Tell us who you are and what you do!
I’m Solo Jaxon and I rap. I don’t know any other way to say it without sounding cliché. Music has been an addiction of mine for forever. It used to be oldies like Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, and Frankie Beverly and Maze, to more Brandy, Coldplay, Paramore, India.Arie and then it became Tech N9ne, B.o.B, Young The Giant, TDE, Dreamville, Big K.R.I.T., Don Trip, Anderson .Paak– I could go all day, but you get it. I started writing in 10th grade, nothing serious, just thoughts and a few years later, I tried rapping. It sounded horrible so I quit, then tried again a little after I graduated in 2012. In 2014 I moved to Atlanta to pursue music then decided a couple months later to move back home and make a name for myself here.
What is the inspiration for your work?
I just wanted to rap, it’s what I’m most passionate about. Sometimes I have a lot to say, and sometimes not so much. A lot of what I write are messages to myself, almost like self-affirmations or reminders, but to see that somebody somewhere gets where I’m coming from or can relate in any way is tight. It’s a challenge, so I have to see how far I can take it. When I see people I surround myself with getting to do what they want, that helps to keep me going. I don’t want anyone to ever say I got complacent. I’ve been a part of some crazy stuff over the last year off the strength of a few songs, so it’s surreal to know what could be once I can move how I want to.
I wasn’t the best in school. Most of my immediate family went to and graduated from college. Some even have Master’s degrees. So for me to do what I’m doing, there were arguments, side eyes, and pretty much everything that comes with pursuing a dream that doesn’t include college. But now I’ve shown them my more creative side. They hear the music, see the shows and recognize the potential. I had to boss up though and prove to them that this is what I wanted, which included a lot of hard work and a lot less talking.
Little Rock inspires me. It’s so much going on here that people don’t know about. I was unaware until last year, so I’m grateful to be a part of the growing Hip-Hop scene, or music scene in general. And to go to another state or country and give them a little of what the city has to offer feels really good.
Rapping is fun though. When you see people genuinely enjoy what you’ve thoughtfully created, they look for you at the functions and are excited to see more from you, it makes the stress and the other realities that come along with this worth it.
What would you say to prevent an upcoming artist from making the same mistakes you have made?
I don’t even think I’m qualified to answer that, but I guess never leave room for doubt. I compare where I am to where I want to be or where I think I should be and that gets in the way of a lot. It invites unnecessary stress and frustration. Do what you’re supposed to as a creative or creator and the world will do with it what they will. Just make sure it comes from an honest place; give them something to be proud of.
What obstacles have you faced as a Black Artist/Business Owner?
I can honestly say I’ve yet to face any obstacles as far as being a “black” artist goes. This is Hip-Hop, I’ll always have the upper hand. What I’m experiencing now, I’m sure, is the same struggle of any up and comer- lack of money. I pay for everything: video shoots, artwork, merch, studio sessions, traveling expenses. But, I don’t really even see those as obstacles. It’s just a part of the process. I learn a lot from the people I work with and I have the opportunity now to build a more personal relationship with them. I know how they work & vice versa so the expectation is always set.