Newly signed with Warner Records, his sound is bold and exciting
Montreal songwriter, producer and rapper CJ Flemings has been steady on the musical grind for much of his young life, and it seems as if his dedication will eventually pay off and the world will get to know his music up close and personal.
He recently achieved what so many other Montreal artistes have been striving for over the past several decades when he landed a record deal with Warner Music. Something he attributes to patience and practice, saying that he kept on releasing music and EPs and performing at showcases all to promote his music and stay relevant.
Eventually, his infectious sounds and catchy flows caught the attention of the right people. He says his producer Michael Lance played a big role in helping to get him signed.
The son of a well-known Montreal performer Little D, CJ says he begun flirting with the idea of music from the time he was around 12-years-old, and inspired by his father.
“My dad is a singer and I grew up watching him perform and it inspired me to try music,” says the West Island native.
He says he was also influenced by the rapper T.I, and lyrics from one of his songs, “Ain’t I”, was a major factor in pushing him to try his hand at writing.
He has stopped since.
Along the way, he began testing his talent in local competitions until making it to the top three in the 20 Artist B contest.
The competition gave him the opportunity to record a song in a studio and shoot a music video, an experience that whetted his appetite for hip-hop.
“I took time after this and started developing my craft, I begun writing and refining my skill and studying my idols, Justin Beiber, Lil Wayne, Drake, Tory Lanez and presently I look up to Kanye because of how versatile he is as an artist.”
“One day I was at the studio working on the current album and Michael (Lance) came in and said, I might have a situation for us. And it turns out it was a good situation,” he adds with a smile.
Being of Jamaican heritage, Flemings said his family did try to influence him towards reggae music.
“I know I have it in me, it’s not difficult to do, but what I am doing for the moment is hip hop, but in the future I could do a fusion kinda like what Tory Lanez does.”
Looking at the local scene, Flemings feels like the language barrier in Montreal has hindered the growth of hip hop in the city.
“I know I am in no position to speak about it, but it’s like two different market places, French-speakers don’t connect with English artists as they would a French artist. I grew up here so I’m bilingual, and I know I can connect on stage with my performance. But I know it’s hard for others.”
Nonetheless, he is excited for the world to hear his latest EP, Mascara Tears. He said its inspired by his real-life experiences, love, and relationships.
“Mascara is something that enhances your tears when you cry,” he explains. “The album is about honesty, what I went through and still go through in relationships. Breaking up every situation that leads to the pain.”
The album, which includes other potential chart-toppers such as “Wait For Me,” “Aquainted,” “Try Me Loyalty” and “Stay Free” will be released on November 22 in stores and on all on-line music platforms.
The hope for CJ Flemings is that his music will cross the borders and open new worlds for himself and others.
Check him out at cjflemings on twitter and Instagram.