Emerging from the streets of Brooklyn is rising producer JabariOnTheBeat. The name is becoming easier and easier to identify as the days go by for his high-profile placements and unique sounds. The 20-year-old, who is continuing to grow on YouTube, is attracting producers from all walks of life and experience levels. Jabari initially got into music just to express himself in the healthiest way he knew how, but his original intentions have taken him much farther than that. As a matter of fact, production has build a formidable catalog and an even bigger fortune.
One of Jabari’s biggest goals is to land a Grammy nomination and work with Toronto’s most respected name, Drake. Even though his name and face are still new, Jabari previously worked with rappers like Snoop Dogg, Mozzy, Lil Keed, and Blocboy JB to name a few. Check out our interview below.
Talk to me about your childhood, what was it like being raised in Brooklyn?
Being raised in Brooklyn wasn’t easy; I had a rough childhood like a lot of people, but the trauma didn’t catch up with me personally until later in life. I grew up in a single mom household, with 3 siblings and it was hard. It wasn’t about music at all surprisingly. I didn’t go crazy on the drums in church, or bless the keys. I didn’t have singing voice at all.
In fact, I had to figure a lot out myself, and not having a father in my life, left me without a real role model to look up to. My mother definitely did her best to try and fill in the gaps, but it was hard on all of us. There’s a lot of things no one teaches you that you have to figure out or your own, so I ended up slipping into a few bad habits I had to break
growing up. The only musical background I had at this point was my grandma. She was an aspiring singer growing up. She had an entire band, and was even starting to sell out venues. But, a few unfortunate decisions here and there stopped her career before she had a chance to really blow up like she should have.
However, my biggest obstacle growing up wasn’t that I didn’t have a serious musical background. It was sadly depression and my mental health. I struggled a lot with suicidal thoughts and depressive mood swings in my teenage years. I really didn’t have anyone to help me get through this besides my grandma. I had no Dad to turn to and my closest friends left because depression is a topic not really talked about. To a lot of people from the outside looking in I was going absolutely crazy. It’s hard for people to understand what you’re going through when your depressed. Only God knows what would’ve happened if I lost this battle and didn’t use music as my outlet. I turned to music way later in life than a lot of my peers in the industry.
Brooklyn has a relatively large music scene, was there anyone who sort-of paved the way or
Producer-wise, I don’t have any Brooklyn based influences at all. I feel like there isn’t much producer talk and exposure in BK as there should be. I’m trying to be one of the front runners for Brooklyn production. These days however, there are a lot of dudes I’m coming up with in NY that are dope. We don’t all know each other very well yet, but we’ve heard about each other. Trust me by the end of this year it’ll be different.
How about around the globe, are there any producers that influenced you early in your
Plenty of global influences. My earliest were Boi-1da, 40, and Kanye West. Travis Scott, Foreign Teck, and Cubeatz also fill in there. Can’t forget Metro Boomin, CashmoneyAP, Southside, Zaytoven, and plenty others holding it down on the trap music side. But the first few guys I mention definitely were my main inspirations because I always value production that leans on the more emotional side. Those guys definitely taught me how to make the tiniest things mean the most. A loop of the right part, with some simple drums that hit the right pockets goes a long way. That always fascinated me.
Tell me how you initially gravitated to music and production.
I guess I can extrapolate on what I said earlier; I primarily got into music to really combat my depression. I’m not going to sit here and lie, I was in a losing battle. I had been hospitalized twice before for suicide attempts before I decided to use music production as my means of an outlet. I wasn’t ever really good at speaking about how I felt. I actually ended up losing a lot of friends and relationships before I turned to music and making beats. After the second hospitalization, I started using Garageband on my iPhone to make some simple beats about girls I had feelings for, family stress, and difficult friendships, but couldn’t say outright. They were just some loops layered on top of loops, but it was the beginning of me learning how to structure my work and put my emotions into whatever I make.
Was it an easy journey as far as landing placements and connecting with other producers?
At the very beginning it was extremely difficult, but as I found my own unique lane, and built upon it, it became much easier. Placements, in general, are always harder to get until you establish yourself and build the connections you need, but connecting with other producers in this day and age is way easier. All the producers I currently know,
connected with me because of my sound. Without a ton of placements, they definitely mess with my unique sound and vision. These days I still find it difficult to land placements because there are so many factors that go into landing a placement (time, relationship to artist, public image), as opposed to building a relationship with a producer.
What is your personal favorite track that you produced and tell me the story behind it.
My personal favorite track of all time is a song I got with this super fast upcoming underground artist from Toronto named Sewperson. The track is called “Pick up the Phone”. We have a joint project together called “Comet” in which I produced every single song, and “Pick Up the Phone” is one of the tracks on it. My relationship with Sewerperson developed by him just using a few of my YouTube beats. All our songs together at first ended up breaking 100K on SoundCloud fast, so we did a project together just because our chemistry is on another level and that’s how
“Pick Up the Phone” was made. But, the track is my personal favorite because, to me, it speaks on how I felt about my previous ex. I made a lot of mistakes to get where I am now, and I always just wanted her to pick up the phone so I could apologize for all the mistakes I made and put her through. I always wondered if she missed me, even after everything that happened.
As a producer, what’s your take on getting paid on time?
I feel like as a producer, the initial focus should never be on pay. I’m all for getting paid on time, or whatever the agreed upon date of payment is. But, I urge producers to build a relationship with the person that they’re working with first before they demand a payment. We all have to eat, but you don’t want to force money to be the first topic of conversation as it burns bridges and stop future work in the process. It gives off the impression that the work being done and perfected is less important than the bag you want.
What’s next for Jabari On The Beat?
Honestly, I don’t know. In fact, I had to take a few days to answer this question. Right now, my life is a mess of spontaneous events. All I do is put in the work, send to where my ears tell me to send, upload my emotion filled beats, and hope for the best. Right now I got a lot of placements in the works, some confirmed and unconfirmed. I got a lot of unreleased work with big artist. I have a lot of potential managers, labels, and teams I can join up with. I just have a lot going on and I’m trying to figure it all out. I just want the best for myself and my loved ones, and I want a family away from my own. An industry family if that makes sense.
So, to answer your question. I would say stay tuned. It will be a crazy year. I put a big signal and mark out there super early in the game. At this point, everyone is catching on at their own pace. I’m more so focused on myself and developing my sound.
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