J-Zo — born Sidney Clayton Jr, was raised in Albuquerque New Mexico in CYFD Custody. Taken away at 5 years old due to domestic violence, he learned to be independent as a child. Art was a gift that J-Zo embraced to express himself, through all the turmoil and chaos going on in his life. Finding his music talent at age 14, he joined a Christian rap group with fellow foster siblings called “(BTL) Bigger Than Life” and released his first professionally recorded album titled “Prime Time For the kids”. This album focused solely on influencing kids to get good grades, obey their parents, stay away from drugs, and staying in school.
Interview with J-Zo
1. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I first found my music talent at age 14 while joining a Christian rap group titled (BTL) Bigger Than Life. Always using my artistic ability to express myself, I found music as a way to express myself and motivate/ inspire the people around me through music.
2. Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
The most interesting thing that has happened to me since starting this career is the people I meet/engage with, Understanding the impact I make on the people around is quite empowering and motivating for myself.
3. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Buying followers on social media to get ahead. I wasted time, money, and had to sacrifice an Instagram account in the process. In the long run it taught me to appreciate the hustle, and trust the process.
4. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
My most exciting and interesting project at the moment is my latest single release dropping December 31st on all (DSP) Digital Streaming Platforms titled “Black Panthers”. I believe it is my best work yet.
5. Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
A few of the most interesting people I have interacted with with are Seth Rogan, E-40, and Jeff goldblum. All while being a server at the Albuquerque International Airport. A younger me while I was pursing my Music career. It taught me anything is possible, if I put my mind to it, and that dedication and sacrifices had to be made.
6. Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Some tips I would recommend would be: Invest in yourself and with the right people to achieve the best results.
7. You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
My words of advice would be to focus on what you can control, and not to let people discourage or persuade you from doing the things you love. Anything is possible.
8. Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.
A few routines I find super helpful to live every day to the best of my abilities are as follows: My diet is very well balanced, not excluding meats, veggies, or dairy. Fish/seafood is my favorite. A simple 15 minute workout (crunches, sit-ups, push-upset, etc) Is how I start my day everyday. And my main focus is restoration. Having a consistent sleep schedule helps revitalize my body so that I’m able to give everything 125% every single day, ALL DAY. Also, fitting in 20 minutes of meditation everyday if possible is super helpful for the mind.
9. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
5 things I wish someone told me:
- Don’t let the attention go to your head- Because at first the materialistic things i was able to possess shifted my focus from why I started.
- Invest in yourself- Because I wasted a lot of money at first on things that didn’t matter.
- Marketing and promotion is key- Because it took me so long and I wasted a lot of money to figure out that “Marketing” was the main piece.
- Create a monthly budget- Monitoring my spending habits helped me improve my budgeting skills and accomplish more goals that i set for myself.
- Create and maintain a team you can trust- Because its so hard to do every piece alone.
10. Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Favorite life quote is by “Bruce Lee” – The first key to immortality, is to first live a life worth living. This was very useful in helping me to stay focused and dedicated on my goals, and the things that make me happy.
11. None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
A major contributor to my success is: Famous Hip Hop Radio located in Albuquerque New Mexico owned by Macadoe Walton and Frank Willis. These two individuals allowed me to use the famous hip hop recording studio, and all the other resources they had available. Such as performance opportunities, Radio interviews, and much more. In the long run not only did they provide opportunities, but those opportunities helped shed light and awareness to me, my story, and the dreams I was pursing. Without the Famous Family I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.
12. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
If I could start a movement what it would it? My brand that I have been working on for so long titled “Woke Music” . Influencing and motivating people to reach their full potential. Spreading awareness to the different cultures and issues around the world through music and fashion. Creating a whole new genre of music, spreading knowledge through music, thus creating “Woke music”.
13. We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this.
A person I would love lunch or breakfast with?
Master P- He is one of my idols, and his knowledge and motivation has helped push me to become the best version of myself, with faith and the help from my creator.
14. How can our readers follow you online?
The readers can follow me online at: