Ross Jack - Interview

An interview with Ross Jack

An interview with Ross Jack

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ross Jack first made a name for himself in his home country as a prodigious beat-maker for up and coming Hip Hop acts, soon progressing to full producer credits for big names in South Africa including Toya Delazy, HHP, Chiano Sky & Khuli Chana.

In 2015 he released his debut studio album with Sony South Africa, 'Self Medicated' - capturing influences of Rap, RnB/Soul, Trip/Hop and Pop. The album featured his first UK single, 'Fall', and the current single, 'Fear The Rush', featuring Arrow Benjamin - co-writer of Naughty Boy's Runnin' (Lose It All) ft Beyonce.

Following the recent release of 'Fear The Rush', we caught up with Ross to find out more about his ambitious plans for the future.

Hi Ross! Thanks for your time. What have you been up to over the past few weeks?
My pleasure thanks for having me! Over the past four weeks I've been in the studio a lot trying to put some new ideas together. I'm also a producer and beat maker so been working on a couple cool projects for others too.

Was there any personal reason why 'Fall' was selected as your first UK single?
Not really personal, I'm mean the song is written about something personal but I released 'Fall' because I love the song and the sound. I also recorded it in London in that vibe that I love, so I thought it was pretty fitting.

With your debut LP, 'Self Medicated' - how long was the recording process for the album?
I would say it took about a year and a half to record all the material for the record.

What is your general method when producing, when do you best work?
I work best at night; it just feels more inspirational in with the lights I guess. I like to make an instrumental idea to inspire feeling and direction in terms of lyrics. That's really my process.

What sort of artists influenced your sound? Is it a lot from South Africa or on a broader scale?
To be perfectly honest I didn't really grow up listening to much local music. I grew up listening the music my parents listened to which was Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Oasis, Rolling Stones and on and on, artists I still cherish to this day. In my teenage years I listened to a lot of J Dilla, Janet Jackson, Jay Z, Dizzee Rascal, Kanye West and many more.

There is definitely as fast growing Hip Hop scene in South Africa, what changes have you noticed personally living in the area?
I think the youth have grown up and now have spending power, however the vast majority of Hip Hop that does well has strong cultural references and is predominantly rapped in Zulu, Xhosa or Tswana. For me I sometimes wonder where I got in as I don't really make that sound, being half British maybe takes me to other places musically. I also don't know if I consider myself a rapper or a Hip Hop artist - more a creative or just artist.

Do you enjoy listening to your own music or do you tend you notice the mistakes / parts you'd change etc?
I love to listen to my music, especially my favorites. I also love analyzing what I've done on the tracks and what I would do better in the future.

The new single, 'Fear The Rush' features Arrow Benjamin, how did that come about?
We were introduced through Pete Martin in the studio and just ended up vibing on 'Fear The Rush' which Pete and I had started then played for him and asked him to jump on. Thankfully he did!

What big plans do you have for the future, can we expect any shows here in the UK soon?
My big plan is to break ground in the UK. To be honest I know it won't be easy but I feel it's where I should be. Working on getting some shows out there, I would kill to come through and play!

Ross Jack's latest UK single, 'Fear The Rush', is out now.

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