Breaking News: Punk Rock Meets Hip Hop in Explosive Interview with Jbrickzz!
A musical, lyricist from Toronto, Ontario focused on the punk rock genre. He has been making music from the age of 13 doing rap and hip hop, and covers in RnB. Inspired by Sum 41, A Day To Remember, Green day, Eminem, 50 Cent, to name a few, he tries to paint a picture in the listener’s mind through his music. Jbrickzz believes music need’s substance to hold value and hopes to inspire listeners through his music as many other musicians have for him. His new ep “Cargo Of Dreams” will be dropping May 19th 2023 on all platforms @ 00:00.
Hi Jbrickzz, What drew you to the punk rock genre, and how has it influenced your approach to songwriting and lyricism?
It’s a funny story, so I grew up listening to a lot of rock, from Metallica, System of a Down, to Green Day, Sum 41, and Linkin Park. I used to love to sing along and dreamed about starting a band and becoming a singer. I started writing at 13 and would sing everyday when I got home from school, participate in talent shows, I even offered to go to classes and sing for them. I wrote a lot of rap and poetry through out the years, as I felt no one was really looking forward to the next rockstar. Recently though maybe the last year, I was watching videos by Finn McKenty on his channel the Punk Rock MBA, and he mentioned rock was dying, and I thought about that, a genre I loved when growing up, and a big part of my generation seemed to be fading, as in not a lot of newer bands were getting known. I decided I’d instead switch genres and focus on punk rock. With regards to the song writing I take the approach of writing a rap, and melodically bringing it out, to draw from rhyme schemes and story telling with a nice guitar riff and a sick drum line.
Can you describe your process for developing lyrics, from initial inspiration to final product?
When it comes to writing lyrics I essentially just take what comes to me. I listen to the instrumental and freestyle the first thing that comes to mind, based on how I’m feeling from the instrumental and the story just writes itself. For example, one song on my ep Cargo of Dreams called “Roller Coaster On A Downturn,” it felt like a strong beat, like heavy hitting, I started with “so long I’ve been chasing after stars, in rusted broken down box cars” and I drew a blank. So I moved to the verse and would come back to the chorus later. So the original idea for this song was, I’ve been doing this for so long and I have so much more to go so I’m going to keep pushing. But listening to the verse what came to me was “I don’t know where I’m going, my hearts racing and I’m stressing” and I liked that line. And it changed the whole idea behind the song, that this wasn’t going to be an uplifting song but a tragic fall for the main character in this part of the story. And at this point the story of the whole ep started to come together as this was the 4th song I wrote for the ep, and built the structure to finish the last two songs. So basically I just let everything free flow.
In your opinion, what are some of the most important elements of a successful punk rock song, both musically and lyrically?
I feel what makes a punk rock song successful is the substance of the song. It has to be something the listener can relate to, something that can make the listener feel something. The singer and lyrics really mean nothing if the instruments don’t match the same depth. It has to be able to tell a story it’s lyrics but you should also be able to feel it with every strum and every kick. It’s one of those things where you’re only as good as the weakest link.
Tell us about your upcoming release, “Cargo of Dreams.”
Cargo of Dreams is a story about someone who finds themselves in a world they didn’t expect or want. Dead end job, depression, just no self worth. They think to when they were last happy, and it was when they had their dream they wanted to reach. They think about it, and they look where they are and decide after all this time, they want to finally pursue it. They tell the people they are close to only to be told it’s a bad idea and it’s a waste of time, but that just fuels them to push back more and leave out of stubbornness to prove everyone wrong. As they head on their journey, they realize they didn’t really plan for this and start taking routes they probably shouldn’t, and instead of going through the proper channels and processes, they just charge into the unknown trying to get there as fast as they can. As they are doing this they stop listening to the voice in their head and don’t look for advice from anyone. They think they have it down to a tee. The Idea is planted in their head and they are going to see it through. After some time passes they notice they actually haven’t gotten anywhere, and all the blood sweat and tears just lead them into another depression as they can’t cope with the fact they messed up, but they’ve reached rock bottom. They think that maybe everyone was right, they are just a failure, they give up. As they start to make their way back they think to themselves, if this is all for nothing, why are they here, what’s the point. They retrace their steps, and start to notice where they derailed and how they fell so far off. They accept that they failed, but they decided they would not give up, and instead learn from what they did wrong, and build from it.
What kind of feedback have you received from fans and critics regarding your lyrics and songwriting style?
I’ve gotten some really positive feed back from people with regards to my music. I’ve been told I sound like artists I grew up listening to which is always an honour to hear. I’ve been told that my music has given people feelings in which I was looking for, which is great as I know I’m doing something right aha. People say they can tell I’m more lyrical in my music as they hear the message behind my songs, and I’ve been told for a first time punk rock artist I’ve done great, like I’ve finally hatched, more so because it seems I’ve found a genre that best suits my vocal skills. Mind you I’ve been told I’m not always in tune with my vocals, which live I do tend to just go for it and hope for the best, but I’ve also been told my charisma and my vocal expressions cover up the holes in my performances. I know I still have much to learn, and I do look forward to continue learning different techniques to further myself.
How do you stay up-to-date with current trends and themes in the punk rock genre, while also maintaining a unique, authentic voice?
To be honest, I don’t really follow trends, to me, music is subjective, and I don’t look for what exactly people may want, as I’ve learned, no matter what you do, there will always be people with something to say. All I can do is be me, and that’s all I can be.
What are your long-term career goals in the music industry, and how do you see your role as a punk rock lyricist evolving in the future?
I talk about this a lot with people I meet. What I want to achieve, or what I would consider being successful would be becoming a voice to listeners like many artists were for me. I want to make a difference in someone’s life. This EP I’m releasing will be the first of a two EP, one LP plan to tell this story about someone trying to achieve their dream. I want people to go out and do what they love. I want to see success in others and in which case if I could be a voice to help even 1 person realize their dream, that would be all I could ever ask for. I would love to make my mark in the music industry, something I can leave behind. The day might come where I can open a studio to help people realize their dream in music, maybe making music videos or cover arts, as there’s so many aspects to the music industry. And as for evolving as an artist, I want to push boundaries and bring more to the table. I want to better my vocal mix to do even more in my music, and push all technical aspects to its limits.