J. Robb - A Future Legend’s Process Through a Listener’s Point of View
J. Robb is one of those artists who you can’t really understand what is going through their head. His creative sampling abilities, combined with his unique synths and drum sounds & added to his personalized mix atmosphere, allow him to create a signature sound that defines him. whether it's one of his unique original productions or a remix to another artist's work, J. Robb's music is to fall in love with.
By Ilai Dgani
J. Robb - Photo by @evasofire
SoundCloud is known for a platform in which young artists emerge. It is a streaming & social platform that gives its users the freedom to express their creativity freely while connecting them to other users - giving them feedback and helping them grow and develop. A few examples for artists who started as “SoundCloud” artists and broke into mainstream are XXXTentacion (RIP), Lil Uzi Vert, Ski Mask the Slump God, Denzel Curry, Playboi Carti, 21 Savage, Future, Chance The Rapper, and many many more. As SoundCloud grew as a platform it gave an opportunity to more and more young artists to expose themselves to a larger, and a more musically professional audience. Even though this also caused an overflow of music on the platform, special talents are still there if you look close enough. J. Robb is one of those talents.
1998 born Jay Robberts is J.Robb (previously also known as Mr. Surf). Born in Baltimore, and moved around through New-York, New-Jersey, Georgia, Florida, until returning to Maryland. Son to a music producer father, J. Robb grew up in a musical environment and began making music in 2011 when he discovered FL Studio. Despite his young age, his SoundCloud presence alone has garnered him over 200,000,000+ listens (as of 2019) and has already been featured on outlets such as BBC1xtra, Soulection, Beats1 Radio, Vice, Earmilk, Nest HQ and more. He’s Influenced by artists who express high energy in their live performances, and looks up to everyone from J. Dilla and Madlib to Pharrell Williams. His musical style blends the grit of future beats and club bangers with R&B flavors to create a timeless and genre crossing sound.
J. Robb's amazing approach and diversity is shown across all his work. His creative thinking allows him to create special remixes, and give a completely different character to the songs he remixes. A great example for that are his track “beltwaycalls”. “beltwaycalls” (“trash vol. 3” - 2019) features Gunna’s vocals from his song “One Call”, a vocal & instrumental sample from Solange’s “Beltway” in addition to J. Robb’s original synths, sounds, and drum rolls. All these elements together create a very different atmosphere to all the samples he used - whether vocal or instrumental ones. Another example is his track “YODAK BELLOW”. Where he used a Chopped & Screwed acapella of Cardi B (taken from her song “Bodak Yellow”), an instrumental sample of Sven Libaek’s Solar Flares, a background vocal sample from Amerie (“Why Don't We Fall in Love”).
The youngster is now signed to Soulection, every Neo-Soul / Future Beats oriented Hip-Hop producer's dream label and standard set. In an interview with Malcom J. Gary for Live Nation's magazine "Ones To Watch", he spoke about his connection with Soulection. "I have looked up to those guys since I was 15 years old.... They have been playing my stuff in their show (Soulection Radio) for about a year. One day, Joe Kay (Soulection CEO & Co-Founder) reached out to me and we talked. He then introduced me to the rest of the crew. As time went on, we built a relationship and they ended up inviting me to come play their 6 year anniversary show in LA. It was the biggest crowd I have ever played in front of and it was a sold-out show."
As Hip-Hop is developing and expanding, a lot of repetitions are seen around the music. J. Robb is not one to say such a thing about. His endless creativity and talent are the things that differ him from other artists and producers. The future of Hip-Hop is in creativity, and J. Robb has what it takes to lead & influence the future of Hip-Hop music & culture. He is one of the most promising talents around, and is on his way to become one of the big names in music production.
J. Robb also has his own sample pack, available on Splice:
Mr. Surf was an account he made in December of 2013 while being in college. He started it in order to post all his remixes and slappy stuff, and the next thing was 15,000 followers on this account. At some point he decided to admit that Mr. Surf is actually him and quit releasing music under that name. Although, Mr. Surf has recently emerged back from the dead.
On that note, if you like J. Robb we recommend that you look into other artists like Cay Caleb, Sans, K Le Maestro, Reon Vagnèr, Heine Aabφ, Sango, Sptmbr Yungstr, and Kaelin Ellis.