Wrap Up And Watch Out: J. Appiah
Burgeoning British Soul artist J. Appiah burst onto the scene in 2013 as one key ‘artist to watch’, with tastemakers like BBC 1Xtra supporting the Hackney native. The Wrap Up sat down with him recently to discuss his latest single ‘I Ain’t Rich Yet’, Florent Malouda and what being rich means to him among other things…
The Wrap Up: ‘I Ain’t Rich Yet’ is a strong song, how did it come about?
J. Appiah: It actually came about when I had a conversation with my mum about music and me trying to pursue a career in it. At the time, I wasn’t doing much; I was literally sitting on my bed, literally looking up at my wall, which is why the first line is something like ‘laying back in my bed, looking up, it’s so lonely’ and I had my guitar in my hand and it just came about naturally. I felt like I had to get things off my chest and that’s how I wrote the song.
TWU: Let's talk about your new music video which features Chelsea star Florent Malouda. How did that happen?
J. Appiah: Flo and I meet a little while ago, he heard me singing and he just became a fan of what I was doing. He really believes in my art and my sound and in my ability to write and so he just wanted to somehow get involved. He is a big fan of music himself; he can play a bit of drums and he’s always talking about music when he’s not playing football. Music is something that he is really passionate about.
TWU: The single 'I Aint Rich Yet' is taken from your ‘Studiocoustic’ EP, can you tell us more about this EP?
J. Appiah: It’s called ‘Studiocoustic’ because it is half studio-produced songs and it’s also got a 20-minute live music video attached to the EP. We just wanted to show where the music begins, which is with me and my guitar and then show the music produced up a bit in the studio, but all the songs often start very small and very simplistic so that’s what the EP is about. You can expect songs that are very personal and the EP is quite aspirational.
TWU: What can we expect from J. Appiah for the rest of 2013?
J. Appiah: I will be performing loads more, because it is so important to play your song live to people, so if you haven’t seen me live yet, you’ll have loads of opportunities. Loads of new gigs, new music, more videos and a lot of improvement. It is really important to keep on improving and to work on my craft, so I’m hoping that the next project will be better than the last project and things keep on growing and getting better from there.
TWU: A line on your single goes "I aint rich yet, but I’m trying", what is the first thing you're going to do when you do become rich?
J. Appiah: First of all, the song is not about money, it’s about success. I feel that when I am successful, one of the first things I’d like to do is give back somehow to my family and to people that have supported me. Giving back is really important to me and being able to touch base with people that supported you and give back in some way, so that would probably be the first thing I’d do when I become successful.
Words: Ayodele Adepoju (@wepluggoodmusic)