ARTIST SPOTLIGHT- INKWELL J
POSTED SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2017 | BY TONI POSTELL
Inkwell J first started writing as a shy kid in elementary school. Writing made her feel safe. Her notebook was a place where she could be herself. Fast forward a bit, and the persona of Inkwell J was born, during freestyle battles in the lunchroom at her high school. Her dad had always had a music studio in the house, including crates full of everything from The Beatles to Sly and the Family Stone. She knew that music was in her blood, so she began writing verses for some of the local artists that would stop in her dad's studio to record demos or produce tracks. Writing music became an outlet for her creativity.
Eventually, her passion for words led her to Da Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles, and she found herself fully emersed in the spoken word environment. Hosting gave her a chance hone her stage skills and personality, while performing her self-written pieces gave her confidence about her talent. Following the release of her first chapbook, titled "Two Slices," an ode to one of her favorite movies "Do tha Right Thing," Inkwell J started having bigger dreams. She wanted to get back into music.
She had written verses here and there, and even created a song or two, but nothing came close to what she was about to embark upon. With the help of family and friends, Inkwell J pulled together the money to purchase studio time with Dodd:Jones Studio, recording after work and in-between spoken word gigs. Her first EP, "Linden Ave," was dedicated to her hometown, Long Beach, CA. For her, that is where it all began. She couldn't thihnk of a better way to launch her official musical debut, than to rep the city that made her who she was. And in her mind, it always feels like when she wrote rhymes in her dad's studio...
What inspired you to become a artist?
I was inspired by my father to be an artist. He used to have a studio set up in our kitchen when I was a kid and we'd have to be really quiet as he recorded himself and his friends. When I was 8, we moved to Long Beach and he converted our garage to a studio. He couldn't keep me out of it. I would watch him sample songs and record artists, mix music, discuss the future of hip-hop. He really placed music on a platter in front of me and my only requirement was that I had to graduate college.
Who is your inspiration?
I am inspired by so many things! I am probably most inspired by creating change. I just see myself changing shit. Changing how we as women are viewed in rap and changing how fat women are viewed in the public eye. Like I'm fat and dope. That's inspiring!
What is your overall goal you want your fans to see in your work? And who is your favorite artist?
Real talk! One of my narcissistic goals is for people to get my Black Girl Nerd references. Like, I say some dope shit and I just want someone to come up to me and be like "Got my pockets on Yoda. Ball me watch! That shit's iLL!!" But truly, I want to be respected in the industry. I think female rappers are always the butt of someone's joke. The butt of someone's sex joke. The butt of someone's "she's good for a woman" joke. Like, eff that. I'm dope and I'm a woman. Don't underestimate me.
My favorite artist! Just one!? I'd have to say, Kendrick Lamar. For a long long while it was Jay Z, but K.Dot has grown so much and his versatility; he is magic to me. He's honestly like a magical drop of sunshine we didn't know we needed until he was here. He is the clear and distinct line between the Hip Hop and Rap genres.
How would you define Black Girl Magic and its' importance?
Black Girl Magic is not being afraid to be Black. We are so shamed for loving ourselves and it's sickening. We don't get to be who we are. The magic is when we are ourselves, in all aspects of authenticity. When we love ourselves and aren't afraid to be angry or sad or jovial. When we can just be and it's without anyone's policing. It's important because for so long, we have stifled our emotions and it's hurt us as women. It's hurt our mothers and their mothers and their mothers. We own that shit now. And we're becoming healthier for it.
Where do you see your career in 5 years? 10 years?
In five years, I'll be ranked with the Kendrick's and the J. Coles. I'll be presenting awards on MTV and developing artists. I'll have my law degree. Yes. I'm getting degrees and dropping albums. In 10 years, I plan to oversee the mental health of artists signed to Dr. Dre. I'll still be making music by writing and producing but my work will be in ensuring our black artists are maintaining their sanity in this industry.
What is your favorite song you have created?
"To The Top"
How do you feel about the current events that are occurring in politics?
In short:. Like YG said, "FDT."
To be more eloquent, we're screwed politically. The government doesn't care about so we may as well make the music we love and laugh while it all burns down! #BlackLivesMatter #LaughToKeepFromCrying #WheresJa
What advice would you give to the new generation of artists especially girls who want to go into music?
DON'T LISTEN TO THESE BOYS! They don't know anymore than you do! Don't compromise your joy or your artistry to appease anyone. Do what you want, these wack male rappers do, so you should, too.
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Toni Postell is the Music Editor for CSUITEMUSIC.com
Follow Toni on IG @z_major3