Wrap Up And Watch Out: Jaycee
North London duo James K and Cairo Romain starting out individually, until they formed a potent blend of UK rap with R&B-laced melodies over their own finely constructed beats - this was the beginning of JayCee. The life of an independent artist can be hard, but through sheer will, Jaycee are finding a way to get their music heard. The Wrap Up's James Walsh caught up with the guys to find out how they came together, the struggles of being an independent artist, how they're overcoming them and why you should check them out...
The Wrap Up: Hi guys! First off, who were your earliest influences?
Cairo: When I was younger I'd hear Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and a lot of Motown music. As I grew up I got into a lot of garage before I started DJing. When I first began rapping my main influences were Nas and Tupac.
James: MJ's a bait one, obviously he would be an influence. I also grew up listening to UB40, Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder and then Tupac and Biggie on the hip-hop scene, but my actual inspiration was my Dad. He was an Irish folk singer for 25 years.
TWU: So how did you meet and how long have you been making music together?
Cairo: We were acquaintances at first. James lived at the end of my road and I was friends with one of his family members. It was nothing serious but we both knew that each of us did music. Then about a year and a half ago we met in the job centre, got together and it's grown from there.
James: I've always been singing and rapping and Cairo's always been rapping and producing; we were both working hard on our own music before we first hooked up and decided to collaborate. We did a couple of tracks together and our flows sounded so good that it just made sense to take it further.
TWU: What would you say you're bringing to the game that is different to anyone else out at the minute?
James: What the industry lacks is real music that people can relate to. We've had to deal with hard times and you can hear the realness of that in our music. Our sound's fresh, catchy, relatable and we have a very strong image.
Cairo: What makes us different? James has his own swag, I have my own swag. You won’t find anyone in the game like us; we come from different backgrounds but share the same struggles and come together perfectly. When you see and hear us you'll see what the difference is!
TWU: What have you founds the hardest part about being an independent artist?
Cairo: I think James would agree with me when I say it's getting your music out to a wider audience and exposing yourself to listeners on a mass level.
TWU: And how have you tried to overcome that obstacle so far?
Cairo: The music's no problem for us, we've got over 10,000 followers on Twitter already and we haven't really put anything out yet. What we're coming with is great, we just don't have a strong handle on the business side of things at the minute and we're having to learn everything as we go. We're looking at everything we can do independently.
James: We're doing everything completely independently at the minute so we're really looking for someone to manage us too. Getting someone with the right mind and contacts would be big for us…
TWU: I hear that. What can we expect from JayCee in the very near future?
James: Right now we're working on our five track EP, we're in the studio recording and we're about to do the video shoot to the next track.
Cairo: You can hear 'Thinking About You' on our site and another called 'Guilty As Charged'. We're gearing everything towards the release of the tracks at the minute.
TWU: Great stuff! Does the EP have a name or release date as yet?
James: Not as yet. We're just going to be bringing out a couple of video's first and waiting for them to air before we look to bring the EP out, but have a listen and get ready for what's to come…
Stay up to date with JayCee on Twitter.
Words: James Walsh (@JW_DittoMusic)