Take 5 with Jalen Quinn
Houma hip-hop artist Jalen Quinn has come a long way since freestyling to gain attention from his peers as a child. He is now one of the hottest rappers in the area and a multifaceted entrepreneur. His success is directly linked to his hard work, releasing five acclaimed independent albums in just a 3-year time span since deciding to make music a career 2016. The talented and dedicated artist discussed his record label, clothing brand, latest album and more for “Take 5.”
What’s your favorite thing about hip–hop?
“Self-expression in any form has always been cool to me. I also like how much you can level and relate with someone through their music. Nipsey Hussle is one of my favorite artists. When he passed away, it felt like I lost somebody I had been friends with for years.”
How did No Help Records come about?
“I had just gotten out of a management situation and had to plan out how I was going to continue distributing my music and selling my merchandise. I was talking about it to an old friend of mine, Justin Richard. Justin had been on the road working for a couple of years and had enough money saved to feel comfortable enough to invest in a local business. He said that it was only right being that he watched the growth in my music since we were kids.
We also split the ownership with Jake Jordan and Torey “Tee $’teez” Joseph. Jake is another longtime friend of mine that always wanted to try his hand at managing my career. Tee $’teez is an extremely talented music producer that has helped me craft my unique style. “
Why did you decide to start your own apparel brand, Byjalenquinn?
“As much as I love the art of making music, I’m also attracted to the wealth that can be accumulated simply from just making words rhyme.
I learned early on that making money solely off of streaming music is very slow and stagnant. You get paid a fraction of a dollar for every stream, so even with 1,000 streams, it’s unlikely that you can even pay a utility bill with the residuals. Besides going on tour, which we aren’t ready for yet, merch is a lucrative way to build your budget.”
What was your approach when making “Nights in the Shed”? What do you want people to take away from it?
“’Nights’ is $’teez and I’s first joint project. We had been working on this particular project for about three years now. I was building my catalog while $’teez was perfecting his sound. Once we started the label, we felt it was perfect timing to put out a project representing the label.
I want people to hear this project — all the music in general actually — and see that you can do anything you put your mind to. As cliché as that sounds, it’s true. We are nowhere near our goal by any means, but the progress my team and myself have made in just three years is insane! We went from doing open mics at the Brickhouse to making almost $1000 in a night off of merch sales.”
What’s your personal goal to where you can finally say you “made it” in the music industry?
“I’ll know when I‘ve made it when I can pay all of my mom’s bills.”
Bonus question: If you had to pick one, would you rather be known for being hardworking or talented, and why?
“Definitely for being a hard worker. The most talented people in the world won’t go anywhere without the proper work ethic. Working hard is my talent.”
“Nights in the Shed” and Jalen Quinn’s previous albums, including “GAS,” ”With No Help From You,” “I Been Ducked Off” and “Lead by Example”, can be found on Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal (warning: explicit language used). His clothing apparel can be viewed on Instagram: @byjalenquinn.
Are you a local writer, singer, rapper, instrumentalist, painter or any other type of artist? Send your work and a short bio of yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org to be in consideration for “Take 5.”