It was a hectic weekend in the world of L.A. music, including a mob scene downtown aka a Lil Monster pileup, as Lady Gaga performed at the Staples Center on Saturday.
Gaga shared the love with the L.A. indie scene as well, booking Just Be Records label mate’s Sarai Knowledge and Iggy Mon to perform at her official after party at the Viper Room. We caught up with Just be Records label founder Jay RockA, as well as Iggy Mon and Sarai Knowledge right after they threw it down on stage. We talked about the global stature of the L.A. music scene, the philosophy of J.U.S.T. B.E. and why music is one of the most powerful forces of our human existence.
JA: So I know you’re all sweaty post performance, ready to hit the after party or the shower lol, so thanks for sitting down with us. How did you all come together?
Sarai: On the beach in San Francisco, at the Fisherman’s Wharf about 4 years ago. It was one of those magical moments in life and we have just been creating music since then.
JA: What brought your crew to L.A.?
Sarai: To expand and grow, to continue building our empire based on our philosophy, which is J.U.S.T.B.E. , which actually stands for Justice Unity Strength & Truth Beyond Expectations.
Jay RockA: There’s a lot of chaos in the world and we all need to find order, balance, unity and peace, people coming together. Music is the Universal language that brings everybody together, breaks down all boundaries of race, color and borders. It’s the permeation, the glue, the binding force, like Love, music is Love for sure.
JA: What is it about the scene here in L.A. that brought you here and what is your plan to prosper?
Jay Rocka: Hollywood is the place to be, L.A. is the city of angels, city of dreams. People come here from all over the world to take their vision, their dreams, their little bit of what they were brought on this earth to do and try to amplify it to a bigger audience. Here you can go global, take it to the highest levels.
Sarai Knowledge: It’s Tinsel Town baby lol we just want to amp our games and this is the place to be.
JA: Who are your major influences right now?
Sarai Knowledge: I love Janelle Monae! I think she’s an incredible artist, so unique. Her style and songwriting are like no one else out there and she sticks to what she does best, which is being different and original. I also Love Erykah Badu, she’s such a legend, respect her totally!
JA: We all know it can be a crowded lane in Hollywood, a lot of talented folks here, all hustling. What do you bring to the game that makes you unique?
Sarai Knowledge: I’m a singer songwriter, I write from the heart. I’m originally from the Philippines, but I grew up in New Orleans listening to jazz and blues, then I moved to the East Coast where I got introduced to hip hop and funk. Then I moved to Cali, where I got exposed to west coast hip hop and reggae. All of these different styles influenced me to put my own spin on these genres, and make music that everyone can relate to. I make it a point to surround myself with people that are following their dreams and this also inspires me to reflect that in the music and just make music that people want to hear.
Iggy Mon: Ohhhh nana! Music for me is Truth. Talking about your real life experience, not just booty or tittie’s all day every day ya know? I’m not a rapper I’m a story teller, so I tell what I see, that Igguana life. And if you like what you see come and party with me, come on down!
Jay RockA: As a label we are doing a lot of artist development, a lot of building, producing. We are working with some great Grammy award winning producers like Drew Correa who’s worked with everyone from Common, to Jay Z and Little Wayne, won a Grammy for Mr. Carter. Working with Bsides who got nominated for a Grammy for Lupe Fiasco’s album. Also building with Bat Squad, which is Travie Mcoy from Gym Class Hero’s imprint. So yeah, we are so grateful to be working with a strong team here in L.A. and working with such amazing beautiful people.
JA: Asides from entertainment, how else do you see music affecting lives and moving this world toward a positive existence?
Jay RockA: Music has taken me all over the world. It’s gotten me out of my bedroom, out of Boston and has allowed me to experience things I had only read about in magazines, dreamed about and now I’m living that dream. Music can give you wings, when you’re feeling down it can lift you up and when your already up it can take you even higher. Music is such a motivating force for people all over the world.
Sarai Knowledge: Music is more than sound, it’s a lifestyle, it influences what kind of person you become, the life you lead. When you see and hear an artist, it’s like a bridge that connects you to their soul, that’s why it’s important to feed your fans with positivity and inspiration. That’s really the foundation of what we do at Just be Records, to inspire others to J.U.S.T.B.E. and to live life and be free to follow their dreams.
JA: So what are some of the exciting things you have coming up?
Iggy Mon: I’m dropping an E.P. in the next month called Igguana Life. First single is “Doin It” produced by Bsides and Jay RockA followed by “Black & White Girls” produced by Drew Correa.
Sarai Knowledge: I’ve got a single called “Party on The Dance Floor” which we will be dropping in February and produced by the multi talented Mr. Jay RockA.
Jay RockA: We dropping everything from hip hop, to pop, rock, you know just keeping things moving. You can keep up with everything we got going on at our site JustBeTrue.com .
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