We had the good fortune of connecting with Free J and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Free J, how do you think about risk?
I think taking risks are necessary, you can’t always play it safe. Sometimes things don’t necessarily work out the way you planned but that’s how you learn what benefits you and what doesn’t. For me, I evaluate if I’m able to recover and if I exhausted all my resources with safe bets.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I make music but these days, everybody does. What sets me apart is the branding and efficiency of it on such a small level. I’d be lying if I said I was handling everything on my own. That’s why it’s important to have a crew, team, whatever you want to call it and understand everyone’s strengths and play to that. Nothing worth having is easy so no, it definitely isn’t. There’s a lot of trial and error. Essentially, making sure mistakes are life lessons and not repeat failures. What I want people to know about our brand is that the focus is family. Everyone needs something to believe in and who wouldn’t support something that we all have in common.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a funny question. Hard to say where I would recommend because I haven’t been in LA long enough to suggest anything. I moved during the pandemic so I haven’t been able to explore as much as I’ve wanted to. I did really enjoy Elysium Park because of how expansive it is though. There’s a place in Hollywood Farmer’s Market called Polar Bear Kitchen that has great smoothies as well and the owners are pretty awesome too. I love the aesthetics of Beverly Hills and Santa Monica as well but haven’t gone through them as much as I want to. Besides that, I wouldn’t visit me yet. Check back in a few months. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Everything I do is motivated my crew, the people I consider family. Collectively we’re called ODP and that stands for Only Dedicated People. It’s evolving into more of a brand now but all the moves I’m making are based off decisions made by everyone involved with that. They’re the same ones I get my creative spark from.
Viddy Chawla EJ Manalo Katie Trost