Jaja Soze – Rapper, Entrepreneur, Activist..
Written by Tha Culture Club on 01/12/2020
Jaja Soze was originally part of PDC which had a big influence on UK street culture. This was then reformed and turned into a music group and record label. Originally from Birmingham and a self-proclaimed ‘Brummie’ at heart. He came to Brixton around the age of 11/12 where music was a big part of the culture, whether it was Dancehall, House, Jungle or House, it was embedded deeply into the culture.
We were lucky enough to have Jaja Soze in the Tribe Urban Radio building and we got his views on the UK music scene and the new book that he’s just released.
Tha Culture Club: Is there some responsibilities you feel you have to the younger generation based on your experiences?
Jaja: Naturally, they come to me and run stuff by me. ‘I did that don’t do it that way. Or I done it but maybe it might go right for you’. For me I came up with no links, so maybe I can be that link for the youths and the communities. Sometimes they don’t have the right older in the communities, so for me, I’m that bridge. Whether it’s a radio or just a connect they come to me for that kind of advice.
I met you for the first time at M24’s shoot and I could see the respect they have for you. Talk to me about Brixton studios, as it plays a big part in the Brixton sound?
When I was coming up, we used to go to the studio and there was a guy called L and he used to help us do sessions. I always used to say that when I get older, I want a studio. I want it right here and I want to give the young people the access. We didn’t have the access and I want to give young people more access. I wanted to give the local lads from all the estates a platform to help them progress with music.
Who was the first artist that you pioneered or pushed forward or came to you for advice
The first person out of the young ones who came for advice was Sneakbo. He used to come to me and say ‘I’m going to be big’, he was on it hard. Then he got sent to Nigeria and I thought he wasn’t coming back! I’ve given advice to Ard Adz, M24 all the main lot and even from other areas in London. A lot of people think my studio is just for Brixton people but people from everywhere come through. A lot of artists come in and ask about contracts and whatever.
Talk to us about The Power Of Love…
We’re so consumed with this negative outlook on our culture and the street life and there’s so much more that goes on! The problem around this and the root of most of the problems in the scene is because of a lack of love. Our communication with each other, the community and other people is our lack of understanding of love. ‘Love is looked at as a romanticised thing and it’s always due to man and woman, or roses or valentines day, instead of being looked at as energies and a frequency. When you look at it like that everything changes for you. Looking at self-love, before you can share love with anyone else, if you don’t love yourself, understand why you love yourself and value yourself. You can’t share that with no one.’ This book aims to challenge that thinking.
So what’s the link between a lack of love and how people evolve over time?
Things like not getting enough hugs from your parents. Every time you feel a certain type of way, you can’t show a certain type of emotion. When you tell young women to stop moaning from a young age and then when she gets into certain situations with her man she’s not speaking because she’s been told to stop complaining and take it and that’s going to cause her problems from a young age. Same for young men, they’re told to ‘man up and don’t show no emotion’. Then you start being hard to everyone around you. You’ve been taught that ‘you’re a warrior straight!’. People don’t understand that these things affect your thinking and you draw that back into your life.
Do you share personal experiences in the book or outside looking in?
It’s from both. I give you real-life situations and from my own experiences as well