GW: Who is JTRILL and what developed you into the artist you are today?
JTRILL: My government name is Joshua Jordan, I’m 23 years old. I was born in a small town of 19,000 people. I’ve been doing music for the last nine years. I actually started rapping because of my cousin. We use to ride around in the car and just freestyle, well they use to freestyle. I was never really into it because I was a sports guy, but I just started freestylin’ one day and I just got hooked to it. I started listening to people like T.I., who is one of my biggest influences. I actually love him like a brother. His story is very similar to mine. I just gravitated towards music heavily. I started out in a closet, where I’m sure a lot of people started out in, I started rappin’ in the closest and just started making music day in and day out with my friends. Then I released my first mix tape and it sucked real badly because I didn’t have a real mix on it [Laughs]. I recorded it on MixCraft, on a demo, it was pretty bad but a lot of people at my house loved it. I released that in my sophomore year of high school. As my years through high school went on I started getting more into it and I actually got into a real studio and I released a song called “The Devil Walk” for my home town football team. The song actually had a huge regional buzz. I become very popular in school and it basically messed up my way of learnin’ in school because of the popularity. I was basically becoming famous in my school and I wasn’t focused. I ended up dropping out of high school and going to a military school, it’s a boot camp and a lot of the kids there were either court ordered or they volunteered to go. I volunteered to go and I did that for like six months and I was away from music for a while. But once I got out, I graduated out in 2007 and I’ve just been working ever since. I’ve been in and out of trouble, and I started getting in trouble more after that boot camp and I had to have a real sit down with myself and look in the mirror and be like me doin’ what I’m doin’ out here in these streets is not going to help me out with my music career, I’m not going to be able to do anything that I say I want to do or dream of doing because I’m doing bad things and I’m hindering myself from a huge opportunity to make something happen. I just took it seriously and in 2010 I was discovered by Jake Ottman, and at the time he was the Vice President of A&R at EMI Music Publishing. He took me on and actually helped me get my song placed on MTV. Ever since then I’ve just been working and writing, then I finally signed my deal with them in October 2011.
GW: It’s good that you had the change of heart about focusing on your music and really seeing what was important, I mean you’re still young but lot of people don’t ever see that and if they do they’re in their 30’s or 40’s. What do you think was the deciding factor for you?
JTRILL: I’ll be honest with you, a lot of people have their beliefs and a lot of people don’t have beliefs, but it took me too get locked up for me to say you know what I need to put this away. The reason it brought me to that conclusion was because I met this guy that I didn’t know from nothin’ in the world, I didn’t know this guy I was locked up in a random jail facility outside of my hometown. The guy told me you know man God can keep you out of trouble, he wants you to spend time on your music and spend time reading your bible. This guy started telling me like my whole past and my whole future, my whole past life and my future with music and it really set in with me and made me realize that this is for me, this is what I’m here on earth to do. I seriously don’t believe that this random guy knew all of this stuff about me and knew what I wanted to be and what I want to become, and knew that the people I had dealt with in my past. When I had got out of jail and I was only in there for like an hour for a suspended license, but for all the things I could’ve been locked up for I got locked up for a suspended license and I was in there for an hour, that was in December 2009 and after I left it really set in on me and I kid you not in January 2010 I met Jack Ottman. But that’s what made me change, nothing was stopping me I was so hard headed, I was listening but I wasn’t applying myself. I had to stop having this big head in the streets because either someone is going to kill me or I’d end up being locked up for a long time, so I had to put it away.
GW: How would you explain your style?
JTRILL: People tell me my style is like Kanye, people say I sound like T.I., but I think my style has its own unique sound to it. I don’t just listen to one genre of music and when I’m listening to music I listen for uniqueness. I think right now as far as my music, it’s kind of hard to explain I would say my style is like dirty south but it’s also commercial hip hop. I would never talk about something that I’m not doing, it’s important for me to stay true to myself and being true to my music because that’s what people want. People don’t want any gimmicks, they want real life stuff, real emotions. I have to tell my story.
GW: I noticed that you’re always interacting with your fans and followers on Twitter, how important is that for you?
JTRILL: Oh! That’s so important because want that! I think I learn from other artist’s mistakes, it might not be a mistake in some artist’s cases. But one thing I learned is that people are going to cry over music, people are going to go to jail off your music, people are going to make babies to your music, there are going to be people that live their life through your music! Basically the same way I lived my life through T.I.’s music. Knowing that, I feel like I owe that to them, people want to see their idle respond to them. When I see my fans hit me up every day I try my best to respond to all of them. I stay in contact with them because at the end of the day they’re going to support me, they’re going to keep my career alive no matter what. Whether a record label signs me or not, they will be the reason that my music lives on. I need them, I need them more than anything.
GW: Do you think that you’re going to maintain that throughout your career or is it just something that you feel is important to do now?
JTRILL: I will be that way until my career is over. It’s going to be hard but I need to make time for them. I know I’ll get busy, I’m busy now, but I still make time for them.
GW: You seem to making very wise choices as far as your career goes and I don’t see that too often with a lot of independents that I talk to. What is your motivation?
JTRILL: My backbone is what I do day in and day out. I’ve never been the type of person that gives up on something. I feel like I have to prove myself and in order for me to do that I really have to be honest with myself and stay focused on what I have going on.
GW: What are your goals and where do you see yourself in the couple of years?
JTRILL: I see myself being one of the hottest artists out. Honestly right now I feel like I’m one of the hottest artists online right now. I feel like with what I build up every day and the fans that I get every day, I look at how crazy it’s going to be even three months from now. But to answer your question, in two years I feel like I’ll be that a lister artist and writer. I feel like I’ll be on fire in the next two years and I’ll have built a solid fan base and last for the next six to ten year and continue to make hot music and just become greater. I feel as long as I have this determination and this motivation behind me I will be something great to the world.