Jonas (@jbaker32II) –

While most 19 year olds are stressing over upcoming assignments, work schedules and the angst of the late teens, Via CJ has been in work mode. I sat down with the rapper to discuss his creative process, and adjusting to the new full-time position as one of the hottest up and coming acts in the hip-hop realm.

JM: After finding you through Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist, it was pretty clear that you have taken serious time into pursuing music full time. Who inspired you as an artist to follow this path?

Photo via ViaCJ

CJ: I looked up to a lot of different artists, main stream acts, underground guys, but to be honest, my moms musicality and singing 24/7 is what gave me the “permission” to go ahead and take this seriously. Music is always a part of me whether I’m at the studio or working at the social media agency.

JM: Shoutout to Mothers. We don’t deserve them. So scrolling through your tracks on Spotify, it’s impressive to see how many views you have amassed. ‘Go Hard’ has reached 300,000 listens. Has that surprised you, and what strides are you making to market yourself as an artist?

CJ: To be honest, the optimization process takes a while. I’m not going to lie and say I have it figured out. A lot of the process has been trial and error. I’ve recently developed a new cadence, so that has definitely helped. The process/goal at the moment is to drop around three songs a month, and hopefully drop a new EP by the end of 2018.

JM: This past Friday, you dropped your newest single, ‘Pray for Me’. Within the track you had a bar that caught my eye. The line is:

“I’m more popping cross the glove than my hometown, that just goes to show the ones closest don’t always hold you down. Don’t get me wrong I’m at the crib with a smile, cause they streaming from Sweden, Austria, Germany now”

Tell me about your experience with your fan base thus far. Most people seem to gravitate towards their home camp, but it seems like you have a different perspective. What was your mindset like when you first penned the line?

CJ: When I wrote that line, I was speaking on my past experiences. It’s funny, because my ‘friends’ from high-school don’t show half as much love as some of my fans from all around the globe. It’s all love though. Fans messaging me daily from around the world showing love is an awesome thing. That’s where I was coming from.

JM: Well your new music will show them what they are missing out on. Thanks for taking the time to speak.

CJ: Thank you man.

Check out Via CJ’s catalog on all major streaming sites. Follow him on Instagram @itsviacj for updates on new music and content. Stream his newest single, ‘Pray for Me’, below.