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Jaecy: Movin’, Groovin’ and Spreading Good Vibes

In celebration of his fiery new mixtape MOVIN GROOVIN, the Bankstown-raised artist talks us through his process in the studio, harnessing positive energy, and the importance of looking out for the youth.

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“At this time in my life, I felt like I had to start again,” Jaecy tells me over Zoom, regarding the release of his new mixtape MOVIN GROOVIN. A restart seems odd for an artist so early in his career, especially having already accumulated millions of streams across hits like ‘BREAK BREAD’, ‘AAJA’, and the Delawou-assisted moshpit anthem ‘WHAT’S GOOD’. But as you click play on his new 9-track opus, you can tell it was for good reason. 

MOVIN GROOVIN is a quick, versatile display of a mature, more refined Jaecy. Exclusive to Soundcloud, the mixtape features the Ghania-born, Bankstown-raised rapper unleashing hard-hitting drill on ‘CREDENTIALS’, club-ready anthems in the form of ‘CRIKEY’, and honest rap confessionals in the form of ‘RECKLESS FREESTYLE’. Each song features a different style, as the rapper flexes his multi-faceted talents over production from the likes of Domba, Open Till L8, and Xnywolf, alongside features from DSP and Raf Receipt. With a refocused vision, it’s clear that Jaecy didn’t just start over, but levelled up, and leveraged that into what seems to be a phenomenal prospect entering his prime. 

Throughout our interview, Jaecy talked us through his process in the studio, harnessing positive energy, and the importance of looking out for the youth.

Congrats on the release of the mixtape man. How are you feeling?
I feel great. Everybody’s loving the vibes, the topics I’m talking about, and they’re grooving to it as well. So that’s a plus for me. 

What inspired you to drop it exclusively on Soundcloud?
At this time in my life, I felt like I had to start again. So I just wanted to try different things that I haven’t done in a while. Because of this, I’m feeling energy that I haven’t felt in a while when I’m in the studio, and it’s resulted in it what I think is an amazing tape. 

With the rise of streaming services, I feel like mixtapes are a lost art, whereas, with platforms like Soundcloud or Datpiff back in the day, mixtapes served as a pivotal part in a developing artist’s journey. What do you think the benefits of the mixtape approach are?
I think it’s definitely beneficial. For instance, at the release party I just had, people could feel the sonics in the music. Everyone’s drinking, laughing and feeling the energy. This is why I create music, so people can feel good.

Do you think there’s less pressure when creating a mixtape, as opposed to an album or EP, where streaming numbers and revenue become a part of the story?
Yeah man, like the thought of numbers didn’t really cross my mind. It really came from my manager and I going “Yo, let’s drop some shit.” People needed the music, people need the vibes, and everybody had just come out of lockdown and are wanting to turn up. We didn’t really overthink anything. There are no benefits here, just people having a good time, and tuning into me as a brand and as a person.

I feel like overthinking has become such a large part of the music industry today, because people are too worried about things like press releases and playlists.
I was just talking about this to someone the other day. People write a song and spend too much time thinking about the song. You just have to flow with it, and just drop it. Stop caring about what other people think because your music is your agenda. 

I’ve seen you talk in the past about music becoming a spiritual experience for you, where you focus on the energy of the room when writing a song, as opposed to the pen and pad. How did you harness the energy in the studio for this mixtape?
Every song was hard. Every song was good vibes. I probably have videos of every time I was in the studio making these songs, and it’s a lot of smiling and good times in the room. There’s also a lot of thought that goes into the sessions because I try to be as versatile as I can be. Not to a point where I’m forcing it, but just making sure that I’m open-minded. I listen to a lot of blues and jazz, so I want to incorporate that into what I put out there. I have a character to show people, and it can only be shown by exploring those different aspects. 

Does your process differ creating a harder song like’ CREDENTIALS’, compared to a softer song like ‘SLAP’?
That’s a good question. Both those sessions were just fun, with no forcefulness, but obviously, the topics are different in both of those songs. So with ‘CREDENTIALS’, I was probably hyped that night, with a few of my guys, and that’s when you talk your shit. Where as with ‘SLAP”, I made that on May 9th last year around 11:50; so 10 minutes before my birthday. I was on a high, and that’s why it’s such a smooth, calm vibe. I don’t really go to the studio with a set plan, beats, or anything. I just roll with the vibes and the setting I’m in. 

There are also songs like ‘RECKLESS FREESTYLE’ on the project, where you open up on past struggles and adversity. Are those personal topics still fun to tackle in the studio, or is it a more difficult process?
It’s the easiest thing for me because when you have these things in your head and they come out in the booth, that’s when you know you’re not cappin’. Pain comes out easily when you want to express yourself, and this is my way of expressing myself. I’ve spoken about things like my uncle passing through the music, where I find it easy to let it out. Whereas if I were just talking to my mum or family about this stuff, they wouldn’t be able to get a word out of me. 

On ‘RECKLESS FREESTYLE’, you spit “Focus on myself, and work on my enhancement.” How do you think you’ve done that over the past few years?
I’ve done that but just accept whatever comes at me. Like, getting locked up, getting in beef, fights, and all types of dramas. You gotta’ accept these things and not force your way out of it because that’s when it catches up to you. I’m still ready for whatever God throws at me because it’s my journey and you can’t have any regrets. I’ve worked on myself, I’ve cut people off, I’ve done a lot man.

I’ve read you talk about imagining your family hearing your music, or kids recognising you in the streets, and how that made you want to be a better person. How does that revelation play a part in the way you approach music now?
It plays a part in the sense that when I talk now, I have a voice. I never used to think like that. I never used to care, like I was young, with the mindset of “fuck what everyone thinks.” But now I have kids coming up to me, reciting songs word for word, and they ain’t dumb; they know what I’m talking about. Ultimately, I’m a softy, so I wouldn’t want anything to happen to the youth that’s coming up, so I am dropping gems from my life, hoping they can learn something from it. 

I’ve also seen you talk about embracing your cultural roots in your music. I once had a chat with B.Wise about this, and he talked about the nerves he first felt when approaching that in his craft. Have you ever felt that way throughout this journey?
When I was like in year 7, I wanted to be Justin Bieber, with the blonde hair and stuff. I used to make my hair straight, because growing up as an African Australian, you’re not around many of your people. But when I started this journey when I was 16, I was fully embraced in my culture, and still am now. 

I’ve read a little bit about music in African cultures, and how it has been used as a powerful force to educate and uplift people during times of trauma and struggle. Do you think your lust to create joy, and uplift the kids with music comes from that?
For sure. Like my brother, for instance, he’s 15, and he knows everything about my life. We don’t talk how I would talk to my guys, but even without that communication, he brings up topics that make me go “Bro, how do you know about that?” You’ve gotta take care of the kids, that’s all I know bro. They’re smart, and they know what’s going on. When I was growing up, I was listening to like Jay-Z and 50 Cent, and I learned everything from them. That’s how I feel kids look at me, and I’m only 21. 

Lastly, now that the mixtape is out, what’s on the horizon for Jaecy for the rest of 2022?
Put it this way man: in 2021, I could barely do anything. I was fighting demons dawg. But this year, everything I was fighting then, I’m now killing. So expect something from me every 2-3 weeks, because I’m going ham. I’ve gotten way better at performing, and I can’t wait to start interacting with people. I also want to start giving back to the community, that’s something I want to do this year. I got too much going on!

Follow Jaecy here for more and stream his new mixtape MOOVIN GROOVIN below.


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