In honor of Fiverr x Wyclef Jean, we’re celebrating all things music this month. This week, we’re jamming with Brotha CJ, rapper and soulful storyteller who quit his day job and flew across the world to chase his musical dreams. Now he’s looking to collab with other Fiverr artists who dare to dream as big as he does and turn his passion and talent into new opportunities. Yes, we are now full-on groupies. *Books ticket to Madrid*
Who: CJ Baker
Where: Madrid, Spain
Fiverr Tagline: Soulful Storyteller
First things first – tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is CJ and I’m a rapper who refuses to ‘grow up’. My music is all about letting people know it’s ok to be weird, fun, and different. I was born and raised in New Jersey, USA, but for the past 6 years, I’ve been living in Madrid, chasing the dream of making a living from my music. Spanish culture has been a huge influence on my music because the people here work to live as opposed to living to work. The streets are always full of colorful people and there’s a sense of community wherever you go. That’s also why I named my first EP “Everybody Eats”. I wanted it to represent all the people the in the Madrileño community, they really lifted me up.
We LOVE your single “Way Out” and the story it tells about quitting that 9 to 5 life and moving abroad to chase your dreams. What made you do it?
Leaving the United States wasn’t that hard because I found myself working at a job I didn’t like just to please my parents. Right out of college, I think I applied for about 30 jobs. Eventually, I ended up working the night shift at Fox News from 2 AM to 11 AM. I hated knowing that the work I was doing affected so many people in such a negative way, so once I made enough money working overtime, I bought a one-way ticket to Spain.
I studied in Madrid back in 2011 and completely fell in love with the fact the no one knew who I was or had any expectations of me as a rapper. I could just simply be me. On top of that, Madrid has a unique way of making you feel young forever. When you move abroad everything is new and fresh, kind of like when you’re a kid. You have to make new friends, learn how to communicate again… It’s a rush.
Sounds amazing! So what does a typical day look like for you?
My typical day can be a bit crazy. Recently I’ve been working a lot with my band, The Othahood. We’re a bunch of artists with different solo projects, so if we’re not in the studio together or rehearsing, we’re usually helping each other record, write or take photos and videos. We’re all a bit obsessed with visual storytelling.
When I’m not working I love having a chill drink on the street or in a Plaza, trying to learn the latest meme dance with my English students or throwing down in the kitchen (#everybodyeats). There aren’t any buffalo wings in Spain, so I’ve become somewhat of a wing master during Football season 🙂
What inspires your music?
I’m usually inspired by underdogs. I think that Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino are my biggest hip-hop influencers, but a lot of my art also comes from 90’s culture and cartoons.
What are you Fiverr #goals?
My goals on Fiverr are to collab with different artists who want to see their dreams come true one day. It’s crazy how a simple collaboration can change the way you see yourself and your art. Two years ago, I met my producer through a private message on social media and 6 months later we had a song on Spotify with close to 750k plays. Big things can happen when you connect artists online!
⚡ Lighting Round! ⚡
First album purchased: Ja Rule – Pain is Love
Jay Z or Cardi B: Jay Z
Digital or vinyl: Digital
Best Shower Song: September – Earth Wind & Fire
Best road trip song: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Netflix or Chill: Both 😉
Day or Night: Day
Pizza or Pasta: Pepperoni Pizza
Instagram or Facebook: Facebook
Love CJ as much as we do? Check out his amazing new Gig!