Unknown to many J Smith, the popular Lagos State based is from Mbaise in Imo State. The young producer who has worked with Ruff Coin in Sweet Music, King Savage in Palm wine tapper, as well as other artistes in the country is beginning to make his mark in the entertainment industry, by registering his name in the list of producers with a national hit to their credit. As a true Imolite, Jetrob Chinwotuto Abara aka J Smith returned home for a while to work with some artistes based in Owerri and during that time Chinedu Hardy Nwadike of www.otowngist.com caught up with him for this exclusive interview, which exposes the man in J Smith, his music, dream as well as love life.
When did you start?
I started in 2006 but on October 1st, 2007 I went into official production after receiving the blessings of my boss. Even though I have done national hits, I’m not yet an A’list producer like Don Jazzy, ID Cabasa and others. However, looking at when I started, I’ll surely say that I’ve gone far.
I can’t say any work is my favourite. I’ve worked with artistes like King Savage, Ruff Coin, Tripple A, Free Style and others. At all those times, I enjoyed working with them. So no work will be considered as my favourite work.
But in all these works, Sweet Music with Ruff Coin actually put me on the map and I work hard every day to make more hits.
You and Music
Music has affected in two ways. It has put food on my table, deprived me of sleep, and took me to places I’ve always dreamt of going. In all, I try to balance the influence of music in my life.
Music is something I love so much and when producing, I can’t measure the amount of pleasure I get from the sounds I hear. I just have to say that to me, the pleasure I get from music is far greater than what I get from sex. Studio life is the best life to me.
I would have been a footballer. Although I didn’t take football so serious because music took a better part of me.
I’m currently on a diploma programme in a private music school. After that programme, I’m looking at taking direct entry into University of Lagos or somewhere else.
You and the public
Music is a lovely career and the acceptance has been marvelous. Music is a God given talent that projects a person to the top. It’s not like banking where you do it in the office, you must do it in the public, in front of the crowd and somehow people will get to know you.
The Bibles says, “Train up a child in the way he should grow, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” I got good home training and it has really helped me. I don’t pick friends as such, once I see you are focused, with good temperament and God fearing, we can move along, as for my old friends before the fame came. We are still together.
Poor recognition for producers
Producers in Nigeria have neither respect nor recognition. That is why some of us while trying to be recognized set up a group or a record label, just to project their name. in some cases artistes don’t even respect the producers that much, which is too bad. Most of these artistes walk into the studio with nothing. We give them the beats and the lyrics. In other cases, we help them to refine the songs, adding melody to the whole thing. But at the end, the artistes gets recognized and nothing for the produers.
Will you sing like other producers?
Yeah, someday I will surely release my album. For now, I want to concentrate on production, make a good name here before talking about releasing an album. I just don’t want to act like I am confused. That will take me back for sure.
Your bad side
I might not really be bad per say, but sometimes I get so blunt with people, I can be nasty and when I say how I feel in a situation, I might not really care who gets hurt as long as I know that I’m doing the right thing.
J Smith and Girls
I have many girl friends, but I don’t womanize. I don’t drink and I don’t smoke. I should have said female friends, but I love to call them girl friends.
Your girl friend
I don’t have a girl friend and so in no relationship. I’m facing nothing but music right now because it really hard for me to combine a relationship with music. The combination cost me my last relationship and I don’t want to go that lane again.
The best among your female friends
They are all wonderful people, but if I’m to choose one person, I will surely know who to choose. I can’t just mention a name here, but at the right time, the name will come out for sure.
My mother is a gospel artiste; my late dad was a pastor. After my secondary school, my mother took me by hand to the studio where I learnt music production. It is a family of four, two boys and two girls and I’m the second son as well as the third child. My sister is a banker, my elder brother is a pastor and my younger sister is studying law currently.
While your brother is at a night vigil on Friday nights, you are in the club
No no no. I don’t really club. This is because I don’t drink. It is so awkward to fill my stomach with soft drinks, while my folks are getting high on beer and wine. I only go to club when I’m invited and the last time that happened was on December 31, 2011.
You make beats and don’t dance to it
As I said, I club ones in a while. I’m a game freak, so I chill at home playing with my computer. I love FIFA, God of war, Tomb raider and Grand theft auto.
Football. Aside being a game freak, I’m an Arsenal FC freak. I don’t miss a match in a whole season. I follow them both online and they are also my team when I’m playing with club side in a FIFA 2012