DMV’s Natty JEI Tells All About His Craft and Journey.
The indie scene in the DMV has produced many standout artists over the years that have done well at every level of the industry.
Artists like Natty JEI (Just Enough Inspiration) embody the spirit and style that come from the DMV being a melting pot of many different cultures.
DirtySouthHipHop took some time to talk to Natty about his experinece as an artist and find out what makes his style standout from his peers.
What City Do You Hail From?
“VA BEACH originally, though I’m happy to say Waldorf AKA Wally World AKA WUMBO, Murrland.”
Does Your Name Have a Significant Meaning?
“Yessir. Natty, if you’re hip to Patois, means natural or nature. It’s usually in reference to Rasta, specifically those who don’t twine or twist their locs and allow them to grow freely. JEI is an acronym for Just Enough Inspiration which is all I have, all we have and need long as we’re open to it. Put it together and Nature or what’s Natural is Just Enough Inspiration.”
How Long Have You Been Active in the Music Game?
“About 7 years. The first 4 I went by Kwes Da Natty Jedi and shifted to Natty JEI after an interesting summer in 2018.”
How Are You Going to Approach the Game as an Artist?
“As Natty as can be. I’m working more towards achieving a balance between restoring the feeling we used to have when it felt like an artist’s music was exclusively yours to enjoy and combining that with what I’ve been feeling and seeing tech going into for the next 10-15 years.”
Who are Some of the Artists and Producers You’ve Worked With for Your New Music?
“Mostly in house with my homies who’ve grown tremendously as humans and artists. CJ The Genesis, Chief Panda, Suede Moccasins, Hibru, 9toFyve, ReachBrandyn, xii.Sol, JahTrig, ceeMAJOR, SMADA, MJ Withers, Nisho Soul, and a few others man, it’s a list.”
Whom Would You Say are Your Greatest Influences in Music Today?
“The homies. These days I find myself digging into more Toots & The Maytals, Dobby Dobson & other ska bands. More obscure funk and soul artists Lee Moses, 24 Carat Black, The New Birth. Drake’s daddy Phonte is thee unsung goat of Hip-Hop and I’ve been getting into him heavy, he does music perfectly. iLL Doots has been having an awesome run as well. Also Mario Judah is a gem in music.”
There’s a Lot of Talent in the DMV so What are you Bringing New to the Game for the Culture?
“Different methods that are suitable for me. I haven’t put out a project in 4 years which was an EP. Before and since that time, nobody that’s blown up out of the DMV has come close to what my debut album will be, not even by a mile. I also stay in a bubble for the most part, no Pangea pun intended, so idk what other folks are doing outside of my circle. Hope they’re going in though!”
Explain Your New Single and What’s Your Current Project?
“My latest single is a part of my weekly LYRICS 2 FLOAT video series/compilation album simply named “The 5th”. Recently I had been running on autopilot and in a moment of stillness I just started crying in the whip. I had quite a few family members pass over the last few years. More recently was my oldest uncle who transitioned last year almost 20 years to the day after my grandfather died and he left without a better understanding on certain affairs which hurts everyone in the family.”
“The videos for LYRICS 2 FLOAT are all shot by my bro Christian Jones on a DJI drone and is a form of therapy, lyrical exercise and critical thinking challenges. I inhale in life and put out fire in the air. Like I mentioned before, I am also working on my debut which will come out next year. Til then, I’ve got mad collabs, singles coming along with pushing out LYRICS 2 FLOAT weekly.”
So with the Climate of Today’s Artists Using Ghostwriters, Would You Use Any, and Have You Done Any, for Any Artists Out There Now?
“For raps nah, for singing I’m definitely open. You’ll see some coming out within the next few weeks. Also we’re here to make beautiful shit, nothing wrong with a little input if the life you’re living isn’t providing the right inspiration for the moment.”
Where Can Fans and Followers Find Everything About You on Social Media? (Name Your Platforms)
My website: Nattooine.com
Currently I’m the most active I’ve ever been on Instagram so follow me @NattyJEI
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