With an impressive new second album ‘Gemini’, high quality music videos, and a following of over 74,000 on Instagram, some may be surprised to know that rapper J.C Peters does almost all of the production himself for his tracks. He writes, raps, records, edits, mixes, and adjusts his beats all from his own studio. Some may say he’s a bit of a perfectionist.
But his dedication to his craft has certainly paid off. J.C is one of Ottawa’s most prominent artists, who regularly works and films in Toronto. He was nominated for Ottawa’s Hip Hop Artist of the Year in the 2021 Ottawa Awards.
We caught up with J.C to discuss his Ottawa roots, his journey to music, and some of his best advice for aspiring artists.
When did you realize that you wanted to get into music? Who were some of your biggest influences?
I have been recording music since I was 14. I was always writing raps, poems, and stories when I was young. I never thought music could be a possible career until later in life when music started to change. I really started going all out in music in 2016 when I was no longer playing sports competitively. Some of my biggest influences for music are 50 Cent, Eminem, Usher, Michael Jackson, Drake, Lil Wayne, Russ, Wizkid, Kendrick, J.Cole, and Kanye West.
What is the biggest difference between your music, and you as an artist, from when you first started to today?
The biggest difference would have to be the sound quality of my music. I am the same me, but evolved. My music videos have gotten a lot better as well.
Your latest hit ‘Cruella’ has reached over 219,000 streams. How does it feel to reach that number? Tell us about the music video that was recorded for this song.
Personally, I believe that Cruella should have many many more views. In due time. I am pleased with the exposure, but I feel in the right light, more people will hear and enjoy the song. The music video was filmed in Toronto with my director Andrew MacLennan. Cruella has a latin vibe to it. The goal of this video was to do a Latina version of Cruella Devil from 101 Dalmatians. I am grateful for the views thus far.
You were nominated for ‘Artist of the Year’ in the 2021 Ottawa Awards. What did this mean to you?
It’s nice to finally start to get recognized for my work. It means a lot to be heard and for people to appreciate my music.
What do you think separates you from other artists in Ottawa?
I am me and do all my music creation myself. I have my own studio and do all my recordings, edits, mixes, beat adjustments, etc. What separates me from other artists is that it’s just me. I have no real team. It’s just me wearing and playing multiple roles. I am very versatile as well. All my songs sound completely different. I rap and I sing, and I am not afraid to try any genre if it feels right.
What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?
One of the biggest challenges is staying motivated. I have been making music for over 13 years and am finally starting to get recognition. This is a marathon. You have to believe in yourself and truly be passionate about what you are doing. This is my passion, so it keeps me going. Sometimes you must motivate yourself. Music is not for everyone. Especially when you do most of the creation yourself (I do everything except making beats), you must enjoy what you are doing and trust in yourself.
How do you stay focused and motivated?
I just love what I do. My competition is being a better me than I was yesterday. Self-growth and discipline are how I stay motivated. I am obsessed with personal growth.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
Do what you feel is right. No one is going to care until everyone cares, so just do you. If you have a dream and a passion and you know this is your purpose, keep pursuing this no matter what. Never give up on your dream. Also, regret or giving up on my dreams is one of my biggest fears. Not reaching my full potential. I would rather try my best at reaching my dreams and fail, then to settle and wonder “what if”. Who knows, what if you reach or exceed your dreams. You will never know until you try, and you never know how good things could really be without giving it a shot.
What is your best advice for aspiring artists?
This is not an overnight thing. If you want to get into this business, be prepared to work sleepless nights and to have many years of doubt and rejection. Make sure that if you want to do music, that you are truly passionate about it and you are in this for the right reasons. This is a marathon.
What’s next for you?
I am on my way to the top. I aim to be at the top of the pyramid. With the right help and exposure, we believe this will happen. I am working on another project and have countless other music videos to come. I plan to keep marketing the Cruella music video and my Gemini album for the rest of the year before dropping new music.