We had the good fortune of connecting with J. Character and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi J., what inspires you?
I am inspired by truth. Truth and the process of searching for it. As more and more knowledge makes its way to my ears, my eyes, and then my mind, it feels like genuine freedom. The journey of truth itself is inspiring because it has an interesting path in this present world. Truth as a vibration, a feeling, and an inner knowing, can be felt and tuned to re-build positive foundational perspectives of life. Being able to intertwine ancient truths along with newly discovered truths into my life, my art, and my business is the most exciting and rewarding journey. It sharpens the adaptive traits and hones in the mind, making an extremely captivating roller coaster ride of the human experience. Truth seeking as a model and recording artist allows me to build a healthy influencing energy and to maintain the historic authenticity of hip-hop. Prior to a record label centralized music industry, the art form thrived on talent, authenticity, and spreading knowledge of whats happening outside of the upper class point of view. The famous world class creators and entrepreneurs I’ve meet in Los Angeles always have layers of knowledge about the way the world really works. I learned from them if you only see events in the world at face value, you’ll always be too late…however, if you can look deeper, then you can be the generator of the next new wave and never miss big opportunities. Seeking the real truth means you are adaptable and free; in the field of being a creator, adaptability and freedom is success.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I model and I make music both as a rapper, and as a producer. Those are the highlights, Im also an audio engineer, host, and entrepreneur. As a model and a recording artist I use my voice in many different ways but what really sets me apart is my ability to speak more than one language. I speak mandarin fluently so I often rap in two languages but Ive been known to include Spanish or even Korean words in my music. I like to see beyond my city and beyond America. As an artist and a model I have collaborated with creators and brands that seek to and that do reach around the world. Im very proud of the global network I built with so many creators and proud of being a model with the Black owned business Persevere Lifestyle. Before the present, my journey was a beautiful challenge that involved other brands such as Beentrill or working with Tyra Banks at ModelLand. The challenge was always self love and self determination. I had to be bold and prepare myself for the giant waves I was seeking to surf, then dive head first into them and be ready to face the hard rocks of denial or the sweet soreness of a hard earned victory. I always sought out my great opportunities and never waited for them to land in front of me just because I was talented. It wasn’t easy. I only overcame the challenges by believing that I really am incredible and by loving myself so much that nothing could possible tear me down but only add to what I should consider to get better. Its not as simple as it sounds, the valuable lessons I learned were to listen to those that cross your path, to research and study your field, to value rest and joy as much as the grind, to network with boundaries that respect you and your craft, and that sometimes you aren’t going to be good enough…but that is only a ‘yet’ and not a ‘never ever’. You may not be right for a position you dreamed of but that’s a problem we can run into- thinking that only one situation can allow us to reach our greatest potential- that sets us up for failure. Instead, I dreamt a line of best fit, a situation for me that gives me the ability to do what I dream and have what I dream of while including the space to adapt as the world and times change. Maybe the most valuable lesson of all is that wisdom can come from anyone in various amounts so the ability to listen is the ability to grow faster. If you seek help then it will come but likely not how you expect it to. I have avoided so much wasted time because I don’t have some strange notion that I must experience every pitfall. I experience what my soul needs to learn and then listen so I don’t have to experience what I could’ve avoided by hearing someone else’s words and experience. Perseverance is what it takes to see what you’re manifesting. If I can grow up in New Orleans and live though a hurricane to make it all the way to China, through military college, and through life threatening accidents to be here in this magazine and what awaits me next then anything you dream is possible. J. Character, the model, the recording artist, the entrepreneur, represents dreams are attainable.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
To have a good trip in Covid era Los Angeles you need to have a greater appreciation for the less party centric aspects of Los Angeles. The outside adventures in LA is what hooked me; I would start a trip with the amazing sights to see. I would go to Venice Beach and the canals, Santa Monica and the pier, then to Malibu and through the canyon’s beautiful scenery. I love the trip to Coopers Canyon as well. To make sure we get a taste of the lime light, I would makes stops on Hollywood Blvd, Melrose Ave, and Rodeo Drive. Personally I am alkaline vegan and I always find a way to convince my friends to try the amazing foods here that I eat when I’m not cooking. That would include Cafe Gratitude and their amazing pizza, Flower Child on 2nd Street in Santa Monica, and the delectable Mother Earth Bowl, Sweet Greens, some of the fresh juice spots, and some Sunday Farmers Markets. I would show the amazing fashion district and end the trip with some of my favorite spirit shops and botanicas. Its hard to go wrong there, the atmosphere in all those locations is free and limitless!
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?
To narrow my success down to one person is difficult. Ive got to go back to the beginning, the times before I was introducing myself as J. Character the global creator. Out of just a handful of priceless people met on my journey, I have to highlight Ty Hunter as the magic behind helping my spread my wings while I was still gathering strength to burst out of the cocoon. I met Ty after my training with industry engineers in New Orleans at a professional studio. I was motivated and writing new songs daily to perfect my craft and to help navigate the hole in my chest. I would perform the songs everywhere I could or when I was hyped up by my friends. Since day one when we connected over matching Yeezy’s, Ty Hunter, an actor and director, was alongside me in Atlanta studying and planning to be great. As I studied the history of music and elements of vocal artistry that transforms one into a legend, Ty was doing the same in his respective field. He heard me rap countless songs over his bluetooth sound bar in a living room that was filled with smoke and the now emptied bottles we still needed to catch the wave. Ty motivated me to be louder and to believe in the power of my story, he helped me embody that which I already was by manifesting a global future of fashion, visuals, and music fueled by divine power to spread the message that we are all greatness waiting to be developed. We were the guys that would walk down Edgewood, Little Five Points, and Lenox Mall, making connections and talking about what we were destined to be based off the work we had been putting in everyday. When I would sway away from my true self, whether due to hardships or falling in the mainstream hype, Ty was there to rope me in.
Images from @ComplxPhotography and Clothes from @PRSVR / Persevere Lifestyle