EXCLUSIVE: JPride Talks 90s Influence, Growing Up in Mississippi, Her Plan B, New Mixtape, More

Mississippi-raised singer-songwriter JPride is letting the world know that she’s up next. Pulling inspiration from the Golden Era of R&B, the passionate and soulful R&B songstress, who just released her new mixtape, December 1st (also her birthday), has been steadily building her buzz as an artist to be reckoned with. We caught up with JPride, and she gave us the full skinny on her journey in music.

Tell me about your upbringing.

I grew up in the church; I’m originally from Detroit, Michigan, but I was raised in Mississippi. My dad is actually from Mississippi, but he was raised in Detroit, and my mom is from Chicago, and she was also brought up in Detroit, and that’s how I came about. I have two brothers and a sister as well. Mississippi is the hospitality State, so we speak to you even if we don’t want to (lol).

As far as growing up in the church, is that where you discovered music?

I wouldn’t say that. I remember when I was younger in Detroit, my dad used to throw a lot of parties and family get-togethers and we used to do karaoke. It was always a passion, so it started there, and then it went from home to church and then to the choir.

So, when did you get to that point where you said I want to make this a career?

I always wanted to get to that point, but I really started pursuing it back in 2008. I came out with a record called “Aquafina Flow,” and it hit the radio, and it was doing really well there, but at that time in life, I wasn’t able to get my music out there like I wanted to. Of course, we all go through life, and we have our challenges; finances was one of mine. You have to be able to finance your stuff, like studio time, and being able to travel and move around.

Who were some of the artists that inspired you in 2008, and continue to inspire you now?

Aaliyah, Brandy, Monica; those were artists that I grew up listening to. The whole Destiny’s Child movement; they gave me the push to say ‘I know I can do this.’ Now, Beyonce definitely inspires me; her shows are the bomb. Rihanna; I love her. K. Michelle; I like her because she’s so real and she’s so raw. I like genuinely real people.

So, tell me about your sound and what you’re bringing to R&B.

I’m trying to bring that old R&B back because nowadays you don’t get too much of that soul. It’s all chopped up in the studio. Don’t get me wrong; it sounds good, but I like to feel the music when I listen to it. I’m a huge fan of 90s R&B. A lot of times, people are trying to keep up with new waves in music, and it just makes a lot of people sound the same.

What’s your plan B if music doesn’t work out?

Actually, my plan B is current until I get to where I want to be. I’m a professional loctician back home. I have a lot of clients, and I’m really good at what I do, and I’m very proud of that. With music, I have big dreams, and I do plan on making it to the top, but I also want to keep my lox business going as well. I’m in the process of getting my product patented; I mix it myself. Maybe one day I can turn it into a franchise or chain with Pride Lox.

Tell me about JPride, the person.

I’m real, I’m raw, I’m truth; I love hard. I feel like nowadays people don’t value real love anymore, and that’s why the world is so crazy now. But, I like to have fun; I’m a free spirit. I like to live; I like to travel, and I like to experience new things.

So, tell me about your December 1st mixtape.

December 1st is my birthday, and I released the project on that day because I tell everybody, ‘that day a star was born.’ On the project, I’m giving you me, which a lot of people don’t get to see, and I’m giving it to you for free.

What’s next for JPride?

At this point, it’s mainly about the promotion and getting JPride out there as an artist, and getting people familiar with me. When I eventually drop that big project, people should know enough about me.

If you could choose one male R&B artist to do a best of with, who would you select?

Chris Brown; he’s jamming. I would love to work with him.

What’s been most rewarding for you since you started pushing music?

Back home, I’m like the bomb because there’s not a lot of people, female artist wise, that’s doing what I’m doing. People genuinely love and support me. I won the Jackson (Mississippi) Hip Hop Awards, and that was a pretty big deal for me because it let me know that I’m doing something right and people are listening.

Gary Gentles

Founder and Creator of Singersroom.com and IncredibleWork.com. Follow me on Instagram at @gary.gentles.

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