Lately, there’s been a plethora of amazing real music going on in the city of Atlanta. Film Producer The ExperTease hit me to a talented indie artist AxJ. One thing that draws listeners to indie artist is the raw talent that they have; with saying that, AxJ isn’t just a “rapper,” he’s an artist, poet, and MC. This isn’t his first rodeo either, he’s released several projects and opened up for Big Boi, MGK, Trey Songz, and Waka Flaka. AxJ may seem to be moving in silent, but we have been alerted and he’s been put on our music radar.
“Culture Push” is a visual trip from rising videographer The Kool Life and film producer The ExperTease. The song is AxJ featuring Georgia natives Willie Hyn and Elgin Nation. The video is dope— like literally why other black artist flock to Atlanta which is a true musical exploration without the loss of vision for their underlying message. The video is dark, explosive with real bars, and a great message. We had a chance to sit back and kick it with AxJ for his insight on “Culture Push” and other upcoming projects.
Jas: Tell readers about who you are as an artist.
AxJ: I am creative. I love to create in as many ways that come to me; from music to a visual idea whether it be a video, photo, clothing, or a piece of art itself. I grew up on mainly east coast hip hop, R&B, and oldies like Earth, Wind & Fire, Frankie Beverly & Maze, but I’ve grown to appreciate and draw inspiration from all types of music. I want to continue to create and do what I love without putting boundaries on myself, and bring my ideas to fruition. This is In hopes that it will motivate and encourage someone else to do the same in their own special way. Overall, I wish to spread the energy of LxVE (love), peace, and positive thinking. I know that there is much power in words and art so I try to choose mine carefully and creatively.
Jas: Tell readers about “The Light Bulb Moment” and about “Culture Push.”
AxJ: “The Light Bulb Moment” is a body of work that will take the listener on a rollercoaster journey through highs and lows ultimately drawing back to the listener him or herself. A lot of music projects are made for the audience to escape, but this project is more of a mirror. It’s meant to make you go along for the ride, but makes you think about yourself and where you are going and where you want to go. It’s something to enjoy over and over, but also thought provoking and leaves you with something to take from it to better yourself in your journey.
“Culture Push” is the three of us (myself, Willie Hyn & Elgin Nation) making the statement that we are not making music or art just for the sake of doing it, to look cool, or just for our own gain. We’re doing this to push culture forward and using it to better others that choose to engage. And we’re doing it our way, not the “popular” or “trending” way. I think all three of us are very unique artists, but still stand for the same overall messages: love and creation being two big ones which made this project perfect for us all to get on. The track is also narrated by Bruce Lee, who was a forward thinker that didn’t stick to trends or traditional institutions. He was one o,f if not the greatest, at what he did. So you get some great quotes from him in this as well.
Jas: In your opinion, what makes it different than what we’re hearing from mainstream artist? (I know you let your art speak for itself, but we need some great quotes and perspectives).
AxJ: Well, one reason this is distinctively different than other projects is because it’s coming from me with my own personal voice and perspective on things. I didn’t go into this project trying to sound like anything. No expectations other than to end up with something great. Another thing that differentiates this project from most mainstream artists is that this isn’t music made for radio or the club. These days majority of mainstream music has to appeal to one or both of these places. Some artists make music for specific moments of your life, like going out to the club with friends, or when you just endured a heartbreak. I make music you can live to, you can ride to, clean your house to, pre-game to, chill and talk to, and vibe out on your own to. That sets me apart tremendously from what tends to be mainstream. “The Light Bulb Moment” has its own unique sound and flow.
Jas: What exactly was your Light Bulb Moment that made you work on this project?
AxJ: Well, this project came together naturally over time. I never stopped recording since I released my last body of music and this is what came of it. The cover art is actually a detailed depiction of a doodle drawing I did a few years ago in a notepad of a boy standing on top of his own planet reaching for the stars. I came back across it, and it must have given me the major inspiration I needed for the concept. Even as an adult, I feel like that boy standing on top of my own world reaching for something greater than myself. I tend to be in my own world of thought a lot and I love to learn and get inspired always with a higher purpose in the back of my mind. I also strive every day to have a light bulb moment. Some “aha” moment or a moment of inspiration to create or pursue something. I chase that every single day, and God and all His created universal energies tend to give it to me. I mainly wish for by the time someone finishes the last song on “The Light Bulb Moment” that they are brought to their own. I’ve been blessed to have several people personally contact me and let me know that they did have their own light bulb moment through listening to it. I know that my purpose for it is being met.
Jas: What next for AxJ? Any shows we can alert readers?
AxJ: There is so much in store and I’m excited! “Culture Push” was just the first visual I’ve put out from “The Light Bulb Moment” so you will receive more visuals to the music off this project. You will also see a launch of the LxVE Brand (Love x Value Everything) in early 2016. It will be a hub of clothing, merchandise, video content, and a collective effort from many creative people. I’m very excited about that. We can even talk more about that outside of this interview.
My next performance will be Bonfire ATL, Sunday November 29th. I’ve never been to this event but I’ve heard great things so this shall be fun. If you’re a fan of Hip Hop in any sort of way, come out to the next Rap Reel event that I hold about once a month with a revolving door of dope local talent. I could easily do this event once a week, but I’m way more about giving a quality show that everyone can benefit from. So keep an eye out for my announcement of the next one happening in December. I’ll announce all of this and more via social media @axjforever and my site AXJFOREVER.COM
Personally, I completely appreciated the video and the small details that set the feel for the song. I love the tagging of the walls in Atlanta; it reminds me of the New York realm of true artists from previously artist. Flow is exceptional, verses dope, artists weren’t afraid to honestly connect the dots for listeners and viewers.
Want to hear more from AxJ?
Full Project Available HERE
Project Purchase Link HERE (SUPPORT)