February 28th, 2020, Atlanta, GA / Giselle Ave. Media — I’d like to share an exclusive Giselle Ave. interview with Rap Artist Awesomeisjayell — a self-taught rap artist, producer, and member of the global underground music, fashion and art scene, currently residing in Atlanta, GA. The Giselle Ave. Music column was created to shed light on the untold stories of artists committed to forging their own path as successful, independent music artists.
Meet Rap Artist, Awesomeisjayell
Corderius Awesomeisjayell Climpson was born and raised in McDonough, GA – a city located in the Metro Atlanta area, with a combined growing population of close to 5.6 million residents. One of Awesomeisjayell’s first experiences with music was weekly trips to the record store with his family, on the hunt for the newest music. As a child, he and his brother would hear new music on the radio, and their mother would take them to the local, black-owned record store, located on the Southside of Atlanta.
There was a band called Soul 4 Real, and we heard their song, Candy Rain on the radio. We went and bought their cassette tape at this record store in Mt. Zion.
Awesomeisjayell spent most of his time with his younger brother, Monta. He and his brother were really close and he grew up watching Anime, playing sports and video games, and spending time with family. Awesomeisjayell had no real interest in pursuing a career in music, but he used to love watching Michael Jackson videos.
Awesomeisjayell grew up with both of his parents in the home. His parents have been married for over thirty years, and are still married until this day. Although his parents worked a lot, they were always present and did whatever was necessary to ensure both Awesomeisjayell and his brother, Monta, had a good life.
Most of all, his parents gave Awesomeisjayell and his brother freedom to be themselves, while giving them space to grow into their own.
Since my parents got married young, we always had a solid foundation. Looking back, I see how much of an influence my parents had on both of our lives.
Intro to Music 101
As a student, Awesomeisjayell had a unique relationship with traditional school system structure. Outside of the basics of math, science, and english, Awesomeisjayell didn’t see the point in learning all the other random required subjects that he couldn’t apply to his daily life. But, he kept his grades up so he could continue playing sports.
His parents were advocates of keeping both him and his brother active in sports so they wouldn’t get into trouble — and it worked. Awesomeisjayell played football, basketball, and baseball all throughout his adolescent years. His favorite sport was baseball, but he really didn’t see a future in the professional league. In his junior year of high school, Awesomeisjayell was introduced to the politics of sports and that’s when he decided he didn’t want to play sports anymore.
I was in a good school system, but my grades weren’t good because I was bored. Once I realized sports were political, too, I decided sports wasn’t my thing. I went to summer school one year, and that was a time when my life changed forever.
During summer school, Awesomeisjayell met a guy from Miami named Garett. Garrett was from Miami, but he was heavily influenced by New York rap culture. At this time, Awesomeisjayell was listening to popular southern rap artists like Outkast, Pastor Troy, and David Banner. Garett, however, was listening to New York rap artists like Dipset and Jay-Z. This friendship helped Awesomeisjayell view rap from a different perspective. The rap artists from New York had a different style.
When I heard Jay-Z, I was blown away. I listened before, but I didn’t really understand. But when I heard it again with Garrett– Blueprint 2 to be exact– that really changed my mind about music. It sparked a new thought pattern and I started listening to all kinds of music, not just what I grew up hearing in Atlanta.
It was at this time that Awesomeisjayell was properly introduced to music, and decided to take on music seriously. At 20, Awesomeisjayell started rapping under his first stage name, Jayell the Scholar, and would begin performing at Open Mics around Atlanta, to forge his own path in the music entertainment business.
Atlanta’s underground music scene is responsible for the success of many artists today, including T.I., 2 Chainz, Pastor Troy, Gucci Mane, OJ the Juiceman, Waka Flocka, the late Slim Dunkin, Soulja Boy and Young Jeezy. In the early days of Atlanta music, the city was known for two rap styles: Trap Music & Crunk Music. Awesomeisjayell listened to chart-topping Atlanta artists, like Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, but he wasn’t too fond of the stigma of “southern music.” Most of the music coming from Atlanta was about the trap, and dancing in the club.
As a new rap artist, Awesomeisjayell couldn’t see himself in the crunk or trap music scene of Atlanta, so he continued to lay low and perfect his craft. Surprisingly, there was an unlikely oppression felt for being an intellectual rap artist, from Atlanta. Awesomeisjayell, considers Outkast as one of the first groups to redefine the Atlanta music scene by creating their own lane as true rap lyricists from the South. Hence, why Outkast’s legendary acceptance speech from ’95 The Source Awards where he stated, The South Got Something to Say, was so fitting.
As a music artist and producer, I create a soulful, melodic sound, with the hustler’s ambition of New York’s fashion and rap scene. — Awesomeisjayell
Art + Fashion
Hip-hop and fashion go hand in hand. Just as many tastemakers today, the culture was created and discovered in the underground music, art, and fashion scenes. Awesomeisjayell draws influence from artists like Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Pharrell, as pioneers of the intersection of art, fashion and rap. This trend started to grow among millennials when New York’s, ASAP Rocky and the ASAP MOB came onto the scene.
The Atlanta rap group, Two-9, also played an integral role in bringing Atlanta’s version of this untapped market to the mainstream, and artists like Awesomeisjayell finally found a space filled with like-minds.
In 2015, Awesomeisjayell partnered with his friend, Atlanta-native and Creative Director, Tim Lewis, and co-founded an original shoe design that went viral in the underground fashion scene. Awesomeisjayell saw the shoe concept sitting on Tim’s floor at his house and said:
This shoe is next level. We’re going to put it out. — Awesomeisjayell
Awesomeisjayell put up the initial investments to bring the Minnetonka Moccasin to market and helped with the production of the shoe, as well as setting up the online store. Within weeks, the shoe went viral and sold online for $350. It was even featured in Complex Magazine. Due to the overwhelming popularity of the shoe, Tim decided to end the venture. But, this experience helped Awesomeisjayell tap into his passion for product design, production, and creating something— from nothing.
Master of Self-Education
There was a time when Awesomeisjayell debated on whether or not to attend college. Although his parents urged him to go to college, he really couldn’t see the return on this type of investment without any guarantee. Awesomeisjayell decided to forgo the traditional college route and decided self-education was the best way for him to learn all he needed to know about breaking into the music industry.
YouTube came out in 2005, and I was an early adopter to the entire do-it-yourself mentality. Everything you need is really a Google search away. — Awesomeisjayell
Awesomeisjayell has always been an avid investor. Since getting his first job in the 9th grade, Awesomeisjayell has always had streams of income and used his earnings to invest in himself.
His first purchase was a studio microphone for recording, and a software program called Cool Edit. A few YouTube tutorial videos later, Awesomeisjayell built his first in-home studio, and the rest was history.
Never went to college so I ain’t have to dropout. — Awesomeisjayell
Over the next 10 years of mastering the art of self-education, Awesomeisjayell has invested about $35,000 of his own money, back into his music career. Whereas, the average millennial currently has a student loan debt of $33,000- $100,000. Unlike many of his millennial peers, Awesomeisjayell has no student loan debt and used this same idea of investing in education, by investing in himself– first.
Today, Awesomeisjayell continues to gain new skills from his do-it-yourself approach to music. When asked, what skills have you picked up thus far through Music, Awesomeisjayell shared:
Music engineering, Video production, Music production, Songwriting, Music theory, Data analytics, Merchandising, Business Administration, Graphic Design, Marketing, Music Publishing, Music Copyrighting, Consulting, E-Commerce, Performing Arts, Photography, Videography, Product Design, Accounting, and Investing.
Awesomeisjayell saw early success in 2010, as a member of the promising rap trio, The Lunch Break. The group was signed to an independent record label and even went on a nationwide tour, but Awesomeisjayell quickly experienced the dark side of being signed to a label. The record label attempted to take the integrity out of their music, and Awesomeisjayell decided to part ways with the band.
In 2016, Awesomeisjayell began his solo career as an independent rap artist.
What’s Next for Awesomeisjayell?
Awesomeisjayell released his second studio album, Things You Don’t See, in February 2020. He came up with the album title in the midst of his own spiritual journey. He realized that the most important things in life, such as finding true love, and having unwavering faith— are the things you don’t see.
Awesomeisjayell considers himself an inspirational rap artist and his music was created to inspire generations to come. His music is timeless and takes listeners from the light, to the dark, and back to the light. It’s truly the soundtrack to his life.
Checkout some of the questions we asked Rap Artist Awesomeisjayell, to learn more about his journey.
What advice can you give to someone wanting to get into the music industry?
Awesomeisjayell: The moment you figure out you want to be a music artist, you should start creating music.
Who are 3 artists you’d like to work with?
Awesomeisjayell: Frank Ocean, Jay- Z, and Beyonce.
We hear you and Michael Jackson have the same sun & moon rising, what does that mean to you?
Awesomeisjayell: Someone told me Michael Jackson and I have a similar birth chart. I’m a Virgo Sun and Pisces Moon. To me, that means I must be on my right path. We both love music.
Last piece of advice to anyone reading this post:
Awesomeisjayell: Stay focused. Energy comes back to you, no matter what, it’s the laws of the universe. Be fearless and follow God’s path for you, and you will be successful.
Visit the Official Awesomeisjayell website to learn more and connect with Awesomeisjayell directly.