Jacob, how about you tell us more about yourself?
I’ve been playing instruments like guitar and piano since I was in primary school, followed by my singing which started about 5 years ago, around the same time that I started producing, recording and writing from home. Now I work with lots of great producers remotely and focus on toplining records with pop and r&b driven melodies. I also have a great passion for developing my Gospel and Jazz style of playing, which is a lifelong pursuit of mine.
You are getting a major in computer science. Sounds like a great stable job with a lot of opportunities. Why trying to grow your personal brand as an artist?
Earlier this year I started at Memorial University to study Computer Science – deferring my Berklee College of Music acceptance – because the software has also been an interest of mine for a long time. Though I am passionate about music and I excel in that aspect of my life, I wanted to be challenged academically and in a logical sense.
It doesn’t hurt that the field has nearly infinite creative job opportunities and high paying salary. I still pursue my musical career because it is integral to who I am. I believe it is possible to be multifaceted as a person.
When have you decided that you want to produce music and sing as opposed to becoming a fitness model or something?
Music creation and singing drive me in a way that nothing else can. Ever since I really got interested in the studio and the art of recording and writing music, I knew it was something I had to pursue, especially as I improved and started collaborating.
What’s your favorite piece of equipment in the music studio?
I love my Yamaha HS8 studio monitors. One of my favorite and most inspiring things to do is to just listen to great music in the studio. Otherwise, I love my Yamaha MOXF or any other type of keyboard. I usually flip flop between loving keys and guitar more, but for studio work, a midi keyboard is unmatched.
You do a lot of things. You make beats, record, film, edit, etc. How do you find time for everything on the top of your school and personal life?
It has been quite a challenge since i started at school. I’m on a winter break now, so I’m hoping to get a lot of work done. It remains to be seen how productive I can be while juggling so many things. I think if I’m inspired enough, I will get music recorded no matter what.
Did you have to make any sacrifices to pursue your passion? Or do you only work on it when you have free time?
To really be successful in the music industry I believe you need to commit to sacrifice. Right now, I would say I’m sacrificing some of my pursuits in music to further my life in the academic sense, but one must have the life experience actually to write about, anyway! In one sense, i have sacrificed a lot of free time and sleep time over the years to record great sounding music and improve.
What do you think about music culture in your city? What would you personally improve?
The music culture in my city is unique. I haven’t been greatly involved, because it’s a lot of trad and folk stuff, but there is also a hip-hop presence and a small but emerging pop scene I believe. If it were up to me, it would become a pop and R&B recording hub with the best topliners and producers, but I think that is some years away.
Where do you find inspiration? What keeps you going when life gets busy?
I am inspired by great music, great media, other artists, fashion, etc. I love to be busy. I would say that it fuels me. I just got on this winter break, and I don’t know what to do with myself! That alone is enough to drive me.
Who are your role models?
My role models are Brian McKnight, Justin Bieber, Steve Jobs, Usher, Julia Michaels, Stephan Moccio, Cory Henry, B. Cox, Etc, Etc. I could list people forever — anyone who makes great music and achieved worldwide success in doing so.
Do any computer science student have iPhones? Seems to be a trend among tech people to own Androids instead?
Haha! Yes, many own iPhones as well. I think CS people tend to like Android because it is more open and customizable. However it sacrifices some minimal UI, cohesiveness, and ease of use, but most CS people are used to dealing with problems like that.
Any last words before we wrap up here? How about a piece of advice for students who are also in school but also have a side hustle?
I would say, listen to your heart and always ignore what others try to influence you to pursue. If you really feel like you want to do something, do it. People can’t believe I’m doing CS instead of continuing music full time, but they also couldn’t believe it when I was trying to do music full time either! Focus on what your passion is at the given moment. I think it will lead you to grow. Thank you!
How can people reach out to you? Social media?
I’m @JacobCritch on Instagram. That is where I’m most active. You can check out my work on all streaming services, SoundCloud for exclusive covers and unreleased tracks, and on YouTube where I have some music videos!
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