In a world full of people who can sing circles around many artist on the radio today, leads one to fill that becoming a star requires much more than just a good voice. You have to be either in the right place at the right time or be an artist who’s focused, driven, and hungry. You have to have the mindset, “I will be recognized, respected, and awarded for my talent.”
Zone 4 Unplugged Showcase WINNER J.Ahmad in a sit-down interview gave BE Magazine just that, a focused, driven, and hungry artist. From his take on music, to his work ethic, to his humble attitude, he showed that his focus was on his craft and he would not BE complete until his dream and vision BEcame a reality.
Unlike many artists who we hear about today starting at the age of 3, J.Ahmad began singing at the age of 13. While sitting in the lunch room at school a few of his peers, passing by, overheard him singing Mista (Bobby V’s former group) “Blackberry Molasses” and convinced him to enter a talent show at Grady High school. Entering the contest (singing Donnell Jones’ version of “Knocks Me Off My Feet” and seeing the way people received him let him know at that moment, that is what he would BE doing for the rest of his life.
When asking J.Ahmad what he planned to do? He told BE Magazine:
“I always say change the way people listen to music but what I really want to do is take people back to music being therapeutic. If you loved someone, had a crush on someone, or was in pain it was a song for that. I really want to bring music back to that where if you want to dance you can dance, if you want to cry you can cry, and if you want to love you can love. I think that’s my mission to get music back to where it’s therapeutic again.”
BE: What artists are you inspired by?
J.Ahmad: I am inspired by Brian McKnight, Boyz II Men, Jodeci, H-Town, Kim Burrell, Ella Fitzgerald, Darryl Coleman, and the Clark Sisters.
BE: If you were putting on a showcase today who would be 5 artist, not including yourself, that you would put in the showcase?
J.Ahmad: Michael Jackson, Earth Wind and Fire, Luther Vandross, Brandy, and Mint Condition. Basically, everybody I got into when I first fell in love with music.
BE: Brandy? What made you say Brandy, BEing the only lady on the list?
J.Ahmad: Brandy is incredible. Her vocal arrangements are amazing. That is where I learned. The Full Moon album, although many will hate me for saying this, was what took me there. It was like ear candy for me. I feel with that album she came out and changed the game.
BE: What Genre do you find yourself under?
J.Ahmad: Hip Hop, R&B, Gospel, and Pop. I want to BE able to express myself all the way around.
BE: Okay, so BEfore our eyes you are blowing up and soon you will BE one of the hottest mainstream artists. How do you plan to stay grounded and what are some core values that you want to take on your journey with you? We see a lot of time people get money or fame and it changes them and they seem to forget the core values.
J.Ahmad: I will always stay grounded in love, true to myself, and keep people around who’ll keep me in line. I don’t want to BE that person who makes it big and find that the people who came in with me are no longer with me BEcause of the change that came with the fame. I want the person inside to stay the same. Oprah the other day said, “ Money doesn’t change the person, it just magnifies the person who you were BEfore you had money”.
BE: So we have to ask because it has BEcome common in this generation… Do you have any twitter BEef with anyone?
J.Ahmad: No, No. I don’t get into all of that. To pay attention to Twitter BEef takes my attention off of what I do, which is more important. As a matter of fact, T-pain did a competition (T-pain feat. “You”) and I posted on YouTube my submission. A bunch of people loved it and gave positive feedback but one person had to say something negative. I thought to myself “do I entertain this one person or do I just give my energy to all the positive comments”. I saw it for every one hater there are a million lovers.
J.Ahmad is currently in the studio finishing up his album, doing shows and still getting vocal lessons. Although, his voice is already amazing, J.Ahmad tells us that:
“The moment you think you know everything, your lost. The moment you stop working on your craft, your lost”.
To hear more from the artist: J.AHMAD FACEBOOK