Jae Mottie, one-half of Jacksonville, Florida based hip-hop group N.E.S. (Never Ending Struggle) is a dual threat as an MC, producer and also mixes tracks. His solo debut album “GreenLights:GreySkies” showcases all of these qualities as Mottie has produced 10 of the 15 tracks himself. Jae Mottie’s distinctive vocal deliveries are mature, with a recognizable Southern rhythmic bounce, as he shines as an artist with some substance; a breath of fresh air in the now-stagnant world of hip-hop.
- How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?
Jae Mottie: I started taking things seriously around 2007 tho I’ve been writing since 7th grade. I got into writing in middle school, my partners was like “ let’s start a group” out of the blue. Around ‘02 ’03, I recorded my first song with my brother best friend Aaron. He told me I had potential. I continued to grow from there. I bought a Roland mc 505 and started making beats, and progressed from there. Thus here I am today.
- Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
Jae Mottie: My mom played a lot of Gladys Knight and ZZ Hill so they grew on me a lot, other than that a lot of soul music. Far as hip hop goes I came up on Bone their arrangements were on another level, Outkast, Jay Z, No limit era, but ultimately Nas got me into lyrics and wanting to rap. I wrote my first song to “The Message” beat on It was written.
- Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?
Jae Mottie: Currently I’m on that duval tip, so people in the city Reesyro new tape, Dola, my own beat tape, I like to ride and listen to beats. I have some joints with Reesyro we gonna knock out some more. Haven’t got into the lab with Dola yet but planning to soon.
- Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ from within the industry, and if so how have you handled that, and how do you handle criticism and haters in general?
Jae Mottie: I haven’t experienced any resistance so to speak, folks just have to get to know you. I’m an advocate on having your own opinion, so I handle criticism very well. I take it all constructively. I like to know how people view my music, but more importantly how did they come that conclusion.
- What are your thoughts on visual media and Youtube? Do think that video is an appropriate marketing tool for your music, and how do you produce your visual media?
Jae Mottie: I feel it’s vital. I grew up on rap city on cable TV to static filled music videos on the box. It allows the people to get a feel of you. Music videos, interviews, etc. it’s about letting the people into your world. My music is very descriptive already so creating a treatment is basically listening to the song and bringing it to life with a little added flare.
- Which do you ultimately prefer? Entertaining a live audience or creating songs in a studio setting?
Jae Mottie: It’s hard to pick, I enjoy both equally for different reasons. They go hand in hand. That excitement of recording a new joint is refreshing, and then to perform it and see how the crowd gravitates towards it is priceless.
- How do you usually make your beats, is it sample and synth based? And do you use real instruments at any time?
Jae Mottie: I love the sampled sound, but that hasn’t clicked for me as of yet how I would like it to. I just make everything from scratch. Come up with a melody and go from there. I have had musicians come in and play for me. It makes a world of difference. I want to do more of it as I teach myself to play live instruments.
- Which piece of hardware or software would you consider the most essential in your setup, and that you would be a little lost without?
Jae Mottie: Apple iMac most definitely, It brings everything together. The beats, rhymes, artwork, it’s a beast.
- Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre thriving with newcomers and wannabes?
Jae Mottie: I really don’t know. I just focus on being the best artist and person I can be. I feel that’s for the listeners to answer, but I think they feel my sincerity in what I do.
10. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
Jae Mottie: Passion all day. I love listening and creating music. It’s the universal language. A song can touch you in many different ways and affect your mood.
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Jae Mottie: Being able to do what you want, when you want without any ones approval. If I choose to make a song about whatever and put it out I can with no problem. On the other end of the spectrum you have to structure everything, from booking shows, artwork design, social media networking, etc., but mainly putting up the money for everything can be the biggest discouragement. .
- How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?
Jae Mottie: I started doing everything myself through hand to hand. Social media is cool but being seen and enter-acting with people to me is best. Larry carries the load nowadays, which is good for me, gives me more time to create.
- How do you achieve your great sound? Do you work exclusively a private home recording environment or do you use a commercial sound studio too?
Jae Mottie: I do everything in house. It’s more intimate and you can take your time. I then outsource my mixes for mastering.
- The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Jae Mottie: The best would be just by myself. There are plenty of other artists but only one me. I feel I should have relocated, but everything happens for a reason, I feel that’s coming soon though.
- Gives your personal shortlist of hip hop’s 3 greatest producers – living or dead?
Jae Mottie: Organized Noize, Mannie Fresh, Pimp C
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Jae Mottie: I wouldn’t say its fundamental because there are artist with a huge online following but no huge sales or sold out shows. On the flip side there are artist with a low online presence, but have a huge buzz in the streets, and can pack a venue. It does make you more accessible that’s great, but it also does make it harder to get folks to take a listen because of all the trash flooding the feeds.
- If someone has never heard your music, which 3 keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?
Jae Mottie: Southern, cool, original
- Straight off the top of your head, how would you describe the current state of Hip-hop?
Jae Mottie: Its cool far as business goes. An artist can hold their destiny in their hands so to speak nowadays.
- As you work your way through your career, which more than any other fires-up your imagination – A Grammy award, Platinum music sales or some other tangible milestone?
Jae Mottie: Things like that doesn’t do anything for me. A lot of the artists that inspired and motivated me don’t have some of those accolades on their resume. Being able to touch a person’s soul, rocking a crowd and the impact you can make in someones life is the ultimate reward.
- What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
Jae Mottie: Sell my soul for fame or fortune.