Q&A with Brooklyn rapper Ceddyjay

– How did you first get into hip-hop, and what inspired you to pursue a career in music?

My father is the sole reason why I discovered or got into hip-hop in the first place. He is the epitome of someone who got bit by the ‘Hip-Hop bug’ and naturally so did I. What inspired me was how rapping made me feel, it was the most powerful i’d ever feel when doing so. It was and till’ this very day such an indescribable feeling.

– How would you describe your musical style, and what sets you apart from other artists in the rap genre?

To be honest, I really don’t know how to describe my musical style in it’s entirety since I’ve been through so many stages up until this point. I will say that my style is very versatile & charged with social, political, societal, personal, mental & spiritual messages through out my catalogue. What sets me apart from other artists in the rap genre is that I actually was truly born to this. Most artist or atleast from my experience took interest or pursued hip-hop as a career a lot later in they’re lives compared to me where I actually began rapping at the age of four & didn’t decide to take it serious until the age of nine. I’m really cut from the cloth & have put in more than ten thousand hours towards being the very artist that I am today.

– Can you walk us through the creative process around your “Heart Broken In England” EP?

The creative process behind the latest EP takes place over the course of the past two years. It began while I was in a Bristol hotel room near the airport on my way back to NYC, my right-hand & producer Klipa had sent me a beat that coincided with everything that I was going through sonically and immediately I began writing which would eventually be the first track off the tape. As time went on there were many FaceTime calls in-between the two years between Klipa & I as we continued to work on originally eight tracks which would eventually be chopped down to four for the official track-list. As it neared finalizing the tracks itself Klipa & I decided to take it to an actual studio to get things mixed & mastered the right way so that it could sound as great as it possibly could as well as adding in some additional vocals from a fellow artist friend of mine by the name Lord Scorpio who appears on the first & second track on the EP.

When it came to the visuals I made sure to assemble an in-house team of incredibly talented individuals I already have a relationship with & articulated what it was that I was attempting to bring to life. For the visual of ‘Ginger’ I was very head strong on making an attempt to act & really step out of my comfort zone. The whole point was to create a world surrounding the music & I think my team & I definitely achieved that with this release.

– Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and how have they shaped your style and approach to music?

I feel like I never do this question justice but my biggest musical influences i’d say would be Method Man, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Nas, Jay-Z, Blak Star, Alicia Keys, Black Thought, PAC, Biggie, Frank Ocean, Isaiah Rashad, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Jay Electronica, Earl Sweatshirt, Alchemist, Joey Bada$$, SZA, Mach-Hommy, 50 Cent, Mos Def, Nipsey Hussle & more than a few that i’m probably not naming.

These very artists in some way shape or form made me realize that not only is it important to keep your pen sharp but also you truly can make a world that compliments your sound. It’s a cheatcode almost for those to actually seek some interest in what it is you got going on or is trying to convey.

– How do you stay motivated and inspired to continue creating new music and pushing your boundaries as an artist?

I stay inspired by doing my best to become a better person each & everyday. Even when I feel like I wasn’t up to such a task for the day I aim to give myself grace or atleast i’m learning to.

– Can you talk about some of the challenges you’ve faced as a rapper, and how you’ve overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges I had to face as of recently was not being so hard on myself, celebrating the small victories i’ve had up until this point. I’ve been around for a while far as the city I come from & they scene it comes with so many have scene my incline up until this very day. I’ll not acknowledge a lot of my past efforts or think it goes unnoticed when people around me continuously say otherwise.

I allowed myself to feel whatever it is I had to feel & did things that would re-ignite that fire inside of me or make me feel better. One of those things was venting on pen & paper to a beat what it was I was genuinely feeling which made my song-writing even more honest.

– What are some of your favorite songs that you’ve written or performed, and what makes them stand out to you?

Hell of a question, some of my favorite songs i’d say are ‘Broken’ & ‘Demise’ off of my recent release & another track of mine called ‘Song Cry’. These tracks carry the same sentiment as far as how honest I am with whatever situation it is that I am alluding to on either of those tracks. Feel like I really hit my bullseye with those.

– What advice would you give to aspiring rappers who are just starting out in the industry?

Advice i’d give aspiring rappers who are just starting out. Seek to master your craft, learn from those before you, give yourself time to become great, give yourself even more time to become a better human being & make a listener feel what you would want them to feel.