Virginia artist James Moss Jr has been enticing his fans both old and new, with consistent music that has dropped every Monday for the past month. Monday’s are definitely not everyone’s favorite day of the week; however, these releases accompanied by eye-catching and creative videos, definitely adds a little to the stigma the is Monday. James Moss Jr started in the basement with his homies and MIDI pads and has been growing as an artist for about ten years now. He used to go by the name AB and decided to change his stage name to James Moss Jr in honor of his grandfather. As an artist his creativity and versatility speak to the endless time he has spent growing and expanding his brand. I had the pleasure of catching up with James Moss to talk to him about his journey and his video for his track “Back Then.”
What went into the process of your debut project under your new name James Moss and how have you evolved as an artist since then?
My first project ever was a project, I released in high school, that was called Half and Half. When my rap name used to be AB, initials from my real name and stuff like that, but we decided to make some changes probably two, three years ago, in just kind of a rebrand, get things going again, but that was… Yeah. And actually, now that I’m thinking about it, it was a long time ago. My grandfather had passed away while I was still finishing up with school. And then after college I ended up moving into his old house in Virginia. When I finished up with everything and kind of decided, he’s definitely one of my heroes and everything like that, I kind of want to just take on his name, try to make something of it, so we kind of went that way with it.
Who are some of your inspirations?
I listen to everything, but inspirations, like today I definitely say up there, you got guys like Cole, Kendrick and Drake, and I know that’s the simple answer, but to me, those are the guys that are making music that just lasts forever. It’s timeless sounds, so don’t get me wrong, I love some of these new kids making the melodic stuff, doing their thing, and I love what The Game is doing, and all that stuff, but those three main ones, as far as hip-hop goes have really made that like a top two package, and they’re making music that’s helping affect lives and keep people around for a little bit longer. So that’s the lane I’d love to see myself in one day, folks that I kind of aspire to make company with, to invest in one day, and I know that’s kind of a big crazy goal, but some guys will have to chase them for a while.
what other styles of music are you influenced by other than hip-hop?
I grew up with a single mother, and it was a lot of long car rides to and back from sport events as a kid and stuff like that, of Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Earth Wind & Fire, just old Michael Jackson stuff, India Arie. You get Erykah Badu’s thrown in there, you get a lot of female R&B, even throwing some of the neo-soul scene like Maxwell and Musiq Soulchild and a lot of that stuff. So singing was always in the equation. I’ve never really been a great singer, but I always loved melodies and harmonies and all that stuff. I learned a few things in the last year that’s helped me deal with it, project that on the paper and get it on tracks and stuff like that. It’s been, definitely been a fun process.
As an artist what do you want to be known for?
As an artist, just based off my influences, the ability to make that timeless music, that timeless sound, and being able to speak on things about love, life, and the relationships we have with each other. Because that stuff never goes, that stuff will always be around. I want to be part of my generation’s Mount Rushmore, so I’m willing to take the slower path, and give up on the maybe the clout chasing now for real fans that’ll sit there and really ride for what it is that you’re doing every single time you drop something. Kind of in the process now of just building that fan base with the James Moss Mondays and trying to put something out every week for the remainder of the year, just build that audience. Then maybe I’ll consider dropping another project. But if I could be… I know that’s a long answer, but if I could be known for one thing, I want to be able to make music that, for the same reason that music helped me just to get through things and to help remind me of certain situations and places and things that I was thinking of.
What went into the making of the video for your track “Back Then” shot by Infamou$ G?
I dropped that for segment or week number three of James Moss Mondays. The video, was kind of me combining my two favorite things in the world, so ironically, I live in two completely different worlds. I teach golf for a living at Topgolf I’m the Director of Instruction so it’s a game I’ve been playing since I was five, six years old. Just kind of kept me out of a lot of trouble as a kid, and really ended up loving it, getting my professional golf association membership, so member of the PGA and play a lot of professional tournaments and stuff.
That video, I’ve actually been trying to do a version, some kind of version of that video for four, five years. I’ve been… I’ve always had that idea of like… I’ve seen videos of rappers on the golf course type, and it’s like, don’t get me wrong, it’s cool, it’s a good way to kind of just throw a spin on it. Again, just two completely different worlds, but the thing I’ve never seen was a rapper actually playing golf in that. And so usually they’re dancing by a golf cart, some girls holding golf clubs and things like that, and I was like, no, I want to actually show off the fact that I can play a little bit and rap and just combine, like I said, combine the two different hobbies, if you will. It was an idea I came and gave with, and he did an amazing job at executing it. I just said, “This really easy to film, we just go out and play a few holes, just film everything. Bring your drone out, and we’ll kind of come up with ideas on the fly.” Like I said, he executed on it better than I had been drawing it up in my head for the last four or five years so it was really, really fun.
Prior to the pandemic, James Moss performed a number of shows including a couple for the DMV’s #1 Hip-Hop outlet, The Clout Cloud. James Moss has continued to attract new fans through #jamesmossmondays, dropping consistent content and music to keep the attention of his fans as well as attract new ones. Check out the dope video created for his track “Back Then,” shot by Infamou$ G!