Cory Jreamz is an 18-year-old artist from Houston, Texas. I first heard his music a couple of months back and was immediately drawn into the world that this personable rapper has created all his own. Debut EP Polysemy is an introduction of sorts, an emotional story told in its purest form (before anyone was really watching). In recent weeks he’s picked up new management from Los Angeles and gone from 200 to 12,000+ Twitter followers practically overnight! With his star now on the rise, a team behind him and a whole lot of people anticipating follow up EP No Castles In The Air (dropping next week – August 3) it will be interesting to see just what happens next for Cory Jreamz.
What does music and art mean to you?
CORY JREAMZ: Everything. Without it I would be a lost, lost soul. I wouldn’t have any drive to get up from sleep. I wouldn’t have any drive to continue to go. I don’t even want to think of my life without it. Scary. None the less I think I would be a depressed lonely teenager angry at the world. 10 times worse than I am now. Actually scary to be honest. I can’t see myself without it.
What kind of music would you say that you make?
CJ: I hate putting a certain genre on my jams. I wouldn’t call myself the traditional hip hop artist because my songs don’t have a simple verse hook verse hook formula. I make Cory Jreamz type jams. It’s something new and fresh. I’ve came into my own sound.
Who or what inspired you to start making your own music?
CJ: I wouldn’t say anyone in particular inspired me to start actually creating music. I was already writing poetry at the age of 14 so it was just like I wanted to see how my words would sound over an actual sound plus rhythm. It has ended up sounding rad so far.
How did you start?
CJ: I went through 3 different recording locations – one was in an apartment one in a garage and another in a house – before I actually found a home, my home Barron Studios. Those guys are so rad man. They are actually really good genuine people. Big thanks to Todd Chris and Vince. This interview wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for them.
As an artist, what is the most important thing to you?
CJ: Making sure I’m always doing something that hasn’t been done before. Making sure I can’t be compared. Having my own world and universe as an artist. When you’re listening to my jams or watching my videos you’re stepping into my world. No other artist should matter at that moment.
In a previous interview you mentioned “I still want to be somewhat of a mystery… leave some room for listeners to grow with me over the years” it sounds like you have a long-term vision for your career?
CJ: Yes, I have a clear vision of what I want to accomplish. From stage design, to album covers, to tour ideas. I have all that down packed ha.
On Twitter recently you commented: “Dude i’m about to make the biggest decision as an artist and in my life this week. Wish me luck yall.” What decision did you have to make?
CJ: I now have a PR team behind me in California by the name of Entourage Management. I felt it was time for me to have proper representation behind me. Thanks to Austin. He’s pretty rad. I really can’t wait to go to California and actually meet him in person. MGMT seems like the perfect band to listen to in California. I’m going to listen to my favorite song Time to Pretend by them so loud when I mange my way out there.
What are the songs on your debut EP Polysemy inspired by? Do you find reoccurring themes filter through into your songs?
CJ: They were all inspired by different things which eventually became the songs. Yes I was really haunted by a ghost named Victoria. Yes I was a quiet shy kid in high school. Yes I think the Internet is our new religion. And yes I hate the education system and would pick music over it any day.
You’ve recently released a clip (featured at the end of the interview) for a track on Polysemy called IONR (Internet Our New Religion); what’s your favourite thing about it?
CJ: There’s a message in the video but the message isn’t forced upon your views exactly. I read up on Helter Skelter and the Manson Family while I was writing the script. It helped me evolve the characters into a cult instead of just a group of friends with the same views. They were a family. They attempted to force their views on me but they couldn’t. It’s a shot at society forcing its views on people.
What can you tell me about your musical collaborators on Polysemy?
CJ: While I was creating Polysemy it wasn’t even all about the music. It was way deeper than that. While I was creating it I started getting in touch with Mother Nature. Things like deer’s and woods and forests started to interest me. Without the cover art it would be just another CD in my opinion.
As far as the peeps that did the instrumentals on Polysemy they all are very awesome. Reese Jones had the perfect feel for the intro sound I had visioned. My engineer Vince and I added the Jazz with Mr.Vsax plus the Quiet Man movie sample and it came out very rad. It’s funny because I had writers block for a whole week, before I came up with something for it. Very frustrating actually. I’ve actually known Mr.Vsax a while now. He played the sax on Quiet Man and Love Is You. He also did a couple live shows with me in 2011. I’ve known YoungMav also since 2010 (did the beat for IONR). I actually had that beat since November of 2010. Nothing ever came to me for it. Another frustrating time for me as a writer. I tried and tried but nothing came that I thought was presentable. Finally in March I thought of the hook. Then I found the speech sample, and just went from there. StEEZiLLa is so chill ha. Like he’s one of the chilliest people I have ever met. It’s very ironic though because he did the beat for Love Is You which has a jazzy smooth sound to it. He also did the beat for Victoria which is personally my favourite song on Polysemy.
You’ve started work on your next EP No Castles In The Air right? Are you collaborating with the same artists or different people?
CJ: All different peeps. Well my engineer Vince is the same (engineered ‘Quiet Man’ and ‘IONR’). I wanted a completely different sound, theme and direction with this one. That’s the only reason why. The lyrics are different, theme, instrumentals, everything. I don’t want anyone to expect anything to sound like Polysemy. I have to evolve. I’ve gotten DJ Rhino, LyteSho, and Shaun Lopez of the rock band Crosses so far. I’m still at amazed that I got in contact with Shaun Lopez. I’m also working with artist Jesse Diebolt for the art side. He is a really great artist. It’s cool that we are the same age also.
Tell me about the music community where you live in Houston. You’ve mention on Twitter about feeling ‘overlooked’ in your hometown.
CJ: I sent my latest video ‘IONR’ to two websites in Houston, they didn’t like it or post it. I sent the same video to two websites in New York; they liked it and posted it. I emailed a PR team in Houston about their services guess what? No email back. Attempted getting in two magazines in Houston this year, guess what? Denied. Guess what? I will be in a magazine in New York this year. Attempted performing at two events in Houston this year, guess what? Denied. Got invited to perform in the U.K. this year plus next year. There is an irony in every one of those situations which is funny and rad. There are many rad peeps here that show me awesome love. But for the most part I feel overlooked. I think places outside of my hometown are going to have to catch on before my own hometown catches on. I take every bad thing and use it for a greater purpose which is my music though so it isn’t a problem.
Also, on Twitter recently you commented: “I’m Determined To Change The Way The World Look At Music In Houston. Promise.” Can you elaborate on this a little? How do you feel the world views music in Houston? How are you working to change this?
CJ: I’ve spoken to two different rad peeps outside of Houston and they thought every hip hop artist from Houston talks about ‘drank’ or ‘cars’ or something that would be cliché for a Houston hip hop artist to talk about. I want to show the world that Houston has more to offer than that. What I’m doing is a complete 360. From a personal one on one experience I can tell you that I’ve been denied someone’s future listen in Houston, just because I don’t talk about that. [There’s] many peeps here that’s still stuck on that.
Who are your musical/artistic heroes? Why do you love them?
CJ: Pink Floyd, MGMT, Lady Gaga, Kid Cudi, Ellie Goulding, James Blake, John Lennon. There wouldn’t be a Cory Jreamz without them. They all inspired me in some way. It would take all day to tell you why I love them.
What does performing feel like for you?
CJ: It feels as if I’m releasing a giant rock from my head. You’re giving the people the raw you. No studio or anything just the raw emotion. Naked. Nothing you can cover you when performing.
How did your recent performance in NYC go?
CJ: Don’t want to speak on it. Definitely a learned experience.
What do you do that’s creative when not making music? I know you make films!
CJ: Yes!!!! I just actually started. I’m working on my second script for this short film I’m planning on releasing in 2013. I’ve been studying some of Warhol’s earlier films such as Chelsea Girls and such. I’m still in a learning process. This is totally different from music, but still the same in certain aspects.
What’s something that you would really like to do one day?
CJ: Perform at Madison Square Garden. I’m 100% confident that will happen one day.
What is your main focus at the moment?
CJ: Living free and not conforming first of all. Finishing Vague Current Vivid Fated up. Finishing this treatment for this next video up. And working on making sure my Grandparents, Aunt, or Mom doesn’t have to work a day in their lives again. I also want to watch every film on Rodger Ebert’s great movies list.
What’s something you want the whole world to know about Cory Jreamz?
CJ: I will be one of the most innovative and original artists, to ever touch earth. And he also thinks Bianca is rad for this interview.
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