There aren’t many kindergartners who respond to music the way that artists like Jupiter Grey did as a child. He says, “I’ve always known I could sing from the age of five-years-old.” Adding to that, “My parents would tell me I responded to music differently as a child and would always want musical instruments to play with as a child. What initially led me to sing was listening to music in the car with my dad on the way to school, and being inspired by the artist he would play.”
All of that eventually led him to express that and himself by singing in church. Fast forward to today and Jupiter Grey is still expressing himself, but via his latest single “Taken From Me.” The lead single from his upcoming EP, Wounded Soul, Jupiter Grey spoke of the heartbreak that went on this record, an influential decade for him and more.
Kendra: Much respect to Motown and the soul of the ’70s but there is something special about the R&B that came out of the ’90s. Why do you think that is often considered like a modern renaissance of the genre?
Jupiter Grey: The ‘90s was so special for R&B because we had such a flood of great artists that all came out at the same time who could really sing. That changed the landscape of black music and influenced artist like me today. You had artists like Brandy, Usher, and TLC who were selling millions of records worldwide and at the same time changing the face of pop music.
Kendra: If you could work with any artist from that time, who would it be and what kind of song would you want to create with them?
Jupiter: I would work with from the ‘90s would definitely be Brian McKnight as he’s a major influence of mine. The kind of song I would love to create with him would be a mid-tempo R&B ballad. Then I would have Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis produce it.
Kendra: Wounded Soul, was inspired a lot by a bad relationship. Why is there something about heartache that makes the creativity in a person thrive?
Jupiter: Heartache is such a great source for creativity. There are so many ways you can express how much you’re in pain. From my experience, as songwriter heartache allows me to tell stories in a way I wouldn’t be able to if it wasn’t in a song.
Kendra: Had that relationship been less of a toxic experience, do you feel a song like “Taken From Me” would’ve never come to mind?
Jupiter: No, I think I would always be able to write a song like “Take From Me” because I think to be a great songwriter you have to have a great imagination.
Kendra: What’s going on with you musically the rest of the year? It’s almost up!
Jupiter: For the rest of the year I have a few shows coming up. The next one is on October 20th at 93 Feet East in East London it’s going to be a vibe. I’m also going to continue working in the studio on Wounded Soul which is about 60% complete. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I want to perfect my work to the best level I can get it and document where I am at this point in time so I can drop the best project I can produce.
Kendra: We love all the creative aspects of life at ZO. With that, if you had to compare Wounded Soul to a piece of art – which would it be and why?
Jupiter: If I had to compare Wounded Soul to a piece of art, based on how the painting makes me feel I would compare it to “Big Joy” by an artist called Jean- Michel Basquiat. I chose this particular piece of art is because I remember seeing it for the first time and thinking this piece for me symbolizes strength. There is a lot going on in this piece but what stands firm and center in this painting is this character.