We had the good fortune of connecting with JJ Sharpe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi JJ, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I don’t know how to give up, it’s not an option and it will never be one. My hunger for pursuing my dreams is something that hasn’t left my mind for the last decade. I’ve never given myself the option to quit or give up because there isn’t an excuse out there that could stop me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The biggest thing that sets me apart from others is my versatility in music. When you listen to my catalog, you will hear a fusion between hip-hop, alternative, reggae, RnB, rock, and pop; it’s all there because I can’t be put in a box. My larger than life approach to music keeps me inspired and my audience tuned in.
Every song that I pen comes from a unique place. I’m able to evoke certain emotions and pull from different experiences that I’ve had to tell a story through my music. My melodies, lyrics, and delivery are strategically crafted to help listeners arrive at the emotional destination.
I started my music career in an R&B group that I joined called A.O.N while living in San Diego, Ca. We traveled California performing at numerous venues and eventually found ourselves on 106 & Park on BET in New York City. This was the chance of a lifetime to be signed by a major record label and we blew it. From that moment, I understood what it took to make it in this industry.
Being so young in the music industry and chasing after the proverbial dream with my bros and seeing it come to an end crushed me but it didn’t stop me. I realized then that this journey was only beginning.
In order to take this music career to the next level, I knew I had a lot of self-work to do. I began reading a lot of books and with that came a better understanding of who I was as a person and what ideas and messages I wanted to communicate through my music. I can honestly say that, had I not put in the effort to know myself and to grow as a person, I would not be where I am today. I eventually became the lead singer of a Reggae Band called Isleside. This was my first real introduction to Reggae. This experience changed everything for me and was the catalyst for my desire to level up and write songs in other genres of music. It also inspired me to write lyrics that communicated a positive message to the people. Also, going from an RnB boy group to a full on band was a complete 180 – and in doing that, my world was opened up to the incredible sounds of Sublime, Peter Tosh, Nirvana, Radiohead, Stillwater, and many more. I became more open-minded to all kinds of genres.
I am not yet where I want to be, however, I have come a loooong way and I am very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish so far. One of the biggest things that I’ve learned along the way is that I can’t do this alone.
There’s an African Proverb that reads, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” I’ve embodied this mantra and have surrounded myself with the right people and the right team and my journey is still only beginning. I understand that every obstacle I’ve faced came with purpose and I’m glad that it’s led me here to Olympic City, USA.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
haha I am such a home body. I don’t go out much unless it is related to something that I have to do for my music career. Typically Anthem Music Enterprises would be holding some kind of music related event that I would bring my friend to. Colorado Springs has a lot of great things to offer. Knowing me, I’d bring my friend to a few local shows of really good bands that I know of. There’s also a lot of cool things to do outdoors. If my friend is big into physical fitness, I’d hike up the manatou incline with him. I’d also probably take my friend to the sand dunes; that’s always an incredible experience.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family and friends deserve all of my shout outs. They’ve been my biggest support system and reminder that I’m walking in my purpose. At times, their belief in me is much larger than the belief I have in my own self; it’s such a blessing to know I have them in my corner.
I also want to make sure that I give out a couple of special shout outs to key individuals that I feel have played a very important part in my success so far:
TerryJosiah (one word no hyphen) and Kristen Faith Sharpe – my older brother and sister in law. These two have ALWAYS been there for me and have always believed in my talent. Even when I almost gave up on myself, they refused to give up on me.
Big ups to Anthem Music Enterprises for believing in my talent and for investing in my craft. Their support has truly propelled my music career and I wouldn’t be where I am at today without them!