Following your dreams of stardom can be a tough road, but for some, the siren call of the stage is too strong to ignore.
Jasen Campbell, better known by his stage name J Nez, is a Caymanian singer-songwriter who is quickly emerging as the Caribbean’s newest hit maker. Always vibrant and unique, J Nez produces his songs with a distinctive universal sound that incorporates a modern Southern American flair mixed with traditional Caribbean nuances.
On May 24, the artist released his latest EP entitled ‘A King’s Paradise’ and it will be available on all major music platforms.
Campbell was born in Grand Cayman to parents of Jamaican descent. He was introduced to music at the tender age of 7 when he learned to play the drums at the church he attended and was given the nickname Drummer Boy.
“As I reached my teen years, I was introduced through society and TV to other types of music,” Campbell says, “and as any teen, I had chosen a favourite music group called Cash Money Millionaires. They inspired me to grasp the skill and art of rapping.
“At the age of 16 I was officially introduced to rapping and the making of songs, through the influence of my friends. In that time I wrote my first verse to a local beat called ‘Be Eazy’. It was a great local hit and so I joined a rap group called C.B.R./Da Link Set (D.L.S). From then on I was identified by the name J Nez,” he explains.
Working his way up
J Nez has released music while partnering with a number of known industry movers and shakers. These singles include ‘Man a Balla’ featuring Safaree; ‘Uh Huh’ featuring Shanell (Young Money); and ‘What I’m On’ featuring Young Dro and Jason Caesar. His recent summer smash ‘Island Pretty’, which he self-produced, has gained attention locally and abroad and has received heavy rotation on local radio stations over the last year.
As he makes a name for himself as a solo artist, J Nez has been cutting his teeth as an opening act for such names as Percy Sledge, Ginuwine, Verse Simmonds, Bunji Garlin, Masicka and Popcaan, just to name a few, and will open for Jamaica’s rising reggae sensation Koffee as well as D’Angel this June and July.
“Since my first introduction to music it has been evident that my passion for music has grown,” says Campbell, “and I have come to the realisation that music to me is like food, it’s a necessity; I need it to live. My goal is not only to put my all into my music but also to put my hometown (Grand Cayman) on the map.
“As for my future endeavors, I intend to produce a solo album in the near future,” he concludes.
J Nez can be found on Instagram and Facebook under @JNezMusic or through his website www.jnezmusic.com.