RobertJRGraham.com Interviews Willie Jae, Legendary Rap Artist, Song Writer, and more.
First off, congratulations for signing a publishing deal with Jay-Z‘s StarRoc Label. Tell us about what we can expect from you as a mainstream artist.
As a mainstream or underground artist you can expect the same amount and quality of material from me. My creative process is still the same so there should not be much of a difference besides the amount of exposure I will recieve.
Who will you be working with as you make your return to the industry?
I have a few artist I will be working with that have done a great job at building their own fan-bases, one artist in particular is Razon @Razonmusic, she’s one of the hottest Pop/R&B artist on the West Coast managed by BmikeroB Management. They have done a great job of promoting her and building a grassroots following, so she is on the album.
You’ve been in the industry for about 10 years, is there a secret to that kind of longevity?
Longevity as a writer is all about staying close to the people who are close to the artist. Building a healthy relationship with A&R’s and writers and also practicing and perfecting your craft so that the music that you write remains relevant.
Your debut album, “Its Tha Roc” is due for release this fall. What influenced your work?
Honestly, there have been alot of internal factors that have influenced this album, I didn’t realize it until I got into the studio but I have alot of stuff to get off my chest. So this album is more of a conversation between me and my fanbase that has been so loyal to not just me but to the type of music I make, the “Hip-Hop Soul” genre.
In 2003, you were the first artist to reach both 1 million downloads and 1 million song plays on the same single. What was happening in your life at the time, and did this affect your career?
That’s a good question, I got an email from a Record Label which will remain unnamed lol, and that is how I had discovered that I reached that pinnacle and was the first artist to do it. I had no idea it had never been done before
I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was the summer between junior and senior year in High School and I had just got to the beach and saw the email on my sidekick, I thought it was spam but decided to read it anyway. There were a whole lot of statistics in there; the label had things down to a science, they told me how many plays and downloads, where they came from, the age and all the other demographics that go with it.
As a high ‘schooler’ I had no idea the magnitude of that kind of accomplishment so I shied away from any attention about it especially since I was only doing music for fun at the time.But I immediately got offers to work on other artist projects and that is how I began my career as a writer.
You’re also heavy into social media, and have even purchased a company. How has this benefited you, and what’s the direction of the company?
Owning a company is a lot of work, but when you work in entertainment, having ownership of a social media company is extremely beneficial. I don’t have to outsource anything for myself I just send it over and things get done. The direction of the company is to become a full service social media management company, we are pretty close to it now, but are working to expand our reach from just entertainment to sales
Thanks very much Willie, where can we out more about you and your work?
You can check starrocrecords.com for me and stay updated on everything that’s going on.