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ReddRoxx Rundown: Have you met J. Clancy?

J. Clancy is working hard to make it in the rap game.

blog by Maria Redd  • 

I had the opportunity to catch up with a very talented up and coming artist by the name of J. Clancy. He is a native of Rochester and is currently a student at Buffalo State College.

J. Clancy aims to inspire the masses through his rhymes and create music that’s relatable to his audience. He has been influenced by many of the industry greats but there’s one in particular who inspires him to take his music to the next level…read on!

ReddRoxx:Start out by telling the people who you are:

J. Clancy: My name is Joshua Clancy, and I’m an emerging rap artist studying business and administration at Buffalo State College.

RR: What’s life like outside of making music?

JC: Outside of my music, (my) life is the college life, which consists of late nights and early mornings. It’s all about parties, girls, class, last-minute studying, video games and noodles, but not in that order.

RR: Give us a little history on how you started rapping or when you first realized that you had a talent.

JC: I was inspired at a young age by one of the best that ever did it, Jay-Z. Everybody has that hero or that person that they want to be like growing up, and he was mine. What gave me confidence to start rapping was people said I looked like him because I have big lips also, so that—along with his style being appealing to me—led me to writing my own lyrics.

I realized I was actually good at rapping when me and my best friend Jamie made a CD in middle school on my $30 computer microphone. The first day we brought the CD to school, word got around fast. Surprisingly, people were coming up to me saying, “Yo, that CD you and Jamie did was hot!” That’s when I realized my hobby of rapping was a talent.

RR: Who influences your sound and music the most?

JC: I would say Jay-Z, J.Cole, Kanye and Drake.

RR: Speaking of Jay-Z, when I first played your music, the first thing that popped in my mind was that you reminded me of him—do you get this a lot?

JC: I do get that often, however I’ve found myself as an artist over the years so I know its not me trying to sound like him—it’s just my natural style and demeanor. Like I stated earlier, (with) him being my biggest influence, it’s probably just embedded in me but I just don’t see it like other people do.

RR: Being compared to Jay-Z can be A Gift and A Curse (no pun intended). How do people perceive and respond to your sound? 

JC: When people say I sound like Jay-Z, they’ve always portrayed it in a good way, like I should be honored. However, I’m my biggest critic and I don’t want to necessarily sound like another artist. I want to have my own image, so I see what you’re saying about a gift and a curse. The industry doesn’t want another Jay-Z. They want the first J.Clancy.

RR: I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Most of the greats are influenced by their predecessors. I definitely think you are very talented. Are you currently signed to an independent or major label? If not, who would you ideally like to get your music in front of?

JC: I’m currently not signed, but if I had an opportunity to get my music in front of somebody, it would be Jay-Z (Roc Nation) or DJ Green Lantern (Team Invasion). I say Jay-Z because, like I stated, he’s my childhood inspiration and is still an inspiring artist and businessman to me. I would say DJ Green Lantern because he’s my favorite DJ and we’re natives of the same city—Rochester, NY.

RR: Performances are a great way to get heard. Have you done any shows?

JC: I have done a numerous amount of open mics and venue shows around Rochester. In Brooklyn, I was given the opportunity to open up for Maino, which was a great experience because it was my first time in the big city. Also, I have done shows for big events on Buffalo State’s campus like Spring Fest 2011, where I opened up for Far East Movement, Miguel and Lupe Fiasco.

RR: Sounds like you’ve been busy! Do you have anything coming up?

JC: Yes, I have an intermission slot for Apollo Night at Buffalo State campus funded by the student organization AASO. The exact date and time has not been confirmed yet though.

RR: Have you released any music recently? If so, where can it be purchased or heard?

JC: Yes, I release new freestyles on my YouTube roughly every two weeks. As far as CDs, my latest release is available on datpiff.com under my artist name, J.Clancy. Everything’s free for now.

RR: Wow, releasing a new freestyle every two weeks definitely means that you are on your grind! What about any upcoming releases? Any projects in the works?

JC: I plan on collaborating with Buffalo’s own DJ Heat again for my industry freestyle mix tape, where I’ll rap over the latest industry beats. The official title is still pending, but the release will be before the winter. My EP is also planned to follow after that.

RR: DJ Heat is my homie! A talented DJ like Heat and a talented artist like yourself collaborating is a recipe for something great! I’m going to be on the lookout for that for that new mix tape! Have you worked with anyone else that you would like to make mention of?

JC: I would have to mention Thomas ‘Chosen’ Cooksey. This guy is a big reason why I have reached all the success that I have had so far with music. He was the first person to believe in me, and do what he can do to take me to the next level. Thomas takes time to engineer and mix all my tracks, and he was the one who gave me the opportunity to record my first official mix tape called “My New York Timez”. He pushed me and made it happen in the midst of our hectic college schedules. I take my hat off to him for that.

RR: That’s awesome, you always have to give credit where it’s due. I’m curious—in the description that you sent me of your track entitled Imagine, Believe, Achieve, you describe it as an “inspriational track.” So what is your inspiration behind the music you make?

JC: Being a voice for all the faces from the inner city that share the same trials and tribulations as I do. From the small decisions in life like, “What will I wear today?” to the big ones like “Should I fight the temptation of making fast money or not?” I’m inspired to tell all those stories and life experiences and add a great rhythm to it to uplift people. Another inspiration is the joy that music brings to somebody when they can relate to a song. With the perfect melody and lyrics ,it can easily turn a frown into a smile.


RR: Music with a message, I love it! Eeveryone talks about swag now, so how would you describe your style both in music and dress?

JC: I love hip-hop and R & B. One of my favorite albums is The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. My style is laid-back yet emotionally involved. I like artists that have something to say that will touch my emotions. I like to be able to put the next person on to that music like I’m the actual artist, like I own those words, but really its just because that artist touched my feelings to the point that I’m confident enough to touch someone else’s. Good, emotionally-involved music makes legends in my eyes. As far as dressing, I’m pretty neutral. I like to look nice but I wear dark colors a lot.

RR: The Miseducatin of Lauryn Hill is also one of my personal favorites! I’m an avid hip-hop fan as well and you have a great sound! I’d like to thank you again for allowing our readers and your fans a peek inside the life of J.Clancy.

Check Out J.Clancy on:
The Young, Black and Gifted Blog


TAGGED: interview, j. clancy, reddroxx

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