What’s up everyone, my name is Ajani Jones. I’m from the South Side of Chicago and I’m an artist.
When did you first start getting into music?
I got into music when I was 10 years old. I heard ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ and decided to write my first rap. Throughout the years, I continued to write, but didn’t start taking it more seriously until I was 18. I got Logic for the first time and started writing more songs and putting out mixtapes. Although they were bad and hardly got views, I figured it was just all an experiment to help me learn and grow.
After High School I attended University of Iowa for two years and came to a realization that the ‘college life’ wasn’t for me. While attending Iowa though, I met this dude named Shao Doja. I was making music, he was making music, and it felt right to link up and create together. We created a great relationship and from here on out, he will be on every project of mine.
When I decided to leave Iowa, I transferred to Columbia. The only problem was that I was living in Riverdale, which is an hour and a half away from the city. I figured if I wanted to get to know the people in the scene and be apart of it, I had to make sure I was close to jump into it.
I see you work with Banks. How did that come about?
At Columbia, I met this dude named Alexi. Alexi runs the CMC at Columbia. They throw shows and events for the music community to come together. Through Alexi, I met Banks. I heard him rap and instantly wanted to work with him. Also, at the time, I had lost my engineer, he moved to California with all of my music and I had to start over. Meeting Banks was a huge moment for me because he is an engineer.
With just a little bit of time working with Banks, you guys were able to put out your first project, “Astrals”. Talk about Astrals.
Working with Banks has been very organic. When we first started working, he sent me three beats and from those beats I wrote to all of them and made Astrals. The fourth beat is a beat we made together in the studio. I’d say we made Astrals in a week. As I stated I attend Columbia and also work with AEMMP records, and they were looking for me to put a project out in a month. At the time I wanted to put out Eternal Bliss, but it wasn’t done. I kept working on that, but they kept itching me to release something. I’m not really into forcing music out, but I ended up writing those four songs in a week and ended up putting Astrals out. That’s why I like working with Banks. It’s really quick and easy.
Astrals was all about ascension of self. It was about ascending to the next level of who you are and what you can do.
The latest testimony is Eternal Bliss. Take me through this project from the idea to execution. What started it and what inspired it along the way?
Eternal Bliss started when I was at Iowa and working with a producer. He had sent me some next level futuristic beats. I really enjoyed them, but I didn’t know what I could do with them. At the time, I was under a different name (Anak1n) and I was just spitting bars. I wasn’t making choruses or making songs, and at that time I realized I had to start taking it to the next level.
I came back to the beats that he sent me and started making this bouncy sound. People would say it’s similar to Goldlink’s style, but the synths make it different from what you hear. I truly believe this sound is something Chicago doesn’t have. I continued that sound and wanted to add a bit more of a swing to it, where you could dance and make people happy. Even though the lyrics may sound sad, the sound will make you happy. At the end of the day, it’s not about me. It’s about the music. On this project, the music will be vibrant, at times, it may feel sad because of the way I put myself into my lyrics, but the sound is never sad. It’s going to take you on a journey and that’s what I love about this project.
Two weeks ago you dropped the first single Bliss. Why was Bliss the first single?
On the tracklist Bliss comes right after Eternal, so when you’re reading the cover, it will say Eternal Bliss. That song in its essence is important to the album because the message I want to spread is that we are all going to go through things that we can’t control, infuriate us, and make us do things we don’t want to do. At the same time, we are all blessed in certain ways, and we fail to realize that. With this song, I wanted to tell people to love yours, love yourself and be compassionate.
On your new project, what are your two favorite records?
I would say Jani’s Dream and Futureland.
Jani’s Dream is a song about a girl who broke my heart and I mix that with my friend Isaiah who died on the way to my house in a car crash. I had a dream after he died where I had facetimed and then I woke up the next day that I actually facetimed him. I had no idea how that happened. I instantly wrote that and put it together with a situation where I just got out of a relationship. That’s the saddest song on the project, but it means the most to me.
Futureland is just so groovy. When you hear it, you will just want to go to the next track. I just want you to dance.
If you could, describe the project in three words
I’d say vibrant, love, and perseverance.
When it’s all said and done how would you like to be remembered?
I’d like to be remembered as someone who looked to help the younger generation. I want to help save lives. That’s what music does. Music saved my life when I was 15. I went through dark times and phases in my life. At times I felt isolated, didn’t have any friends, and didn’t want to be here. I ended up listening to Kid Cudi and saw how much he was able to change people. All the time you see how people say their favorite artist or rappers saved their life. I hope to be that rapper that helped someone get through his or her lonely stages. Music is my way of doing that. Music is all about frequencies and vibrations and can help and change the way you think. I don’t want anything else. I just want to be able to travel, save lives, and spread my message.
Written By: Nico Rud