Jacquees: I was 9 years old. I was watching movies with my cousins and we were watching The Temptations movie and imitating it and I just bust out and tried to do it and it sounded good. After that I got into a talent show and I won. That’s when I knew I wanted to do it for real.
At just 5’4″, Atl crooner, Jacquees, is more than a cute cliche. Not only is this small package producing big things, he’s full of talent and charisma to match. With the release of his new EP, 19 (a nod to his age) and a co-sign from Chris Brown, Jacquees is ready to take over your airwaves this summer. We caught up with this artist on the rise for a glimpse into his humble beginnings.
VIBE Vixen: Do you remember the moment you realized that you could sing?
What do you think separates you from the pack?
My looks, period. When you see Jacquees you think that I’m gonna get up there and rap but when I start singing and get up there dancing and moving and I start doing what I do, you’ll be like “Oh my god.” I like the reaction that I get.
Who are some of the artists that inspired you to make music?
Michael Jackson, Usher, Chris Brown; just everybody who did what I did. I was also inspired by TLC and 2Pac. I feel like I took little pieces and created my own learning from them.
Most of the songs on the EP have interesting song titles along with subject matter. Let’s talk “Destiny’s Child.” What inspired that song and title?
That’s one of my favorite songs on the EP. We was just in the studio and we had the beat and I just had a melody. I had one line (Singing) “I just want her badder than Beyoncé.” I knew we had that line and I just remember after we got to the hook, everything started falling together. I said let’s make this about Kelly [Rowland] cause I always had a crush on Kelly.
Ok, next song. “Future Baby Momma.” The artwork suggests that song is about Ciara. How did that song come about?
At first the song was nothing about Ciara, but after we did the record we was listening to it and we thought “let’s do something clever.” We saw that Future and Ciara was getting ready to have a baby and my team came up with that idea. It was dope because it gives you a different illusion about the song.
Have you gotten any feedback from either Future or Ciara about the track?
Not yet (laughs). I’ma holla at Future cause that would be dope if I could get him on the remix.
“IDGAF” is an explicit song about infidelity in relationships. Have you ever found yourself in a real life situation like that?
Of course. Coming from where I’m from, you deal with situations like that. I always draw from real life situations. I feel like on that song I just let out a lot of emotions. That’s what it was. I actually just shot the video for that. It’ll be out soon.
What was it like working with Chris Brown on “Won’t Turn It Down?”
That was my first time in the studio with Chris. It was fun. It was super fun because it’s something I always wanted to do. It was something I’ll never forget. That’s my big brother. I love him.
Chris has said you’re about to take over the game. That’s a huge compliment coming from him. Do you feel any pressure to live up to that?
No, I don’t feel no pressure. I feel like with the right direction, I’ll be good. I don’t feel any pressure because I’m just having fun. Doing what I love and people love it so it’s cool.
The ladies are going crazy over you. Do you have any wild fan stories yet?
It’s getting crazy now because I’m getting older. (Laughs) This past weekend, this girl wanted me to sign her shirt and I’m trying to sign it and she wanted me to sign her titties. (Laughs) It gets crazy.
Are you single?
Yes I’m single.
What type of women are you attracted to? I know you said you want her badder than Beyoncé, what’s badder than that?
I like all girls. I don’t have a type. If I kick it with you and I like you, then that is what it is. When I say I want her badder than Beyoncé, it’s because Beyoncé say she only need one man to make her feel like she’s the shit. I like that. (Laughs) Let me make you feel like you’re the baddest one.
Your EP debuted at 15 on the Billboard R&B chart, which is a huge accomplishment considering you don’t have a deal yet. How does it feel to know that you were able to do it independently and still be successful?
Back in January I predicted I would have a hit song on Billboard, but it’s crazy because now I have a whole album on there. That’s crazy. It’s a blessing. I have a lot of supportive fans out there. That’s going on my wall. It’s a huge accomplishment. I’m thankful. I feel like everyone is starting to open up their eyes.
Are there any labels that have reached out to you now with all of the attention?
I won’t say no names but they calling.
Do you ever get time to go back home to ATL? If so, what is the reception like?
I’m in the hood right now. It’s all love over here. Fans will get out their car and come up to me for an autograph. It’s cool. I don’t let it go to my head, but it’s fun.
With all of the recent success who keeps you grounded?
Everybody around me. They don’t let me do nothing crazy. They still talk to me like I’m Jacquees. I don’t have no ‘yes’ men around me. I ain’t going down the drain no time soon with these people around me.
What’s next for Jacquees? What should we be expecting?
A lot more visuals from the EP. I got more crazy records so we might do a 19 deluxe for the fans.
And lastly, what do you have to say to your fans and your supporters out there?
Thank you to everybody. All my fans. Team Jacquees, you know I love ya’ll. Without ya’ll I would be nobody. I thank y’all for letting me live my dream. I’ma keep giving ya’ll that good music.