Ferris Wheel Jay
Working with French Montana has definitely been a dope experience. We produced his song “Off the Rip”. That was our first major placement as producers with credit. It was crazy – we got put on complex, XXL, all of the major blogs were talking about us. Looking back, it’s refreshing to know they’re all so down to earth. Real laid-back type of people. Every time we see French now, he throws up his hands and is like “Man I see you guys everywhere, what’s up”. It’s always a blessing when you got a celeb like that that treats you as if you’re on the same level as they are. But yeah, the song really blew up once ASAP Rocky jumped on it with the remix. That’s when a lot more calls started coming in. It was already a NY record but as soon as he got on, now we had the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Harlem, all of it. I can’t explain how great this all played out for us. But yeah now that we have another song coming out with him on it, people are going to start seeing that he’s working with us a lot and the names are just going to keep getting bigger.
My team that I work on with all of this is called TRAKFORMAZ. It’s with my uncle and our long time friend Kev who actually is French Montana’s keyboard player. He goes on tour with him domestically around the US and even on tours around the world. We had collab’d with him a few times and my uncle just brought the idea to him that we should form a team together. We all worked hard and had dope things to bring to the table so why not make a team with your family. Once he was on board we got things going. There’s a lot on our pipeline that people will be excited to see. There are a few big artists on our radar that may be working with us real soon other than French – I don’t want to reveal anything now because I don’t like mentioning these things until they are solidified - but definitely be on the look out.
Right now, my official job is being one of the floor managers at Intermix. It’s a high-end women’s brand. My job is to basically run the floor, ensure the staff is doing their part – We tend to get a lot of high end clientele including celebrities and it’s important to treat them like they’re human and not just a celebrity. (Hard to do for some people in NY) I use these opportunities to network, most places don’t let you do that but I definitely do here. They know I’m a manager so it’s easier to build a conversation about things other than just the clothes they’re purchasing so it’s a good way for me to tell them about all the projects I’m working on. You never know what doors could be opened from a simple conversation.
Aside from work, I’m really focusing on my EP that’s about to drop. No exact date but I just got full distribution for it. I’m going to keep it a secret as for who’s doing the distribution but it’s definitely someone major. It’s going to get a lot of mixed signals, I know that for a fact but I’m ok with that. It will do that because I got a EDM record on there, I got a Reggae Pop record on there and a lot of other things that stray from the norm. People are going to be like what’s this kid from East NY doing with tracks like this? And the answer is because these are the types of music I have fun with. I can go home and make a trap record in two minutes if I wanted to, but it’s not me. I’m not a trap rapper; I’m not from the south. So many New York rappers are trying to do trap right now or do whatever everyone else is doing and it’s kind of sad. I went to Oswin’s show the other day and the first ten people did trap songs and then Os came out and hit them with Conscious Rap. I did a show the other day and the first six people did trap and I came out with a pop record. People actually respected us for doing those things because of how different it was, because we weren’t trying to fit into the box everyone else wanted to be in.
There are a lot of people who will like it though. It’s cool because I have a lot of people supporting a project that’s not even out yet. When you have people believing in the blue print before they see the house – that’s when you know you have people around you who actually respect your craft. There’s also this girl that we produce who has a new single coming out that we helped produce that will feature French Montana. (Her name is Gabrielle Musicaro.) She just got signed to a label and that label is pushing that whole single – like putting all their energy into that and we just so happened to produce it so that’s helping me on the producing end. Acting wise I’ve had a bunch of auditions for different sitcoms. I got one with Wild N’ Out and that’s been one of my dreams to be on that because I get to just be myself. I eventually just want to show the world who I am. Not even who Ferris Wheel Jay is.
Even some of the closest people around me are starting to call me Ferris and I’m like – “Yo, you know me as Justin, you been knew me as Justin, no need to treat me any differently”. I want people to see me for who I am and not the brand. I’m aware that the name Ferris is a brand and I want to separate the two. For me Ferris Wheel Jay is the embodiment of my music, my producing and acting and everything else. I don’t want it to be bound to just rapping or producing and that’s hard for some people. I try…no, not try, I do, do everything. So many people always say just focus on one thing and put all of your energy into it and I can’t. I’m just not like that. I’d rather know 10% of 10 things than 100% of one thing…because over time, you start to develop and everything has a chance to grow. When you start making those results in multiple areas it all begins to click.
My main goal with the whole music thing is to get a Grammy. Whether it’s me as an artist or as a producer…I don’t really care. I just know in my heart since I was young that I always wanted a Grammy. I have so many close friends that believe in me and know I will get it one day. It’s a goal for my team and me for sure. What’s great is that we do everything in house. Our production is in house, our videos our in house, our photos are in house, our mixing is in house, all of it…. So my team produces my projects as an artist – if I win as an artist, we all win. If we win for just producing, we all still win. It’s been so important for me to keep people around who are as close as family. No one new or external is really in my circle. I’ve known all these guys for 14…15 years. These are people I can invite to the house for thanksgiving dinner. It’s the kind of vibe that not many other people can say they have.
What was really big for me is when my father finally jumped on board. For 12 years he’s been telling me to not worry about music – he’s this real down to earth business type who didn’t see money in music unless you’re on tour with a major artist or pushing a few hundred thousand units independently or if you got a smash single on the radio without any samples. So having him change his mind and help me meant so much. The craziest thing was I didn’t even have to try convincing him to join. He happened to be listening to a song that I worked on and he didn’t know it was me. He thought it was fire and wanted to back me 100%. He knew this is what I really wanted to do and wanted to help support and ensure my head was on straight, as things get bigger for us.
The theme is this is really getting to be about family. Things are good now but there were also some big struggles along the way. Two of the biggest setbacks for me was when my grandmother was sick and with me being unemployed at the same time. I was home all day trying to work on music but it was hard when you see someone that raised you sick and in constant pain. That took a big toll on me but I had people in my circle that kept me going. One of my best friends who’s been in jail for about 4-5 years and coming out soon kept telling me as bad as situations get for you, you have to use that as fuel and keep pushing yourself. There will be better roads ahead. You have to look at your current situation, no matter how depressing it can get and know that “this aint it”. This isn’t where it will stop so keep your head up. There’s really no success without struggle. So that’s what I did – I put all of my energy into my music, my beats, and my craft.
Even outside of music this was important for me. I kept telling myself that the next job I get, I’m going to make sure it’s one that doesn’t stress me out. And if it does I need to not let it affect me. I always tell myself now that these jobs are not going to be my career. I tell everyone that does music, or arts or anything in entertainment that have jobs on the side to remember that, that’s all it is – a job on the side. If you’re stressed or depressed about anything – make sure you find out what it is and suppress it. I always hear people talking about how they hate their manager and co workers and it gets to them so much that they can’t function. That was me during my last job. I hated my manager and my co-workers but I came in with a smile on my face everyday. No one had any idea I hated them all and it was because I knew this wasn’t going to be my career. I knew it wasn’t what I was going to be known for. So if people were going to be mad, have an attitude or act like a dictator in retail, that’s cool. I learned how to handle it, it took me awhile but I learned. Inhale all of the negative and exhale positivity. You have to realize this even when things are good at work. Things are great for me now but I still realize this isn’t my career. This isn’t where I’m stopping. If I have to go on tour, I’d have to quit my job and if you ask me to pick between a job and my dream, I’m going to pick my dream every time.
Someone who really helped motivate me trough all of this so far hasn’t even been in entertainment or music. It’s my sister. She’s supported me ever since we were little and always pushed me to never give up on my dreams. There were times when other members of my family didn’t support and she was quick to tell them off. (She’s kind of vulgar so there was lots of cursing involved) But that’s the kind of support she had for me. She would always tell me that only you know what your dreams are and that you have to believe in yourself more than anyone else does. You’re your biggest critic and your biggest supporter. She’s been through so much in her own life that inspires me. To see her graduate from College is amazing – she’s about to be a Veterinarian on the west coast. She said she would do all of these things and she made it happen. Once you say something and commit to it, the universe takes its course and makes it happen. She believed in this and it worked. I believe in it, and it will work for me as well. So my overall message to people is the same concept – never give up. No dream is too big. Keep working. Believe in yourself instead of waiting for others to believe in you.
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