were my team.
CM: Do you find inspiration from non-musicians like Jordan? Just in terms of attention to the craft.
BJ: Michael was a lot of people's first hero, you understand? No matter what you did, it transcends that far, so. yeah, confident wise, hard work wise, Talking shit, everything man.
CM: Who were some of your other heroes growing up?
BJ: My family. There’s just good standup people in my family. I didn’t have to go far.
CM: How did your upbringing help you, creatively?
BJ: They just encouraged me to be cultured, and that’s allowed me to go different places. The whole purpose of being a creator is to go exactly and then further than where you’re trying to go.
CM: Well thanks for taking the time. Is there anything you’re working on that you wanna plug?
BJ: There’s a project I got called Gravy is coming out very soon. That’s the next baby.
BJ is a singer and songwriter from Chicago. Stream his music here and look out for his upcoming project, Gravy.