Rolling Out

21-year-old J. Lock shares how young artists should manage their success

At a young age, the Mississippi artist knew this was where he belonged

Hailing from Mississippi, J. Lock considers himself a quiet kid but his lyrics and music make an impact wherever it’s being played. For J. Lock, music started for him at home, and he grew to love Motown Records, blues, jazz, and ’90s R&B. His new single, “Anything,” plays into his R&B bag, where he’s letting his girl know that she can have anything she wants, even if it means a wedding ring.

J. Lock has shown that he can do it all at just 21 years old, and he’s looking to create an even bigger name for himself as he continues to make more music for the masses. He spoke with rolling out about how he started making music, having success at a young age, and what makes his music stand out from others.

The YouTube comments say you used to beatbox in class. Is it true?

For me, I definitely remember writing a lot in class — writing rhymes and writing music. I remember I did have a couple of freestyles at the table. You know how the lunch tables used to be? We’d just be playing around. Everybody knew me and they definitely knew and messed with my music back then. It’s good to see they remember that and see the growth and seeing what’s going on now.

What does your music process look like?

Some of my best and realest music is definitely off of experience, things that happened, and things that I think are going to happen. I’m just speaking about what is going to happen in the past, present, or future. When it comes from a real place that’s when the music flows. Sometimes I just write, and sometimes I make up things in my head.

How do you manage your success at a young age?

It depends on how much success. A lot of young artists cannot handle the pressure of trying to get to the next one and trying to get to the next step. People see your lifestyle every second and everything is in the public. You don’t really have a private life and a lot of young people can’t handle that. Even a lot of older people can’t handle that, and they try to numb it down whether it’s alcohol or drugs or a lot of women. It depends on the person and it depends on how much success. I can’t say it’s just completely bad. Some people have guidance in the industry. Some child stars have guidance and some child stars don’t have guidance.

How was it working with Finesse2tymes?

It was dope, him being from the South and Memphis, Tennessee, and me being from Scott County, Mississippi. It’s like two hours away. Just seeing his work process and how he recorded the song, it was really dope. I just like his process, too. It’s good to see other artists that write and write down their lyrics instead of punching in and punching out, which I don’t have a problem with.

What do you think makes your music stand out from others?

It’s a lot of illusions and fake personas and people in the game. I can honestly say I can be myself and I had to learn that, too. Even just being 18 and young, starting off, you’re trying to please others. They want you to do this and they want you to do that and I had to learn that’s not even me. This is not me. The best thing I can do is be myself and make the best authentic music and bring back authentic music that sounds good.

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