Who’s Cousin J?
Cousin J is everyone’s friend or fam; just call me your Cousin J. My real name is James but everyone calls me by my artist name. I’m from Washington and also grew up in California. People see me as fun, very energetic, and cool to kick it with. People gravitate to me for some reason and just love me, and my music. I know a lot about a lot of things and a little about everything else. I can have any kind of conversation with anyone and fit into any surrounding. I’m just an all around guy. I strive every day to put my best foot forward into my music and take it very serious. I’m an open minded person who has high energy for life. I push to improve and reach new goals for myself daily.
I have been in the music game for 13 years now. My music genre is Rap/HipHop/R&B/Dance. I make radio/commercial ready music. My music is fun, catchy, and funny. I try to make music that everyone can listen to.
How did you get started in the music scene?
It started when I was really young; I would do talent shows. I really enjoyed being on stage and being a performer.
What’s the story behind your stage name?
I got the name Cousin J when I was young; all my cousins and other family would refer to me as Cousin J.
What are your music influences?
I like a lot of older Rap and Hip-Hop, like Eazy E and Too Short etc. What influences’ my music today is my personal life and the challenges and obstacles I have come across.
What’s your method at the time of writing a song?
I randomly freestyle things throughout the day and record it on my phone. Then when I sit to write music I go through my phone, find a good beat, and start free-styling. I usually like to come up with a catchy hook first.
What makes you different to other rappers out there?
I can only compare myself from the ones I see around me; here in Washington. I feel that I am different from most rappers because I see my music as a business. Whatever I decide to do with the music, I try to do it %100 for my fans. I’m different because I make catchy radio type music; I don’t see anyone doing that around me. I incorporate singing and rapping, dance/pop and rap, techno and rap etc. I’m very versatile. I write all my music and the hooks; exception for the featured rappers on my tracks. I perform all my tracks live, no lip singing, and sometimes incorporate a band in my shows; which gives it a full effect. I also believe I have the absolute best music engineer, Teal Douville.
I am also different because I keep my image together and represent myself right, so when I talk to club owners or anyone who is at interest with my music I can present my music (business) correctly. I don’t like people thinking “o im just another rapper” because I’m not, in fact I’m far from it
Grown Up. How was the recording and writing process? How you guys came out with the album’s title?
I have been preparing this album for a year-in-a half before I released its EP. I performed a few of the tracks to see how the crowed reacted (that year I did over 100 shows in Washington). The reaction was very positive and people kept asking me when they could get a CD. So I then put an EP together. “Grown Up” the Album will be released soon.
I call my new release “Grown Up” because my old album was the young rebellious me, and I looked really young. I was young having fun; still made good music though. This album I’m on my grown man status. The name fits so well and is inspired by fans and the people who have known me since I was young. I have come along way.
It’s funny because when I run into people who have known me from back in the day they are excited to see me and say “Wow, Cousin J look at you all grown up, what have you been up to?” and in small talk I tell them what’s new, and that I released a new CD etc. I give them a CD they look at the picture and say “Man, your all grown up” then they see the title and start laughing “sure enough it says it right here Cousin J Grown Up”.
What’s the message you want to spread with your music?
I want to show that hard work and passion pays off. Growing up was tough for me but I knew that only I can make my future brighter. My music shows my passion. If you’re devoted to something anything is possible; never give up. I work 3 jobs; Crane Operator, Car sales events on the weekends, and my music. All hours of the day are occupied by me trying to move forward to fulfill my dream as a music artist.
What has been one of the funniest moments you have been or took part while touring?
I haven’t yet got a tour together; it’s in the works. The funny moments ….you would just have to be there.
Are there any plans for the future we should be aware of?
The future will bring the “Grown Up” Album. Following that will be another EP, to introduce my next music project. I already know the title for it, but you will have to stay tuned to find that out! The future holds more publications, music videos, shows, merchandise, my own web site, and of course more great music.
Also I hope the future brings me a team of people who I can relay on and that are motivated as I am to collaborate together in this music projects. Like, video techs, an agent etc.
Where can we find more about your music?
You can read more about me on
Hollywood Productions site
And stay updated by LIKING me on Facebook
Do you feel you’re moving on the right direction?
Yes I do, but sometimes things go wrong and I don’t make the right decision. I have been screwed over by a couple of people in this business. Services that I have paid for, like music videos and graphic designers etc. and they don’t keep their word and I end up with nothing, but you learn from your mistakes. Today I am stronger and feel like I am defiantly taking big steps forward and excited for what the future holds