PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you different from the others in your genre?
J Duff (JD): If I had to describe it in one word, I would say “unique.” Its mostly rap/hip-hop but I like to throw a little R&B in there. I’ve got my own style and flow, creative lyrics, and my I put my own twist onto each song. One thing I think sets me apart from other MC’s is my ability to change it up, touch on any subject, get on any style beat. I’m not stuck to one particular sound.
PEV: Calling South Jersey home, what kind of music where you into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?
JD: Aw man I was into everything. I remember listening to my dad’s vinals like the Sugarhill Gang, the Beatles, AC/DC, Led Zeplin. Then I started listening to Will Smith, Jay Z, Green Day, Yellow Card, New Found Glory, DMX, you name it I listened to it. My first concert was Taking Back Sunday and it was amazing.
PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene when you first started? What was your first show like?
JD: Its hard, I’m still trying to break into it and still just getting started. People think I’ve been doing it for so long because I have 3 tapes out but it hasn’t even been a year since I released my first song. My first show couldn’t have been more than 30 people in some broke down bar for local acts.
PEV: What can fans expect from a live J Duff show?
JD: I’m very enthusiastic once on stage so expect a great show. I want the audience to be having as much as me when imp up there, like its one big party.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?
JD: “Let’s do this” I love getting on stage and performing my songs. People think I’m weird because I don’t get nervous before I go on.
JD: The bigger the city the bigger the opportunities. I live in Jersey and there isn’t much going on around me, which makes it harder to meet the right people that might be able to help your career.
PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music?
JD: Just everything in my life, past and present. Putting my views and perceptions into words to make the listener understand what I’ve been through, how I feel about it, and how I go about things and live my life.
PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?
JD: Haha I haven’t arrived anywhere yet. I’m still broke, going to college and living at home so I’ll have to get back to you on that question.
PEV: What¹s one thing we¹d be surprised to hear about J Duff?
JD: Most people are surprised when they learn how long I’ve been making music. It’s only been about 7 months and I have 3 tapes out.
PEV: What happens when you hit a brick wall when writing? What are you methods to get over it?
JD: I don’t usually hit any walls when writing. Song writing seems to come very naturally to me, but if I ever do get stuck ill just take a break, grab a bite to eat, relax my brain and get back to it when I’m feeling more refreshed and attentive.
PEV: How do you think the industry has changed over the years, since you started out or at got involved in just enjoying your music?
JD: I think a lot of people are straying away from their roots just to make more money, especially in hip-hop. People don’t care about the music anymore; it’s all about the money. And it’s a real shame.
PEV: Tell us about your latest release, “The Introduction”. What can fans expect from this?
JD: The Introduction is the epitome of my talents as an artist. Fans can expect a wide range of styles a lot of complex, in-depth lyrics. I wanted this album to really smack people in the face and make them think, “Why have I never heard of this guy before?” And the title says it all; this is only the beginning of my career with lots more to come.
PEV: With all your traveling is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
JD: I definitely want to get out to California soon. I’ve never even been out of the country so I’m looking to do that soon as well.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?
JD: They’ve all been really supportive so I have to thank them for that.
PEV: What can we see you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
JD: I’m out there living life. You can always find me out at a party, but I also love skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, just going to the beach in general. I love being outside.
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?
JD: Some people I really want to collar with are Chris Webby, Asher Roth, and The Dirty Heads. I love all their music, their flows, and what the stand for.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
JD: There’s another kid from jersey named Timmy Titus that’s been killing it lately. Watch out for him.
PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal) what would be your career?
JD: I don’t even know. If not as an artist I would probably start my own record label, or maybe a club.
PEV: So, what is next for J Duff?
JD: Expect a lot. Lots of more music will be made, hopefully some collaborations with other popular artists. I’m never gonna stop and neither is the music.