RJAE: The New Sound of NOLABy Justin Wallace
Jul. 7 2022, Published 5:27 p.m. ET
From New Orleans, LA, artist RJAE gives a unique perspective of music with its slick wordplay and soulful melodies
As an adolescent, RJAE singer would spit out freestyles at a productive pace leaving him to attract a massive audience on social media.
In 2016, RJAE got his first look into the industry when Bronx rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie caught wind of one of his freestyle. Soon after, the Bronx rapper reached out to him, and the two developed a friendship.
As RJAE's career started to pop off, the singer/rapper decided to go the independent route. Making waves throughout the city, his debut performance at House of Blues New Orleans was the talk around town.
Upon setting his foundation in New Orleans, RJAE linked up Good Money Global home to star Youngboy Never Broke Again in 2020. Amassing over 20 million steams, RJAE is still writing his story.
Just last week, the singer released a visual to his latest single, Like a Ghost featuring Stunna Gambino.
Bleu: As an adolescent, how did you get into music?
RJAE: I fell in love with music as a way to get out of the state. Where I'm from, we grew up in harsh living. I knew music was something I always wanted to do from an early age. What attracted me to music was the artistry behind it- being able to be versatile and create your lane is what inspired me. Everybody loves music, but I looked at it a little bit differently.
Bleu: Your sound isn't the typical sound for down south which is unique! Who were some of the people you listened to growing up?
RJAE: I took a liking to many people up North, such as Nas, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and more. But growing up as a teenager, I often listened to Pnb Rock. Another favorite artist of mine is A Boogie; I listen to him a lot as well. I always gravitated to the sound up north.
Bleu: From New Orleans, you moved to Tennessee for a bit; tell us about your experience living in another city.
RJAE: It was a significant change because I wasn't familiar with the music scene. Out there, I listened to Starlito a lot. But once I moved back to New Orleans, it was different because the sound of music was different compared to Tennessee.
Bleu: As your career started to take off, A boogie wit the Hoodie got wind of you. How did you link up with him?
RJAE: He saw one of my Instagram freestyles where I mentioned his name. At that time, he was still a new artist breaking into the scene. After seeing the video, he reached out to me, which was genuine. He ended up having a show in my city at House of Blue's, where we met in person.
Bleu: What's your creative process when recording music?
RJAE: When I record, I need a solid reference for my melodies most of the time. I need to map out what kind of melodies I want to do. From there, I freestyle to my melodies, adding my adlibs. Everything starts from a solid reference.
Bleu: You recently released your new single "Like a Ghost' featuring Stunna Gambino. What made you feel Stunna was the perfect feature for this song?
RJAE: I had been watching Stunna for a while now. Seeing the traction he has in New York and both of us having similar sounds, it was a no-brainer. We reached out to him, and he killed his verse. For me, it was the perfect situation.
Bleu: Tell us about your first time being on tour opening up for fellow Louisiana rapper No Cap.
RJAE: I liked everything about the tour, from going state to state to meeting new people. Everything about it was inspirational! I can't wait to host my own tour!
Bleu: Other than music, would you like to go into fashion or probably pursue an acting career?
RJAE: Definitely! I would love to pursue an acting career and probably go into fashion. I'm just in love with art, period. So I definitely want to touch all of those bases.