It’s been a little over a year since I last spoke to Jxylen and he’s still on his quest as a musician. Last time, we spoke about his EP, Extended Play and also a certain sinister project that would be released this year. The Road To Darkness is Jxylen’s second EP. It’s a deep composition of five melancholy rhymes. Continuing his very outward style of rap, leaving nothing shy of direct guidance for the listener to mull over. Jxylen’s skill as an MC is immediately apparent—his mid-tempo rhymes tower over a diffident production, coordinating to create a menacing blend of despair and realization.
How much time did you spend on this project? A month in half, technically longer but I redid everything over cause I wasn’t satisfied haha.
What’s the significance of the title? The Road To Darkness seems grim. Yeah, The Road to Darkness explores my dark side persona. I tend to get back at everyone that’s done me wrong so the more you listen the music gets darker and I tend to rap more out of frustration. It’s like a lil movie.
Are you used to making this type of dark content? Is it liberating? Yeah, I’m used to it, but I’m an artist that try’s to find balance. I’m a Gemini, and Gemini’s have two sides, so I try to express both equally. Good & Bad.
Who designed the cover and what’s it symbolize? I did, I felt like this represents the EP well in the since the photo is dark, and the child is moving down a dark path. I might make posters because of its cinematic feel.
How do you get into your groove when you’re writing? I never try to force anything, if I hear an instrumental or beat that catches my ear everything else comes together. I write at night in the dark before I go to sleep. I’m a digital writer.
Does music get boring? Never, I love creating music cause it’s a platform where I can use all my other artistic talents in one. I’m always thinking of new ideas and how the outcome will be. I love making music How does your sound different from mainstream rap or your peers. I’m not afraid to say what I feel and there are different layers to me as an artist so don’t think you have me figured out. When I make music I dig deep in myself and my emotions because that’s what art is right?
Who is your favorite musician? Haha, this is one I can’t answer cause I listen to all different types of music so I can’t just choose one. Kanye, Kendrick, Danny Brown, Michael Jackson are a few to name though.
What was your favorite album this year? Brent Faiyaz – Sonder Son, Sonder – Into EP is also next to that.
Do you produce your music? Ñaw I don’t produce my music, too much time is taken focusing on producing my work.
How do you feel about the current affairs of the US? Fuck Trump, that’s all I gotta say.
How does this project differ from your previous work & what can we expect from the next full feature? It’s cohesive, mixing and mastering is better, and it just shows my growth as an artist cause I pretty much do everything myself (except produce). I don’t want anyone to expect anything next but for me to level up and grow.
Would you say this is a concept album? Yes, more of an experience. If a listener takes anything from this it would be that everyone has limits, don’t push them cause you don’t know what to expect back Introspection is the act of looking within oneself, soul-searching.
Are you familiar with introspection and does it seem helpful to you? Yes, I’m familiar with introspection, I dig deep into myself to express my emotions, and It also helps me find ways to better my flaws. I know I won’t be perfect, but there’s always room for some improvements in self.
A lot of artists lose motivation or come across “writer’s block.” Have you experienced this? How do you cope? I’m familiar with writer’s block, but I rarely have it as much as I used to. Only because I don’t force writing. It comes to me naturally, and I like that. I hide my emotions so if something continues to bother me inside it’s only right that I write about it to get it off my mental. I’m very emotional I guess.
America and its constant turmoil. Does it effect your music or state of mind? It’s hard not to ignore what’s going on in the world, Music wise it does effect it but not so much, and I say that because sometimes I feel like I have to get out how I feel about something that bothers me.
If your art never flourished, so much that it could balance all of your expenses. Would you still create it? I’ll always invest in my creations if I want to get the final product. But if I don’t have the money I’ll do my best with what I have. Long as I have creative control, then I’m creating what I want with what I have.