Many aspiring artists are talented teenagers who dropped out of high school in search of a dream. Unfortunately, not all of them achieve that dream because there is a lot of competition and obstacles on the way.
Jacob Anthony Matthews, known as Jamskillet or JAM, is a 27 years old American rapper, singer, songwriter and model from Cleveland, Ohio who embarked on his music career as a teenager when he released a mixtape in 2011. After this mixtape, Jamskillet went on to release several singles and an album in 2018. Through it all and despite the odds, JAM has remained an independent artist and has been able to perform with major acts such as Machine Gun Kelly, Travis Mills and G-Eazy, among others.
“After dropping out of high school in my senior year, I have traveled all over the country via bus, living in Little Haiti in Florida and in California three different times in search of musical inspiration.” JAM shares.
Currently, he resides at his home in Cleveland, where he continues to grow his passion for music. In little time, JAM has amassed nearly two million streams between Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Soundcloud and other digital stores.
“Fans of my music have gotten tattoos of my stage name and lyrics on them.” Jacob shares when reflecting on moments in his career to highlight. “For years, fans have told me how my music has ‘saved them’ or helped them get through the worst of times and depression.”
Jacob has also modeled for a “Neff” x “Disney Villains” collaboration, which was showcased exclusively at “Tilly’s” stores Nationwide in the USA. The release was featured on highly notable blogs like Disney, XXL, HypeBeast and more.
“My goal is to be viewed seriously as a respected singer, writer and performer in the music industry. I want to set a bar in the alternative/pop/hip-hop realm and make other artists in the same genre feel compelled to step their game up.” Jamskillet claims.
For his music, JAM does everything: the recording, the engineering, and even the visuals and graphic design. He has been relentless ever since he decided to pursue his passion for music.
“In early 2012 I decided to take a different approach from just the average rap style and put forth much more emotion and honesty, targeting others who felt lost or as depressed as I did. My first music video ‘Breathe’ had an emo/dark vibe that a lot of kids my age could relate to. Nobody was doing that in Cleveland at that time. Making music that doesn’t just cater to the hip-hop community definitely gave me an edge.” Jamskillet shares.
But doing everything on his own meant he had a huge learning curve to take on. This is in part why it took him several years to develop the style and sound he has today. In addition, growing up in a small town Jacob heard everything people said about him or his music, but he believes this made him stronger in the long-term and it did not stop him from standing out in the industry with his diverse music capabilities.
“I’d like to think I have good timing, speed, rhythm and emotion in my voice. I can rap fast or I can sing depending on the message of the song. I love making the dark breakup ones but don’t get it twisted… I can make the hype party songs too.” JAM says.
Jamskillet’s music has many different styles, and he strives to make each one completely different, with different sounds. His favorite quote from his is “If you’re really any good, someone will find you.”
“I heard that quote in a skateboarding movie called ‘Grind’. I’ve reminded myself that for over a decade and it’s only proven to be true. I’m not worried about anything. Make it big or not, I love what I do and that’s enough to keep me going.” Jamskillet states.
Jamskillet’s latest music video is for his song ‘Less Us’ and his latest song is ‘BAD VIBES’ for which he has received more attention and positive reviews. To find out more about him and his music, go here.