Interview by: Shilpa Rupani
Who is Southside Jake?
My name is Southside Jake and I am an independent hip hop artist out of the south west side of Chicago. I am going to be contributing to chi-bangerz.com, so I figured it would be appropriate to give you a little insight into who I am and what I do. Below is an interview I did for another publication awhile back and it should paint a clearer picture of who I am and what I'm about.
Interview by: Shilpa Rupani
Typically I “discover” new music on the radio, from talking to friends, maybe seeing a new act open for one of my favorites; however I’m proud to say that the newest artist in rotation on my ipod is someone I consider a friend.
I’ve known Southside Jake for 2 years now and have had the opportunity to see his young career in music blossom. From his shows at established venues in Chicago, to hearing his single ”City Kids” over the speakers at Chicago sporting events, I’m excited to see his star begin to shine as an up-and-coming hip hop artist.
Southside Jake took some time to answer some questions for us.
What motivated you to get into the music business?
I’m just a guy who likes to make music. I was born and raised on the southwest side of Chicago and I make music about what I know. I’ve always loved music and I actually wrote my first rap in 1st grade. I would always freestyle at parties in college and the feedback came back positive. I love to create, so I figured I’d take a run at getting my music out there.
What inspires you? Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who create their own path and work hard to accomplish their dreams. I’m inspired by people who don’t let obstacles or adversity tear them away from their happiness. I’m inspired by my family. Musically, I have inspirations that come from all across the board, from Johnny Cash to Jay-Z and everywhere in between.
I usually start with a concept and go from there. Inspiration strikes and I say, “Hey, I should write a song about such and such.” I get the instrumentation correct, write a hook and I usually write my verses last after listening to the beat and hook for awhile. Once it’s all written, I’ll record a rough draft in my home studio to work out all of the kinks. Once I’m comfortable with it, I go to an actual studio to record a final draft. Lately, I have been working with Kidd Russell and Matt Jenkins at East North Ave Productions. They have taken me under their wing over there and I owe them a lot.
What is the most exciting part of your burgeoning music career? What’s the most challenging part?
The most exciting part is watching people vibe to something that you created from scratch. Like one second, this song didn’t even exist and the next second some kid you never met is driving around with his windows down bumping it. I am trying to build this thing one brick at a time and it is definitely exciting to watch the pool of people who know my music increase. The most challenging part right now is probably time and finances. I am doing this all on my own, so it can be difficult at times to handle both the music side of things and the business side of things. It can become very time consuming. I don’t mind spending the time though, as this is a passion of mine and I’m just enjoying the ride.
What’s on your bucket list, career-wise?
I know it’s corny, but I just want to be happy. Whether that’s making 40k a year and playing small venues in the Midwest, or getting singed to a major label deal and touring the world, I just want to be happy. Either way, at the end of the day it’s all about your family your friends and your peace of mind. I do want to have summer cottage on a lake someday, though.
You can sit down to dinner with 4 people… any 4, alive or dead. Name them.
In no particular order…
1 Grampa Jim
4 John Lennon
Someone is writing your biography. What would you want them to call it?
Heck, that’s a good question. Maybe something like “The Genuine Article.” I strive to be a genuine and sincere person who represents for the “little guy.” Hopefully, my biography would reflect that.
Who are three artists playing heavily in your rotation right now?
Another shout to Kidd Russell as I have been bumping to him hard as of late. I also love Common’s new project and will always have Jay-Z in rotation.
What’s your message to all the Charlies? [the dreamers, the young souls with big dreams, the people looking for magic in a world that doesn’t always offer it]
Follow your dreams and don’t give up. If you want it, go get it and don’t let any detractors try and pull you off your path. Also, treat people kindly and compassionately no matter what their status is in life. Whether it’s the janitor, or the CEO, be sincere and be kind. Also, go download “City Kids”. LOL.