Self-Portrait: Jim Legxacy

At just 21 years of age, Jim Legxacy has already marked himself out as a model to follow. Lyrically the South London-born producer and rapper’s music doesn’t shy away from exploring traumatic and vulnerable subjects. In fact, it’s these personal experiences that motivated him to start rapping in the first place rather than other artists inspiring his path into music.

On recent projects, including his debut EP Dynasty and follow up BTO!, he’s introduced listeners to his cocktail of trap, indie and afrobeats, which forms a perfect foundation for his honest and emotionally-charged lyrics. Choosing to share truths and normalise the challenges we face in life, be that self-doubt, anxiety and unrest, Jim’s approach to music is powerful and progressive, setting a precedent for the next generation to come.

Alongside a mix of original material, he delves into his path into music, creative processes and what’s coming up in the world of Jim Legxacy.

Let’s start with an ice breaker, what’s your earliest musical memory?

‘No Woman No Cry’ by Bob Marley – the live version on a CD from when I was extremely young. I remember trying like not to cry but I was like four or sum and I just started crying; music used to make me feel very intensely as a child.

Did you have a particularly musical upbringing?

Not really. I do remember my parents playing a lot of music but I never was into instruments like that. I liked power rangers and wrestling, just typical boy shit when I was a kid. I never really cared about music until I was like 17.

What led you into rapping and music production?

My two best friends in sixth form were twins and they used to rap and sing a lot. They were incredible to me. I was like yeah, I wanna do this, pretty much before I had even listened to any rap music. Then they put me on to people like meek mill and Kendrick etc. I got really deep into it and decided to start producing my own beats and then I put them on to production.

I think another thing is like, I feel I’ve seen a lot of like suffering in my life — rap creates such a sick canvas to paint that stuff sometimes. I thinks that’s why I was so eager to rap before I had even listened to it properly.

Are there any producers or artists who have inspired your work?

Yeah loads. I think Kanye, MF DOOM, Michael Jackson, Bon Iver and JPEGMAFIA are the ones that have had the BIGGEST impact on me. Also visual artists and directors such as Syd Mead, John Berkey, George Lucas and Zak Snyder.

Are there any particular rituals you go through before you head into the studio?

I have pet gerbils. When I produce in my room I like to let my gerbils loose and say Anakin Skywalker quotes.

Do you come in with a destination in mind before starting a jam?

Yeah when I make beats I’m like SCI – FI then the beats sounds like hbiusdbvlkdzbfvklshgdxf. It’s really cool.

Are you the type of artist to work on a track until it’s perfect, or are you more of an impulsive creator, happy with first takes and sketches?

All of these things put together. I take ages on songs. Most ideas start off as impulsive sketches and then I am meticulous with making sure everything else is creatively on par with the initial golden idea.

Can you talk us through how you might construct a track?

It’s extremely long, like the process takes ages but to paraphrase it, it kinda goes “PAIN beeep boop 808 slide vocal chop” then it’s finished. 

What’s the most important bits of kit that make a Jim Legxacy track?

FL studio, need dat.

What’s on the horizon? Any releases we should know about?

CITADEL. I have a project called CITADEL and it’s in my opinion my favourite project I’ve ever heard in my life.

Photo Credit: @nineslime

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