Washington rapper Smooth Jezza prepares to release his new album, For The Fans Pt. 2 this month. Chock full of collaborations with the likes of Rick Fury and Double U, the album spans genres from boom bap to trap, with catchy hooks aplenty. We caught up with him to find out more about the release.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?
I am Smooth Jezza an underground UK hip-hop artist from Washington, I’m also one third of Rap trio the.CLICK.
What inspired you to first start making music?
It all started with a freestyle when jamming with my peers as a teen. When I got a feel from the crowd’s reaction I got a buzz for it and progressed to make actual songs.
Who would you say are your biggest influences?
My main influences are such as the likes of Big Pun, Tupac, Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, Busta Rhymes, Nas etc… and Mary Jane of course.
How would you describe your sound?
A mixture of tongue twisting double time raps and heavy hitting flow, over a mixture of wavy beats and rhythms.
Where do you see yourself fitting into the local music scene?
I have played a big part in the scene over the years since dropping my first project. Headlining gigs left right and centre, my name is almost printed on every flyer. I think I have helped push the local rap scene and helped it grow, featuring unknown artists to help get their name about and recording new artists myself.
I think it’s just a matter of time before someone from our scene blows up and helps the next man. There is so much hidden talent up north.
Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by you?
I like to put 110% into my live shows, that is what I live for, to entertain the crowd. Making music is one thing but performing to a full packed club and people shouting back my lyrics to me is a real rush. You can expect a very hyped performance and a gig to remember.
Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?
I am mainly concentrating on my album launch party which I am aiming at Halloween time and then the Ubeat TV Music Awards at the O2 Academy in Newcastle in December.
What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievements in life are not music related. It is waking up and hearing my kids call me Dad that is something special right there. I think it’s an achievement that I am still making real rap music 14 years on and still having fun and the fans still love it. I’m pretty proud of that.
Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?
When the.CLICK left the record company and separated ways that was a challenge for me. I was used to being a solid unit with my two brothers and then it was just me. So I had to crack on and create music in a solo mind set. Once I got my head around it I was fine but at first I felt like there was no spark. Since then I have released many solo projects and have grown as a solo artist.
What else have you got planned for the future?
I have recently created a Barbering/hip-hop clothing line which is taking off well. I am currently finishing off a EP with CLICK producer, THEORIST called Mike Legend Saga. This project is different to anything I have done before; five songs and five music videos which follow back to back telling a story. I am also getting together with THEORIST and DOUBLE U to record a second CLICK album Still Out N About. All I can say on that is it’s something to watch out for.