He had the chance to speak with Jaquil Short (better known as JQ) from Michigan, the aspiring up an coming artist has a story as interesting as his music. He is considered one of the Now Hip Hop Magazine hot new artists of 2019. Check out the exclusive interview below:
Jäquil Short also known as JQ is a Hip Hop Artist from Albion, Michigan who’s been rapping, song writing, and performing since he was 8 years old. His inspiration are the likes of J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Boogie, Kanye West, Jay Z, and many more. He admires music with a message and substance that people can relate to, which also helps spread messages and uplift those listening. JQ dropped his first mixtape entitled “The Flight Plan” in 2012. In 2014 he released his second mixtape called, “The Takeoff” which he also recorded 2 music videos off of. His last mixtape he dropped was in 2017 entitled “The TakeOver: Learned Lessons” featuring his good friend T.King who sung throughout the entirety of the tape. The TakeOver: Learned Lessons consists of a variety of flows and stories which expresses different stories and constant overcoming of obstacles in JQ’s life. JQ is currently a senior at Western Michigan University studying General Psychology currently co-pursuing his dreams in the music industry. He is planning on dropping an EP entitled “The Phases of Love” in August and also a concept music in the same month for his song “Unspoken Truth” which is on “The TakeOver: Learned Lessons” mixtape.
What is your background? tell us where you grew up and some information about your upbringing/experiences as a youth:
My Name is Jäquil Short. I go by the stage name of JQ. I am 25 years old from Albion, Michigan. I grew up in a full house with both parents and 4 brothers. We were broke, broke! We went from living in my Papa’s basement, to a family friend letting us rent one of their houses for the low, to owning a 3 bedroom house which my family still lives in today. Growing up was such a struggle my dad used to scrape up the tips he made as a waiter to try and afford food for us to eat, sometimes they skipped out on meals. Afterwards, my dad went to college to get his Bachelors and Masters degree and worked at the church part time, while my mom was holding it down too working full time to support the fam and help until my Pops graduated. Growing up was hard being broke but it taught me a lot of morals and values. My parents used to say just cause you’re broke, doesn’t mean other people have to know you are. We still helped other people and my parents did everything in their power to make sure my brothers and I had a great childhood.
At what moment did you know that music was part of your life and what feelings did you have towards making an active impact with your music?
I knew music was apart of my life when my older brother, my friends, and I had formed a rap group called the Soulja’s for Christ under my dad’s wing. That’s when I wrote my first rap and performed my first song after that I took a hiatus. When I was 12, my family took in a guy named BJ, who was struggling, to help house him and get him back on his feet. Me and my older brother, J.Short, admired Him and ended up starting back writing and rapping because of him. He ended up getting shot and killed in Detroit a year later, but that locked in my dream of writing and rapping. I started taking rap serious and pushing it at 16 years old when I met my homie Brendan Sturgill AKA B Sturg. That formed the basis of my lyricism, writing lyrics which will leave the crowd in awe. Me and him dropped a few songs together and he later influenced me wanting to drop mixtapes.
What artists inspired/influences you and if you could collaborate with any artist (alive or passed) who would it be and why?
A few of my inspirations in music are: Boogie, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Reason, Mick Jenkins, Kanye, Jay Z, and Nas. Two rappers I would love to collaborate with would be J Cole and Tupac because they stood for more than just rapping. I love that their songs have meaning to help soothe you in whatever situation you’re in. I also love story telling in my raps and being a voice for my culture and generation.
What do you think about the current state of hip hop/mainstream music?
I love the current state of Hip Hop/Mainstream. I used to hate it but I Learned appreciation in the constant changing and subcultures of Rap. You can learn a lot about improving your music by listening to other people’s styles. To paraphrase a rapper named Vic Mensa said in an interview, “When I hear a beat to write to it, the way I hear it to form my delivery is completely different from someone else’s, which is 100% different from another rapper.” This helps you so you don’t have the same sound per song. I love the current Hip Hop state we’re in and how it’s constantly evolving.
complete within the next year.
What are your short term career goals within the next 6-10 months?
Currently, I’m working a 5 song EP called “The Phases of Love” which takes you through the different phases of Love. I’m also working on a Concept Music Video for my song, “Unspoken Truth” ft. my older brother J.Short which will tell a nice story with a twist. This is expected to come out in August. Lastly, I’m working on a mixtape that I want to release sometime early in 2020. I currently have 6 songs written for it that are locked in for that mixtape. These are also my short term career goals that I’m looking to complete within the next year.
What are your long term career goals within the next 2-5 years?
My long-term music goal for the next 6-10 years is to be making Top 100 Hits. I’d love to be making a living out of performing shows, recording music, and writing songs for people. That is the goal that I would like to reach within the next 6-10 years, or even earlier than that.
If you had one song out of the catalogue you have created to show a person what song would it be and why?
It’s hard to limit my music down to one song to show someone, but my one song out of my catalog that I have created that I would show a person would be a song called “Die 1 Day”. That’s because I was in the Spirit and freestyled the hook one day and knew it was an instant hit. I think people would vibe out with the song from the vibe and catchiness of the hook alone, but it is also backed by some hot verses and lyrics. That would be the song I’d show people but afterwards I would ask if they would want to hear one more and show them a song called “Craving for More”. This is probably one of the most relatable songs I’ve written and the chorus also goes crazy too.
To the person who had never heard of you what is it about your music and story that you would tell them to entice them to be a supporter?
I make Uplifting Medicine for Your Soul in my Music. I have many styles and great lyrics which can relate to anyone. No matter what season you’re in, in your life I promise I have a song that will bring life to your Spirit.
If your music could be described in five words what would those five words be?
Motivating and Soothing Soul Medicine
What do you bring to the game that is unique and different?
I think my style and my lyrics are different. Everytime you hear something from me the substance of the lyrics are going to hit hard. Also my ideas when it comes to making music videos. I have a lot of different ideas that I’m working on incorporating in my music videos that will really entertain my viewers also. Those are coming in the near future.
To the aspiring artist who is considering a career as a musician what lessons or advice would you give them to inspire them or to uplift them in the journey?
L’s are just Lessons. Use your failures as stepping stones for a better future. Keep pushing on and pursuing your dreams. There are many times when you feel like you’re on a treadmill of life but things are working for your good and preparing you for your moment when the time is right. Don’t just dream but chase them and Opportunity will meet Preparation.
What are your social media profiles and where can people purchase/download your music?
IG: JQ_20 Twitter: JQ20_ Facebook: JQ SoundCloud: https://m.soundcloud.com/learnedlessons_thetakeover YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ThaFutcha1921
What are your final words you would like to say to people that you have left out?
Sometimes God will frustrate your Process to Reorder your Priorities. Stay Hungry!