RESPECT. Interview: Dallas Newcomer Imaj Talks Music, Upbringing and More


Photo credit: E.A.R. Recordings

Dallas native Imaj began honing his trade at the age of 12. Homeless at an early age, he moved in with his grandfather who exposed him to the melodious sounds of his church. After graduating high school, a determined Imaj was faced with the difficulties of pursuing music full time. Giving college a try with no luck, he decided to make a difference and move foreward with his dreams.

With no financial backing from his family, Imaj — like all starving artists — faced hardships that would help make him the man he is today. Bouncing from couch to couch every night, not knowing if tomorrow was going to bring another meal, and having to work non-stop has made the him one of the most modest and hardworking artists in Dallas.

Imaj is a quadruple threat, as he showcases on “Dead Presidents”; in addition to rapping and songwriting, the track also shows that he can produced and sing with the best of them. It wasn’t long before local award-winning tastemakers Rudy “Coach” Flores, Ricky “Slikk Muzik” Offord and Rene “Spank” Martinez encountered Imaj on social media and conveyed him into the studio.

Currently, Imaj’s lead single “Something Real” and the street single “Dead Presidents” are both picking up local and regional attention. Recently, the EAR Rocordings-signed artist sat down with Artistic Manifesto to speak about some of the events that he has encountered throughout his journey as an artist. The full interview can be seen below.

Only time and tough work will tell if Imaj’s music is ‘something real’.

RESPECT.: When were you introduced to music at an early age?

At the age of 6.

RESPECT.: Being that you are from Dallas, can you describe the music scene in that part of the country?

If you come to Dallas you will notice that is has a little bit of all genres as far as music goes. We’re mostly known for the amazing producers we have here in the city.

RESPECT.: During your time in college, what was that defining moment where it hit you that was not the place for you?

When I chose to take on another path, music just followed my every step. My professors had me doing things musically for the campus. That’s when I knew it was my calling.

RESPECT.:Can you tell us the story behind your artist name?

Imaj was given to me by a woman. The name “Imaj” is a broader way to say image.

RESPECT.: How has hardships in your early age shaped you as an individual and an artist?

It made me stronger as an individual. As an artist, my hardship made me push harder. Music was my healing at all times.

RESPECT.: Can you describe what is like for you when you met Rudy “Coach” Flores, Ricky “Slikk Muzik“ Offord and Rene “Spank” Martinez for the first time?

Everything went uphill for me. It was God’s calling for us all to become one in this industry. The results confirm it all.

RESPECT.: What can we expect from you headed into the rest of 2017?

You can expect an EP from me this year. You can also expect a few new singles as well.

RESPECT.: Where do you see yourself as an artist in the next couple years?

I see myself selling out shows, owning a few businesses, and building brands.

RESPECT.: Who are some of the artists you would like to work with?

Kanye West, Tank, Drake, Future, etc.

RESPECT.: What is the message you would like the world to take from your music?

My music is like a medicine cabinet. Whatever it is that you are going through, just open up the catalog of your healing.

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About Landon Buford

Washington State Graduate Past Interviews include Grammy Award Winner Kenny G, David Banner, WNBA President Lisa Borders, Whats Trendings CEO Shira Lazar, Ice Cube, NBC's Chicago PD LaRoyce Hawkins, Family Matters Darius McCrary, En Vogues Maxine Jones, Team USA Track & Field Member Norris Frederick, James Kyson, WNBA Great Lauren Jackson, and more.