HIS real name is James Uduma, better addressed as Jimmy J. He is a native of Abia State but born and brought up in Lagos from where he relocated to the United States of America about nine years ago. Although, Jimmy J graduated as a nurse from Community College of Baltimore and also studied at the University of Maryland for other programmes, he insisted music is his calling and promising to take it to the next level.
In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, when he visited our Ogba, Lagos office on Monday, August 17, 2015, the up and coming Afro hip-hop singer spoke on his foray into music and much more…
When did the journey start as an artiste?
I started performing since I was little. I love entertainment since childhood but I started taking it as a career about four years ago. Before, it was just like a hobby.
How would you describe the experience so far?
Actually, it’s been amazing because of the guys I am working with over there in the United States. Some producers and promoters have been good to me, helping me out. Although, there may be bumps along the road, I won’t give up because I found pleasure doing what I do.
You didn’t start doing music right here in Nigeria, it all started as a career when you got to the US. What actually motivated you into it?
We all know it’s very difficult here in Nigeria to break through to the level where you will be recognized. Sometimes, one may not have the opportunity because it’s at times more of ‘man know man.’ But believe it or not, we still have a lot of good people in Nigeria who I sincerely respect a lot. What actually motivated me being based in the US for about nine years is that I have come to meet some good people who made entertainment very easy for me. So, that’s exactly what motivated me into being a full time musician in the US.
Who are your role models in the music industry?
I look up to a lot of great musicians, most especially 2Face, Don Jazzy, Davido, Wizkid, Iyanya and others. But in the US, we don’t have any top musician that’s a Nigerian. They all just come, perform and come back to Nigeria. They only come for shows and do some tours.
When you hit the limelight, will you remain in the US or relocate?
I share dwelling place. I am resident in the US, I have dual citizenship. I am a citizen of United States of America and also a citizen of Nigeria. So, I just have to be shuttling. But I so much believe in God and pray to Him to always get connected to the right people as I go along. I don’t want to have the wrong people around me because such people only kill your career, they can’t grow it. But if you have the right people, you have the right network, the sky is always your limit.
Your stage name is Jimmy J, what’s your real name?
My name is James Uduma.
Where exactly are you from?
I am from Abia State but I was born and bred in Lagos State. Everything I did was in Lagos State before I went to USA.
What do you do in the US apart from music?
Actually, I schooled there. I went to Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) and also did some programmes at University of Maryland. When I got to the US, I started working just to survive. But later, I started working in their law enforcement agency.
What did you actually study?
I studied Nursing and from there I switched to business.
Since you’re a nurse, what interests you in music apart from it being a hobby?
Maybe I will just put it this way, apart from the money aspect of it, it’s just something I enjoy doing and now it’s paying me. That makes a lot of sense. I also love playing soccer. I happened to play in a club and they paid me, it’s amazing.
Are you married?
Yes, happily married with lovely children by the special grace of God.
Is your family based in the US or Nigeria?
My family is based in the US.
Where do you see your career in five years?
It’s moving from where I am now to a more recognized level. And I also look forward to helping the up and coming generations in the industry.
What brand of music are you really into?
I am into Afro hip-hop.
Have you released a single or an album?
Not yet, but I am looking forward to that. Very soon, I have Boju boju dance, that will be on social media network all through. I also have Nkemjika on free download. And when you go on itunes, you’re going to see everything.
When do you intend releasing an album?
I am working with a very nice producer, Dabeat. We’re looking forward to coming out with a great hit that’s going to storm the industry. And hopefully, in a couple of months, we will drop the album.