JRand, formerly known as “J Randall,” is a singer-songwriter who has a new single out, “Ride,” featuring Flo Rida and T-Pain and who has recorded songs with artists such as Akon and RedOne. However, singing and songwriting is not where JRand’s talents end. He’s also an actor and a dancer. You’ll find him in films such as “Rock of Ages” and “Spring Breakers.”
“Ride,” JRand’s follow-up to his earlier club track “Up Against The Wall,” has that Justin Timberlake feel that appeals to a wide-variety of people. I caught up with JRand to learn more about this handsome and talented performer.
Jolie du Pre: I tend to ask every artist I interview, “How did you get into the music business?”
JRand: I always loved performing as a kid, which transitioned into a desire to perfect the craft. I started out in boy groups then had some runs with local managers and labels that just didn’t pan out. I then went to an acting conservatory which really got me out of my shell, and sort of helped me realize I wanted be a recording artist. I then just tried to be involved in the “Miami music scene” in whatever capacity that I could. I sang demos, wrote songs, and just tried to be a selfless artist hoping someone would see my worth. E-Class of Poe Boy Music Group, who is responsible for Flo Rida and Rick Ross, found me outside his studio one rainy night. He asked me to perform in the gravel pavement while he took cover in his car. He played my demo through his car speakers, and I performed like it was Madison Square Garden. He signed me on the spot and here I am.
Jolie du Pre: When I listen to “Ride,” an MTV Hits “Jam of the Week,” I can understand people comparing you to Justin Timberlake. In fact, “In Touch Weekly” called you the “Next Justin Timberlake.” But every artist wants his or her own identity. What is unique about JRand ?
JRand: To be frank, I’d love to be the “Next Justin Timberlake” as lame as that sounds. At the end of the day, I wanna do it all sing, dance, act, host SNL, the works! If he’s Sinatra, I’ll be Dean Martin lol. I just need a flask and a cigarette. I believe being from Miami and Cuban will set me apart as an artist. I’m very passionate, and it comes across on stage and even in my eyes. I’d like to think we have an extra touch of swag here in Miami.
Jolie du Pre: What is it like to work with A-listers such as Flo Rida, T-Pain and Akon?
JRand: The best way I can describe working with A-listers is like this . . . I shot my new video “Ride” and invited a lot of friends I grew up with to the set to watch. Flo Rida and T-Pain make their grand entrances and greet me, then we shoot the scene as if it’s status quo. Afterwards, my buddies are like ‘who the hell are you!???’ I just replied, ‘this is all surreal to me too.’ At the end of the day, I appreciate everyone I work with from the A-listers to the guy holding the lights. Everybody plays a part.
Jolie du Pre: You have over 20 million YouTube views and over 79,000 followers on Twitter. If you could tell your fans one thing, what would it be?
JRand: If I could say anything to my fans I’d tell them to believe in themselves. You’re never too old to accomplish your dreams. I feel like society puts a cap on when to join the “real world” and give up, to be honest. I have fans that are teenagers and then fans that are the mothers of the teens. Speak that what you wish to become and work hard. Love you all!!!
Jolie du Pre: You’ve had supporting roles in films like “Spring Breakers” with James Franco and Selena Gomez and “Rock of Ages” with Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Tom Cruise. What are your thoughts on the acting business?
JRand: I’ve been fortunate enough to become a working actor. I started with commercials and broke in with some TV guest roles on “Burn Notice” and “The Glades,” playing the antagonist . . . very un-Timberlake like. In “Spring Breakers,” I played a jockey douche, which was in reach lol. I plan to keep acting, but I’m focused on music right now because nothing beats the euphoric rush of a live performance.
Jolie du Pre: You were signed to the independent label Poe Boy Music Group, the one that launched Flo Rida’s music career. In addition, VEVO listed you as one of the six “Emerging Artists to Watch.” What are your plans for 2014?
JRand: 2014? God I want to tour!!!!! It’s about building awareness now and the demand for something like that to be in place. So yea tour, and an album!!!!!
Twitter – @JRANDhbk