Artist Spotlight: J. Foster
The arrival of December is exciting for many reasons. The holidays happen to be one of our favorite times of the year as well as our busiest. Along with that, we get to present you another artist that we think you’ll love.
This month, we bring you J. Foster. At only 23 years old, his goal is to bring back the essence of R&B that made it so impactful in the 90’s while encouraging positivity and love through his music. His smooth vocals and solid production exudes originality with his heart-felt pieces. We had the opportunity to sit down with him and dig a bit deeper into his process, what fuels him and what’s next for the upcoming R&B star.
First off, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Tell us a bit about you and what got you interested in a career in music.
My pleasure, thank you guys for having me. I’m from a city about 30 minutes outside of Chicago called Dolton. I didn’t grow up in a musical home, but music has always been a part of me. I remember growing up mimicking my favorite artists and sometimes making my own versions to their songs. Songwriting was always a natural thing for me. I wrote my first song at 12 years old after Chris Brown came out with his first single called “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)”. I titled mine “Notice Me”. I clearly wrote my song to sound just like his. After that the rest was history, I went on to further my career in music and am feeling very excited about what the future holds.
Your sound is very smooth — who do you listen to that inspires your sound?
Thanks, I really appreciate that. I listen to various artists, but I would say I definitely get my smooth sound from artists such as Usher, Justin Timberlake, and Chris Brown to name a few. These artists are so versatile and when you hear them you always know it’s them. Their execution on songs from the singing, direction, and songwriting is smooth in most cases. Most people say I sound like Usher, he was my first influence when I first thought about making music. I grew up listening to him a lot so that would explain where the majority of my smooth sound comes from. I was taught that if you want to be the best you have to study the best.
Building your musical career in Chicago during the times of so much talent coming from the city, what is it like and what can you use to your advantage?
I can say that we are definitely in an era of complete artistic freedom. You are seeing more and more talent that just blows you away. Chicago is no longer under the radar which means more artists are getting opportunities and that the competition is that more fierce. By Chicago having everyone’s attention I use that as an opportunity to showcase myself. Exposure is the name of the game, it’s the best time now to maximize off the attention Chicago is getting to further my career.
You recently had your song “Love You Anyway” featured in the TV show Nashville. First off, congrats on the placement! Second, what was that feeling like hearing your song in a TV show? Is that your first placement?
Thanks so much! Yes this was my first placement which made it that much more special. I was extremely excited, overwhelmed, and thankful. I was happy to see my song on a platform so huge like “Nashville”. The night the episode premiered my family and I sat down together and watched it. I remember watching the episode and just saying to myself “I can’t believe this is really happening”. I replayed the scene at least 4 times just to be sure. It’s a moment I’ll never forget and will always cherish. It inspires me that much more to keep pushing towards my dreams and knowing that my next big break isn’t far away.
Explain your typical song creation process.
So I typically just listen to the beat/production a few times and catch a vibe after a few listens. I begin to paint the words and melody in my head. I don’t write any of my lyrics down anymore. I like everything to be as raw as possible. Now I would be lying if I said I freestyle the entire track. What I do is, I record each part piece by piece. For example, I’ll record the verse first, take a break, formulate the next piece in my head, then record the chorus, and repeat until the song is done. I’m writing and recording the song all at once, it feels more organic that way when I’m not looking at a paper or my phone. Each piece of the song is recorded raw on the spot.
What’s been your favorite moment of your music career thus far?
My favorite moment of my music career thus far was my song being placed on the TV show “Nashville”. As I mentioned before earlier in our conversation that moment was so iconic for me. By far it’s the biggest thing that’s happened to me. I know bigger opportunities are coming though. I’m truly blessed and know there’s more in store.
What is your favorite song you’ve ever written and why?
It’s so funny I literally had this conversation with myself the other day. The name of the song is called “Anytime Anywhere.” I love this song and hold it dear to my heart. The reason I chose this song is because it embodies everything I would say to a woman. It’s super raw, honest, and romantic. It’s a song to make a woman feel special. It’s giving off the notion that no matter the time or place, I’ll meet you wherever you are. Writing it came so natural and as mentioned before, none of the lyrics were written down. I was very emotionally connected with this track. I look forward to performing this and getting lost in it. This one is for the books.
What are you currently working on at the moment and what plans do you have in the future?
I’m currently working on a 4 track EP set to drop sometime in the spring of 2018. I’m prepping for a big live show in January. I plan to be performing a lot in 2018 and releasing a lot of music. I’m also in the process of recording a few demos of songs I plan to pitch to other artists in the music industry. I love writing just as much as being the artist. I know many great things are coming and look forward to experiencing them.
Anything else that you want to say?
I love working with Songfinch, thank you all for giving me the opportunity to do what I love. I am so proud to use my gifts to bring joy to other people. That’s the best feeling in the world, no monetary gain could ever compare. I hope that the clients I’ve had the opportunity to work with love the songs I prepared for them and that those songs truly impacted their lives. I look forward to creating more songs for clients and continuing to be apart of the Songfinch community.