On the occasion of the release of his new single “Run” we asked a few questions to J-Appiah. After his 2014 EP “Travelight“, he sang as backup vocals for artists such as Kwabs and Michael Kiwanuka. He now steps from the background and into the limelight with his new single “Run”– a song about the difficulty to get loved. He merges melodic guitar strings with his soaring soul voice to great effect.
What made you think “okay, let’s get into the music business”?
I don’t think it was a conscious decision. It was more of a gradual thing where I continued to do what I enjoyed (playing open mic shows, writing songs with my friends) and eventually you meet more people and before you know it you’re working in the music business when people think you’re good at what you do. I feel very lucky because there is so much talent out there but I also feel I’ve put in a lot of time and hard work.
What does music mean to you?
Music means a lot to me. It’s the language of the world (in my opinion) it can make you feel things.
What are your musical influences?
I’m influenced by everything around me. I’m influenced by people’s stories and my own personal experiences. These are the things that find its way into my music. I grew up listening to loads of different kinds of music, from motown to country, the Ghanaian highlife music my mum would play and gospel.
Could you describe your music universe in a few words?
Hell no. It’s way too big to describe in a few words and it changes everyday.
Could you tell us about the story behind your latest song Run?
Run is a song I wrote about being hard to love but written from the perspective of the other person (not the person hard to love.) … It’s about living in the moment and not over thinking things.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would say you have a real sensibility for backing vocals – how important is it to music?
I think Backing vocal scan add a lot of depth to a live show and can complement the artist. For me I think they are very important both sonically and visually.
Could you tell us about your creation process? Do you follow specific steps or do you just let it flow?
I’m definitely a big believer in not forcing the process. I write when I feel inspired. Sometimes we go in the studio and nothing happens and other times we are able to write a song in just a few hours so every day is different. I don’t have a specific routine or ritual when it comes to creating, it’s just about what feels right at the time.
What about your future projects?
The plan is to release music over the year so I would love to have your continued support.
When do you set yourself in Airplane Mode?
For me it’s when I need to reflect, New Year’s Eve is always a time, I reflect on the year and my goals for the next. This is when I set myself on airplane mode