Photos by: Jonathan Thorpe
UPDATE: As another gift, Jered Sanders gives Cheap Sushi readers the first single from he and Anmor’s (The Talented Tenth) upcoming album “Two Weeks Notice,” which is scheduled for a summer release. And if you’re anticipating Jered’s first official album, don’t worry. Jered plans to release a single so soon as The Talented Tenth drops their first album. Download of the Talented Tenth’s single “Stop and Listen” at the bottom of the interview.
Up-and-coming vocalist and MC Jered Sanders spent a little time with Cheap Sushi to provide a brief insight about his life. The 25-year-old Florida native discussed life as a high-schooler cyphering in the cafeteria, his up coming CD project (which is scheduled to release later this year), and how his music will affect the music industry. Though his name may not be familiar yet, his drive to become an unforgettable name in music may come much sooner than expected.
So tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m originally from St. Petersburg, Florida. I moved to Virginia with my mom and stepfather when I was about four or five. I’ve been back and forth between Florida and Virginia for college or family visits. I’ve been doing music [singing and writing] since I was about eight or nine I’d say. Rapping came along in high school. I sung in church–like most developing singers–and rapped in the cafeteria during lunchtime in high school to get the attention of girls and to gain popularity. I guess it worked somewhat since people remember me. Haha! Most people remember me as the singer though. A select few remember the freestyle cyphers. I was all right at carving my niche back then I guess. The hardest part was bringing both audiences together–the people that knew me as a singer and the people that knew me as a rapper. I wanted to give people a happy medium. I recognized, though, that I had to wait on the presentation until I found my own voice and sound. Now, I’m in that place. Hello world! It’s a second chance to make a first impression.
What did it feel like being a part of the choir at such a young age and cyphering in high school?
It was cool. In church, I got a chance to make people happy with song. Being that that’s my primary motivation behind why I do music in general, it was good training wheels. The cyphering was a chance to kind of introduce other talents I had. Everything I do is pretty deliberate. Anything that’s new to someone else has been rehearsed and shaped over time. Much like the cyphering. I’d been rapping to myself and honing my skills for years! It was just a chance to introduce another side to people.
I read that you will make an appearance on DJ K.O.’s last EP in his Living Out a State of Mind Series (LOASOM). How do you feel about it? Who got you involved with DJ K.O in the first place?
Yeah. Actually, I’m already on two of his [KO’s] LOASOM projects: Volume 11 and 12. On Volume 11, I collaborated with Silent Knight on a record called “Make It Better.” On Volume 12, I collaborated with another Elementality Productions artist MadKem. We’re tentatively shooting a music video for it. That record’s called “Til’ I Go.” Both records are featured on several blogs, and I think they came out pretty dope. My good friend and partner Andrew (AnMor) made the KO connect happen. Timing is everything I guess. KO was looking for a male vocalist for some records and I was available. Everything else worked out from there.
Where do you want your appearance on DJ K.O.’s EP to take you musically?
Hmmm…Well I’m a firm believer in first impressions. I don’t co-sign or collaborate on records I don’t think are any good or that I can’t find myself within. So, hopefully people recognize the features as positive entries into music lore. When the clock stops ticking on my life, I want people to see me as a person that wanted to leave the world as a better place through the people I’ve impacted and touched. I’m not trying to save the world, but I think I can make a positive impact on a few. Superman with a towel for a cape, ya know?
Haha! Exactly! How do you feel you are doing so far? And in your opinion what makes your music something that has a positive effect on your listeners?
I’m doing pretty good I’d say. I’m performing and finally garnering recognition. I’ve grown in popularity in my region quite a bit in the last year definitely. As for the second question, the music I create comes from a real place–A positive place. I’m not from the most dangerous environment in the world. I’m much like the vast majority of people. I go to the movies, listen to music, laugh, joke, cry, and get angry at things. I argue with people, shout in traffic, and get nervous and worried about different things in life. I’ve loved, been hurt, and done stupid things. That’s what my music reflects. All of that makes people, people.
Since we’re on the subject of up-and-coming music projects, when do you plan on releasing a solo project?
This year actually! I’m feeling great with the direction of my solo project. My solo debut should be released fall of this year; it is called “Beats, Blocks, and Beautiful Things.” It is an album in a non-traditional sense because it’ll be released in separate sections. Volume I, is titled “Beats.” It’s gonna consist of one part of what I love about music: The beats. That version will be more MC driven; I’m excited. Volume 2 will be titled “Blocks.” The tracks will be story-telling songs–A combination of rapping and singing. Volume 3 will be the “Beautiful Things.” It’ll be more singing and much more instrumentation. It should total about 10-to-12 songs in all. I’m trying to do something different–place value on something that costs nothing and put more effort into the development of the artist and brand. All records on it [the album] will be released as singles in some capacity on separate occasions. I’ll release them via iTunes, TuneCore, and Bandcamp. I’ll also do video/visual releases for promotion as well. They won’t all come out together. They will be scattered throughout the year like puzzle pieces. After all songs are released, I’ll leave it up to people to put the entire project together.
Also, I’m releasing a collaborative album with AnMor, who is the other half of our group “The Talented Tenth, and it’s going to be an EP called “Two Weeks Notice.” We’re narrowing down the track listing right now. Our first record leak is called “Stop & Listen,” and I have a more prominent role in this album. It’s my introduction to the world as an MC.
How do you want your fans to feel after they pop the CD into their CD player and give it a listen?
I want them to feel like they do whenever they buy any of their favorite artist’s CDs. I want them to feel excited and full of anticipation. I’m putting my heart in this music and I can only hope that people will intake, process, and love my musical contributions. I want it to take them directly to the beats, blocks, and beautiful things I love about life and music. Yes, that was a plug. Haha!
Do you have any artists or producers you’d like to work with?
As far as producers, I want to continue collaborating with Oddisee and 14 KT. They’re two of my favorite music producers in the game. They’re both up-and-comers. As far as established producers, I’d love to collaborate with ?uestlove, Mark Ronson, Salaam Remi, Rich Harrison, 9th Wonder, and Kanye West. As far as established artists, I’d like to collaborate with Black Thought, Blu, Lupe Fiasco, Thom Yorke, Jay-Z, or Kanye West, J. Cole, Citizen Cope, Phonte, Common, Dwele, Bilal, Lauren Hill, and many, many more.
Do you have any specific artists you look up to in the music industry right now? If so, who are they? Why do you look up to them?
Absolutely! Lupe Fiasco, J. Cole, Kanye West, Black Thought, Common, and Lauren Hill–All of them for the same reason. They all want to bring something seldom found in commercial music: A genuine commentary on life that doesn’t have to be dominated by materialism. They tell stories. They paint pictures. They speak to the listener. They create an atmosphere that allows the listener to feel like they’re in the presence of greatness, but not so great that you can’t empathize with their struggles. That’s true artistry in my opinion.
What keeps you motivated to continue creating music?
I think, like many people that wonder if they’re good enough to do something, I started to compare myself to my peers. I wanted to see if people that were signed and marketed on a major scale were really that much better than me. With confidence, I started to think I wasn’t far behind anybody. I began to think I could keep up with anybody. Then, the awakening came. Hip-hop artists started to come out of the woodwork that were rapping and singing like Kanye West, B.o.B., KiD Cudi, Drake, and several others. It was then that I felt like the time had come to debut my full image–The singer, writer, and rapper. I think the competitor in me kept me working hard on sharpening my skills. Now, it’s time to debut the hard work and experience.
Are there any words you want to tell your fans that are reading?
Thanks for reading! I hope I wasn’t too boring. Haha! Check me out on Facebook and Google me if you haven’t already. You’ll find something new popping up about me often. Reach out. I’ll be sure to reach back. Peace and love.
Thank you so much for your time Jered Sanders!
Top: The Talented Tenth – “Stop And Listen.”
Bottom: Jered Sanders ft. Madkem – “Til I Go.”