Getting To Know... Jay Cue

Following on from a string of highly-praised outings this past decade, LA-based rapper Jay Cue returns to the fold one again to deliver his hotly-tipped new studio album 'Finish Strong'.

Bringing back more of that smooth and driven hip-hop flair he is known for, 'Finish Strong' makes for a brilliantly rousing listen. With his bright yet enigmatic flow riding across a bed of dynamic production throughout, he is continuing to prove himself as one of the more inventive names on the scene right now.

So with the new LP available to stream now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and what has inspired him most over the years.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

My first instrument was the trumpet. I grew up in a church where the trumpet would be blown at certain times of the ceremony, and I just gravitated towards it as I got older. I played trumpet in my middle school band class from 6th to 8th grade.

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

I loved so many kinds of music as a kid. Between my mother and father, I was exposed to jazz, R&B, funk, hip-hop (specifically Pops, my Mom’s not too much of a rap fan), psychedelic rock, grunge and a lot more.

What was the first album you remember owning?

I want to say it was Michael Jackson’s “Bad.” I’m pretty sure my Dad gave it to me when I got my first portable CD player.

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

I never really thought about that. I guess I’ll say “Frontin’” by Pharrell because everything about that song is perfect.

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

I let the production tell me which direction to go when it comes to writing. I’ll make a lot of beats, and over time I’ll start to pick which ones sound cohesive and sort of group them together. All of my projects start as instrumental projects first.

Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?

I’ve been bumpin’ Tony Shhnow – he’s a dope rapper from the same side of Atlanta I’m from, he’s been killin’ s**t lately. $ilkMoney’s new project is fire. I love the Flint/Beecher scene like Rio Da Yung Og, RMC Mike, YN Jay and all them. Curren$y is always in rotation, gotta throw him in there. Other than that just the weird indie stuff I like haha.

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

It would be sick to open for N*E*R*D as Tequila Mockingbird (a group I’m in with Tara Byars).

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

Probably seeing your vision come to life. Something you had as an idea became a real thing that other people can feel and that to me is the biggest reward.

And what is the most frustrating part?

Your own critique. I feel like as artists we beat ourselves up the most, and we can be our own toughest enemy.

And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?



Jay Cue's new album 'Finish Strong' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.