Humble Beginnings: Jigz Crillz talks growth as an artist, new EP & more [Interview]
Hamilton, ON – Originally published July 30, 2014 – Steel City’s Jigz Crillz is gearing up for the fall release of his new EP, Humble Beginnings.
After a brief hiatus and relocation, Crilly has returned to Hamilton with a new outlook on life and a new lease on his desire to be an artist. Between building a record label (Stainless Steel Records), launching a clothing brand (The Stainless Collection) and finalizing his new project, there is no shortage of work to get done.
But one chat with Crilly and you’ll see he’s more than up for the task, and motivated to succeed. We were lucky enough to catch up with him for a quick question and answer session. Check it out after the jump.
Jigz Crillz: Q&A
Interview conducted by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: Jigz Crillz, the long overdue interview. We’ve covered shows, and posted your music and videos for years, but this is the first time we’ve had a chance to really connect. Welcome to HipHopCanada. Let’s jump right into it. What’s the first song you’d want a new listener to hear? Why?
Jigz Crillz: Thank you for the welcome, it’s an honor. It’s hard for me to say which song I’d want the new listener to hear first. There are so many tracks that give you the genuine, raw Crilly. I guess I would go with “Consequences.” I made that joint at a really rough time in my life where I was going through so much, and making many changes in my life. This way they might appreciate the music off the bat.
HipHopCanada: No doubt. The biggest topic of discussion right now is the Humble Beginnings EP. We just recently posted the “On My Own” single. What inspired that song and how did you connect with IllKronik on the production?
Jigz Crillz: Basically, I’m just saying, I put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears all these years doing music. There has been a few people who have helped me along the way, and they already know what it is. So at the end of the day, nothing would happen in the first place without my decisions. So I did it “on my own.” Me and Kronik linked up over Twitter actually. I had tweeted Fat Trell a shout-out from Canada and he retweeted it. IllKronik noticed the retweet and the Canada drop (since he’s from London, Ontario), he checked out my page and music. After that he got at me and said he checked out my work and wanted to make some music with me. He sent me a few beats and I was surprised how dope he was. Usually when random people send you beats, you’ll listen to the first 5 seconds of the beat and “x” it off. His shit was dope though. After a few months of interacting, he came to the H and we just connected. His beats match perfect with my flow. The way we work is, I’ll go link up with him and we just vibe out, make the beat right on the spot and I’ll drop bars. Sometimes I’ll just do the hook and finish the rest at the crib. But we always work together on every joint, on the spot.
HipHopCanada: Shouts to IllKronik. Is that him laying in the cut for some of the shots in the “On My Own” video?
Jigz Crillz: Yeah that’s Kronik posted up at the store with me. That’s lil bro. [Laughing]
HipHopCanada: Which other producers can we expect to see on the project?
Jigz Crillz: Mostly IllKronik. As of now the project is about 70% complete and so far its been all IllKronik on the beats.
HipHopCanada: How about guest appearances?
Jigz Crillz: Humble Beginnings is about my story, my life and situations. It will only be me on it as of right now unless something happens within the last couple months wrapping it up. I want the fans to get a real feel for what my life is like and where I came from.
HipHopCanada: That makes sense. Can you speak on the next single fans can expect?
Jigz Crillz: I got a few in mind. All I can say is its hit after hit.
HipHopCanada: When can people expect to get their hands on a copy of the EP?
Jigz Crillz: Fall 2014.
HipHopCanada: Since the first time we were introduced to your music, you had been running your own situation with Stainless Steel Records. Are there any other artists on the team we should be watching for?
Jigz Crillz: Not at this time, the focus is on finish up the Humble Beginnings EP. As far as Stainless Steel Records goes, its more of a movement more then a label, and all my loyal fans are apart of it. I’m sure one day there will be an artist or two on board that are loyal as well. But right now its me, a couple homies and my fans.
HipHopCanada: Can you tell us about The Stainless Collection clothing brand? What kind of plans do you have in place for that and how can be people get their hands on the gear?
Jigz Crillz: The Stainless Collection stems from Stainless Steel Records. Its my new clothing line currently in the works and will be available online ordering and a few stores locally very soon. All info on the clothing will be available on my social media links.
HipHopCanada: A few years back, 2011-2012 times, things seemed to quiet down for you a bit. Can you let us know what had happened? What changed?
Jigz Crillz: Early 2011, I went through a lot of shit. I lost a good friend, and, in 2012, I lost my licence… things just went downhill. I also noticed when things go downhill, people disappear around you.
The day I lost my license, I realized I needed to make a change with my life and priorities. I was noticing a pattern happening over and over. Things weren’t getting better. I took a trip to Cuba to clear my mind. When I got back I started studying for my GED. Took the test and passed. Cause at the end of the day, who am I to tell my kids, or any other kids to stay in school if I didn’t even have a GED at least? Not only because of that reason, I got it for myself. I always wanted to say I graduated high school. After that, I tried something that I been thinking about for the last year. I went out west to Alberta and worked on an oil rig. I wasn’t used to anything like that, so it was a culture shock and a challenge for me. I also used it as self-discipline. I ended up staying out there the whole summer and I did pretty good. I proved to myself I could be successful at anything as long as I worked hard enough. I want all the kids to know that too. Eventually I started missing the fam and the love for music and came back home.
HipHopCanada: Congrats on getting the GED. That’s a big move to make. How do you feel about Hamilton’s growth as a scene in the past 5 years?
Jigz Crillz: Hamilton’s hip-hop scene is very underground. I remember 5 years ago a lot of the rappers hated on me and thought nobody would fuck with my style. 5 years later the people are taking it in and are more receptive. I put in hella work and it’s showing. I would agree the scene did grow so that’s good. Hamilton shows are always packed. I think Hamilton is one of the best cities for hip-hop shows in Ontario.
HipHopCanada: Thanks again for your time, Crilly. We’ll be looking forward to taking in Humble Beginnings. Final plug for the project or other shout-outs?
Jigz Crillz: I really appreciate this opportunity and everything you guys do for Canadian hip-hop. Shouts to Stainless Management, Illkronik and all my real fans. Follow us all on Facebook: Jigz Crillz, Stainless Managment, Ill Kronik. On YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/JigzCrillzTV, and on Instagram: @CrillysWorld, @IllKronik.
Interview conducted by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada
Twitter: @JigzCrillz | @IllKronik
Tweets by @HipHopCanada