Jai Winter is a Philly native rapper and engineer. Pulling inspiration from his musical heroes like Kendrick Lamar and Nipsey Hussle, Jai Winter creates timeless tracks. Stef from The MIC sits down and asks Five Fast Fasts about his creative process and new single, "JUMP."
SJ: Hey, Jai Winter! Welcome to The MIC. We're so excited to hear more about your latest project.
JW: Thank you for having me! It is such a blessing to be here.
1. SJ: You're a rapper, singer, songwriter, and engineer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Can you start by telling us how you got inspired to play music? Who are your current musical influences?
JW: Around the age of 6, my grandmother had signed me up for piano lessons. From there, I've always been fond of music and the instruments behind each project created by artists today. My current influences as of now are Nipsey Hussle and Kendrick Lamar.
2. SJ: Your latest single, "JUMP," is a nod to '90s nostalgia and is inspired by Kriss Kross's "Jump." What was the writing process like for this track?
JW: The moment I heard the beat, it took me back to '90s music instantly. Even though I was born at the end of the '90s era, I was still lucky enough to be introduced to music of the '90s in my early years. The production of the track drove me to start off the process by describing my youth years in Philly and how I went along to become the man I am today. As the production started nearing the chorus, all I could hear in my head was "JUMP JUMP." At that moment, I knew I had to bring that Kriss Kross feel into the new age. It was too good of a fit to pass up.
3. SJ: What was your recording process like for "JUMP"? Since you are an engineer, do you usually do everything yourself, or do you collaborate with other producers and engineers?
JW: Imagine yourself sitting in your bedroom yelling "JUMP JUMP" into a microphone and then jumping around your room, playing it back to hear the final product. I mainly collaborate with producers as of right now while I'm learning to produce for myself, but when it comes to mixing and mastering, I do it myself. I like to be all hands-on with my music so everything falls into place the exact way I need it to.
4. SJ: What is one song you wish you had written and why?
JW: Rap N****s by Nipsey Hussle. The production alone is just too good, and I wish I could've been a part of his journey before it was cut short. Rest in peace to Nip and may the marathon continue.
5. SJ: What's next for Jai Winter? New releases, a full project, live shows?!
JW: I never really know what's next, to be honest. It always catches me by surprise. But I would love to perform live sometime this year. I have a couple of supporters in Hawaii that want me to perform at their high school, and I'm truly excited in wanting to make that happen. To have the first of my live performances begin in Hawaii would be insane!
SJ: That would be so crazy! Thank you so much for talking with us and sharing your creative process for "JUMP" with us. Can't wait to hear what's next! JW: Thank you for having me! I can't wait to come back with more as the journey continues.
Stream "JUMP" below!
Songwriting, Performance: Jai Winter