After supporting Kojo Funds, North London rapper JD Cliffe released eight-track EP ‘Neon Jungle’ earlier this month, and in conversation with us he reveals the inspiration behind it, his influences, and which cartoon character he most relates to.
EP: What was the recording process for your new EP ‘Neon Jungle’?
JD: Normally I’m in the studio with my boys, we listen to beats and vibe and I record if I’m feeling it. Or sometimes I write at home or on the train and catch the beat at my next studio session. The first track I made from the EP was ‘On Me’. It was recorded a year and a half ago.
EP: Is there a particular message or inspiration behind it?
JD: The concept of ‘Neon Jungle’ is a metaphorical one. ‘Neon Jungle’ is my description of London. The ‘Neon’ aspect describes the bright lights and excitement London can provide but the ‘Jungle’ element explains that London can also be cruel and harsh as there’s a constant element of survival of the fittest.
EP: What would you say is your personal favourite track off the EP, and why?
JD: My personal favourite is ‘So Long’ which was produced by Chucks. This is because it has a meaningful message which I feel everyone can relate to in terms of avoiding negative situations and bad vibes.
EP: How would you describe your sound? How has it evolved over time?
JD: I would describe my sound as versatile, as it can change depending on how the beat makes me feel. Overtime my sound has evolved in the sense where I know how to get in the zone and allow the beats to take me somewhere and express this feeling through song writing.
EP: Who are your influences/inspirations, both professionally and on a personal level?
JD: I’ve been influenced by a number of different artists. Professionally I’ve been influenced by a lot of the pioneers of the London rap scene such as Wretch, Kano and Bashy but also by newer artists like A2, Knucks and Nines. On a personal level I get a lot of inspiration from my OvaAndAbove family, whether it be through writing about stories I’ve been told by them or even being inspired by the way they catch a beat in a different way to how I would have.
EP: If listeners could take away one message from your music what would you want that to be?
JD: I want the listener to leave with an understanding of who I am and what influences the way I think and manoeuvre through the ‘Neon Jungle.’
EP: What has been a really memorable moment in your career so far? And what’s next for you?
JD: Going to Berlin to feature on YouTube platform ‘Colors Berlin’. It was memorable to me because I am a big fan of their channel and the artists that have performed on there. So, to actually get the chance to film my own episode and join the likes of some of my favourite artists such as A2 is a big accomplishment for me and I am thankful to Colors for giving me the opportunity.
In terms of what is next for me it’s more music, more music and more music
EP: What’s one question no one asks in an interview you wish you were asked?
JD: What cartoon character do I relate to the most?
– The Answer is SpongeBob SquarePants!
Listen to and stream ‘Neon Jungle’ below: