No matter what you do, you’ve got to know your roots and Jacquees certainly does.
“Who is Jacquees?,” you may be asking. The Atlanta singer and songwriter is cooking up his own smooth, slick, and simmering brand of 21st century R&B with an old school twist.
“I grew up listening to some of the greats,” states Jacquees. “My mom would play Jodeci and R. Kelly around the house. You could pull up on the block listening to those cats, and no one would think twice. I want to cause that same reaction. When you listen to my music, it will make you feel like you can roll up on any girl in the world or do anything. It’s that ‘G’ mentality.”
Jacquees definitely picks up the mantle for the genre, while forging his own way. As a kid, he grew up in what he calls a “really fun family” with two sisters and his mom. Excelling in school, he desired to get straight A’s to make his mother proud since she gave him her trust implicitly. Inspired by such artists as Michael Jackson, The Temptations, Jackson 5, Chris Brown, Jodeci, 2Pac and The Hot Boy$; Jacquees label himself a “Hot Boy$ Head,” he even went out a brought an imitation Cash Money Chain.
Jacquees’ initially wanted to be a rapper until one day his aunt heard him singing a song from the made for TV movie The Temptations. “She was like, ‘you can sing!’” he recalls. “I got inspired from that moment on, and with encouragement from my mom I signed up for my first school talent show in 2004,” and went on to win the shows for the next 4-years. In 2007 Jacquees joined Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theater Company and was part of the ensemble that danced & sang in the production of the Wiz. He also played a munchkin and had a solo performance.
Upon entering ninth grade in 2008, Jacquees linked up with Block Entertainment [Boyz n da Hood, Yung Joc] and learned the ropes under the tutelage of Jody Breeze. In 2011 he released his first mix-tape “Round Of Applause;” followed by a series of successful mixtapes including Fan Affiliated in 2012, Quemix in 2013 and Quemix 2 in 2015. “The first project went crazy,” he recalls. “It’s the foundation of my fan base. It was the start of ‘Team Jacquees’ and the whole movement.” Jacquees would go on to collaborate with everybody from Jagged Edge & Travis Porter to Lloyd & Chris Brown.
In 2014, he released his first independent debut EP, 19, which landed at #3 on iTunes Top R&B Albums Chart and #15 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums Chart. With the success the release, Jacquees decided to reach out to fellow rising star frequent collaborator Rich Homie Quan about a meeting with the legendary Cash Money Records Co-C.E.O. Records Bryan “Birdman” Williams. “Rich Homie Quan and I are like brothers,” he says. “I knew that he was working in the studio with Birdman, I hit him and his dad up and said I was trying to get in touch with Baby. He happened to be with Baby at the time!”
Birdman saw the video for Jacquees’ swagger-driven soul anthem “Soldier” featuring Rich Homie Quan—which Jacquees even directed—and offered him a deal days later with Cash Money Records and Rich Gang Management. “Soldier” was even included on Rich Gang’s unanimously acclaimed mixtape, Tha Tour – Part 1.
Starting 2015 off with a bang, Jacquees released the fan favorite - Quemix 2 mixtape the first week of January and his videos for the singles “Me, U, & Patron,” made a massive impact with clocking over 4 million views and “How Bout Now (Remix)” garnering 2 million-plus views.
As he readies his full-length major label debut on Cash Money Records, Jacquees has one goal in mind—and it doesn’t differ much from that of his idols. “I just want people to listen to my music and feel good.” “You know how a certain song will make you remember a certain time? That’s what I hope my music does.”