Interview with JAMS The Flava Child

“I take pride in pushing the boundaries of music. I feel like thats our responsibilities as artists.” -JAMS The Flava Child

Chicago rapper JAMS The Flava Child is a brilliant up and comer whose intense blend of hiphop beats with funk rhythms and his relatable themes has garnered him a loyal fanbase. In the past, he has played sold out shows with Big Sean, Rich the Kid, and Machine Gun Kelly. On May 5th, JAMS will be supporting Murs at Sub T in Chicago, and on May 12th he will be releasing “The Flava Child Experience” worldwide.

We recently caught up with JAMS and asked him a few questions about his music. Check out what he had to say.

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What (who) does your act consist of?

JAMS: Its me and Nedim Melkic. We live together in Chicago. We’ve been working together for free for like 4/5 years now. I kinda executive produce, he makes all the beats, I do the writing and recording, he does the mixing and mastering. Thats my brother.

How did you and your band meet?

JAMS: I went to college for a semester, and I kinda feel like this was the reason why if you believe “everything happens for a reason”. I was just drunk on the street one night with a chick after a party and some dude came up to me, and he was like “yooo you JAMS right? You gotta link up with my boy back at home in Chicago he’s got some heat …” I was looking to drop out of school and link up with some full time producers back in the city so I jumped right on it. About a month or 2 later me & Nedim linked up… about 2 months after that we had our first mix tape out.

Where are you and your band from?

JAMS: I was born in London but raised in Chicago area. Nedim was born and raised in Bosnia and moved here when he was 11/12.

Thinking back to early childhood, what was your first experience with music?

JAMS: My mom and dad both loved music. But more so my mom she’s just the hippy type. She got this old red sebring convertible and we used to put the top down and get ice cream from McDonalds, and blast this one Bon Jovi song hahaha. But I have so many memories… I gravitated towards music super young.

What type of music did you hear the most growing up? Is it different from what you listen to now?

JAMS: Yeah, I think that goes without saying. I grow everyday and my taste of music reflects that no doubt.

What was the first song that you ever sang?

JAMS: Aw mannnn hahaha I have no idea. Maybe like old DMX just going crazy in the shower type shit. The first albums I knew every word to were definitely Kanye’s albums.

What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?

JAMS: The freedom music granted me. That liberating feeling that you get when your performing. The process of creating music. Writing music. What my music could do for others. I love this shit…

How did you become involved in the type of music you play/sing now?

JAMS: Just being around Chicago really expedited my artistry. But I was a writer before I was an artist/rapper. I loved and still do love poetry, thats how I got in to college. But when I got really in to hip hop was the first time I started really writing lyrics and songs. Mix it in with some struggles and that shit started pouring out for me in every class, every late night, on the bus, on the L. I love writing.

For those who have never seen or heard your music before, how would you describe your music for the public audience?

JAMS: I’m a 1/1. I take pride in pushing the boundaries of music. I feel like thats our responsibilities as artists. And I need that, I crave that… anything less is uninspiring. I wanted to fuse funk and hip hop. I always use live instruments. I make high quality, original, boundary pushing music.

Would you rather play live performances or be in the studio?

JAMS: I record by myself usually. I record myself at my apartment with just an interface, my lap top, and my mic. It’s my escape from the world. I lock myself in, put my phone in another room and just create create create. When I play live I get anxious leading up to it, the actual performance is incomparable, but day to day – I need that release that making music gives me.

Have you ever entered any contests to enhance your musical career?

JAMS: Here n there nothing major though.

Have you been involved in any benefit performances?

JAMS: I’ve done a few non for profit events, yeah…

What do you think your greatest accomplishment has been so far in your musical career?

JAMS: I haven’t accomplished a fraction of what I want to. I haven’t even stepped out the door yet, you feel me?

If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?

JAMS: I think genres are pointless but if i had to say, hip hop/funk

Are there any stories surrounding your songs that you’d care to share?

JAMS: My upcoming mixtape “Flava Child Experience” is all about that. Its an audio diary of the most trying years of my life. I buried my best friend, I fell in and out of love, I separated with a manager I thought would be a life long partner, I dropped out of college, I worked so many jobs, I’ve been jumped – these songs have endless substance. That’s why I couldn’t put out an EP, I got too much to say I don’t care what the industry standard is.

What has been your strongest influence to continue performing?

JAMS: I never thought to stop.

What are your immediate music career goals?

JAMS: Keep feeding this crazy loyal dedicated fan base with the most quality music I can!

What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?

JAMS: I don’t know really. When you do what you love nothings really too challenging. There’s a lot of “real life” problems that weigh on me a lot heavier, music is what I love, I’m blessed to do this.

What type of fan base do you have?

JAMS: My fan base is super loyal and interactive. I talk to all them all the time. We got group chats on Facebook and all that.

Music tends to appeal to everyone, young and old. Do you have any advice for the youth of today?

JAMS: Be yourself. Its so hard to be yourself in a room fulla haters. But be yourself, believe in what you do and follow your heart.

Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?

JAMS: Ima Renaissance man baby…

What do you do with your time away from music?

JAMS: If I’m not making music I’m making money. I read and write a lot too, a lotta comics. I take time to focus on my spirit and my soul. I eat good, thats always the most important, you feel me.

As an artist, is there anything special you hope to be able to accomplish?

JAMS: I hope I can give people the same gift that music gave me – freedom, someone to relate to, tranquility in an evil cold ass world.

Please feel free to add any other information you want to share with fans and readers.

JAMS: I appreciate you guys at Little Voice for rockin with the Flava Child!! It’s just chapter 1 of a beautiful journey, thank you!

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Keep up with JAM The Flava Child on social media:

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Author: Samantha Stevens

I am a retired Canadian sailor turned writer, journalist, and academic. Currently completing my MA in journalism, and keeping my writing skills sharp through freelance work. The Littlest Voice is my baby.