Introducing Jaimar, a British/American rapper with an international feel. Born in London but raised in Cincinnati, Ohio his career began in 2009 where he gained recognition off his record Break The Ice allowing him to tour the UK, perform around Europe and support artists such as Skepta and Tinchy Stryder.
During this exclusive interview with Yo! Raps, Jaimar discusses his heritage and how spending his early years in various cities around the world has impacted his sound. He also touches upon the importance of his international fans as well as his aspirations for the future.
We recently featured Jaimar's Kicks On video, which for many was the first look at this talented young rapper and we are sure to see a lot more in the near future.
For those who did not see your video on our site last month, please introduce yourself to our readers...
Hi, I’m Jaimar! [Laughs]
How would you describe your sound?
That’s a hard question. I don’t want to describe it because then I feel my music is in a box and I’m limited then. I want to be unlimited with my sound
Who are your main influences, musical or otherwise?
Michael Jackson, he just had his own amazing concepts, ideas, style… just kind of everything. I like the way he was more then just an artist.
Steve Jobs, I didn’t really know about him before he died but I’ve learned a lot about him since then and he really influenced me. He was so forward thinking, created new styles, amazing brand image. He created wants.
Colin Tilley, he makes his own worlds with his videos. His imagination is just on another level, he’s definitely a big influence when it comes to me making my videos.
On some of your YouTube videos certain comments appear to question your American accent. But you were raised in Cincinnati right? How do you reply to those comments?
Basically America was my inspiration and roots to me becoming an artist. I started rapping when I was living in USA with neighbour friends, so that is my first experience of rap. I was living with my dad, who’s American, and he was always listening to Hip-Hop and he was a real inspiration for me. So it’s just natural and comfortable for me to do so. I came back to the UK and brought back what was real to me at that time and grew with it. It’s how I learned to love this genre and so it’s kind of like an homage to where it all started for me.
Your videos often show you in various different countries performing and you come across very much as an international artists. Do you believe visiting different countries is helping you grow as an artist?
For sure! Most artists blow up in their area, then aim go international, but I have lots of pockets of fans all over the world. Our team sees that social media now allows you to be more of an international artist, and we have exploited that. I want to make my music for the world.
You live in Gloucester, which is a quiet city surrounded by countryside in the UK. Do you feel such an environment makes it more difficult for your music to break out?
I don't actually live in Gloucester, I move all around the country. I definitely feel like I don’t have a home. I think I’m one of the first rappers to feel that [laughs]. I’m always staying with family and friends around the country and I feel I get a good mix of different sounds into my music because of that.
It's been traditionally difficult for UK rappers to gain international recognition. Do you believe you could break the mould?
Of course I do. In 3 months, we have gained a lot of recognition. I can’t wait to see what happens in 1-2 years.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Realistically, I don’t want to think that far, I want to make music for now, for the mood and mind set I'm in at this moment. Thinking too far ahead might make me change my music today and I don’t want that. I want all my projects to show progression and a natural story. It’s best not to know the end of a book before you read it.
When did you realise you wanted to make Hip-Hop a career?
I’ve kind of done music since in was 16, but seriously since I was 18. I’ve really always wanted to make a career out of it, actually I remember when I was 15, I listened to Basketball by Bow Wow, and I realized I really wanted this.
Would you consider signing with a major label if the opportunity arose?
Right now, it’s going well independently. We are having a good time and it’s real fun. A major concern for me are my fans, if a label could help me and my fans then sure.
If you were only allowed to pick three musicians to listen to for the rest of your life who would it be and why?
Erykah Badu, she is just pure quality, really has a message with her music that I respect. Slick Rick, his storytelling and also that he was a respected artist from the UK in the USA. Kendrick Lamar, he’s just my man! [Laughs] Right now, he is killing it.
What can our readers expect to see from Jaimar in the future?
Well, I’ve got my first mixtape coming out soon and towards the end of the year you’ll start seeing some buzz. We got more videos, music, tapes, shows, and other surprises also. So basically we are just going to keep moving, growing our fan base so we can have a bigger family and keep push boundaries. I’m excited for the future.
Finally, is there anything you would like to share with our Yo! Raps readers?
Thanks for taking your time out to read this! Check my videos, my twitter, and become part of the team! Enjoy.
- By J David