Its not very often a true talent rises from the shadows, but one guy who's defiantly heading straight to the top is 'J Rice'. (You mark my words, this guy will be topping the charts within no time.)
J Rice's sound, mixes soulful vocals with uptempo R&B beats to produce some of the most original R&B tracks to hit the scene. J Rice grew up in Washington, United States and it's there that his love for singing started, however a recent move to New York is taking J Rice on an exciting, major step towards his future.
In England, we've heard of some hugely popular acts such as the Arctic Monkeys 'making it' by using social networking sites alone. J Rice is taking this to the next level using YouTube as a means of singing to his fans. With over 1.7 Million views on his channel, 2 Million plays on SoundClick and over 21,000 subscribers J Rice is already a big hit.
J Rice has recently started using the Editors Keys Portable Vocal Booth, so we thought we'd get deep with J Rice and interview him about his career:
How long have you been in the music industry and what got you interested in the first place?
I've been going at it for about 9 years now. I started recording little things on my computer and sending them to friends on AIM. Eventually I started writing songs and getting recording gear whenever I could. At one point I had a mic dangling from the ceiling with dental floss (stapled) and a cool whip lid with a hole in it and nylons stretched across for a spit guard! Now I'm using an Editors Keys dual layer pop filter and it works about a million times better!
What's been your best and worst musical experiences so far?
I'll start with the worst. I was playing the trumpet in a jazz band and I had this feature solo on "My Funny Valentine" We hadn't been playing the song very long and I didn't know it that well. When I got up there to play, my whole mouth went dry and I could barely play. I sounded awful and it was in front of some judges that assumed I always sounded like that. I will never forget that and I learned that I always have to be over prepared for any performance.
The best was actually really recent, when I was sitting down with a record exec, playing my songs for him and seeing his eyes light up, and then saying "where the hell have you been hiding kid?" It's been a long time working on music without any major validation. That one moment showed me, it's all been worth it.
Who are your musical influences and what do you think is lacking in your genre at the moment?
My influences are all over the place now. Growing up I mainly listened to R&B artists like Brian Mcknight, Boyz II Men, Take 6..Now I listen to Rascall Flatts, Usher, Daughtry, John Mayer, Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, Leona Lewis, Carrie Underwood and Lady Gaga...I think right now, my genre is lacking real artistry/story. I keep seeing people coming out with hit songs, but then you never hear about the actual artist. It makes it hard to connect with them.
How difficult was it making the album and how much of a role did you play with song writing and producing?
The album happened pretty fast actually. I wrote 100% of every song, and The Phantom Boyz produced every track. Most of the songs were done over a year ago, some 2, but I decided to put it out, because when I wrote most of the songs, there weren't similar sounds out there. Now it seems like that sound is catching on, so I didn't want to miss the window. J-Rice-Standing2
You've been a great success on YouTube, how do you think this will help you in the future?
I'm still growing on YouTube I think. I think YouTube will have a big effect on my future in the music business, because people respect the hustle. If you're making things happen on your own, then everything they can do is amplified. I've got a long way to go, but this is going to be a very big next few months for me on there.
You've been using the Editors Keys Portable Vocal Booth, how has this helped and what do you like about the product?
Well for one, I don't have a separate vocal booth/area, so when I record vocals, I get the sound of the computer fan, the A/C kicking on sometimes, and a lot of other ambient noises. I noticed immediately the sound got clearer when I was using it. It's really difficult to record songs, that have a more intimate sound, because the quieter you're singing the louder everything around you is, so it's been great for that.
What would you say to anyone thinking of buying a portable vocal booth?
I'd say if you're serious about making your vocals sound the best they can, and you're on a budget, GET IT! I was actually really surprised at how much better the dual pop filter worked, too. I've been using a single layer for years and I can never go back now.
For more details visit: http://www.editorskeys.com
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Editors Keys is the worlds leading developer of editing keyboards and recording equipment.
Lately the company has been supporting unsigned acts in their future careers.