Christian JaLon is someone whose name I had been hearing time and time again for awhile, and that eventually led me to checking out her music & man I’m very glad that I did. Like most of our Q&A features on the site, she hails from Chicago and offers a refreshing sound using her soothing & beautiful vocals. She in undoubtedly one of the most underrated singers in the city, and it’s about time that she gets the recognition that she deserves. Go ahead and take a few minutes to read the Q&A below, and at the end be sure to give her a follow on Twitter here!

 

 

EM: Before we dive into the questions, give a brief introduction of yourself for our readers who may not be familiar with you.

CJ: Hello!! My name is Christian JaLon. I’m a 19 year old, singing/songwriting, Chicago native. I’ve been an active artist for two years now, releasing my first project, “SELF EP” in 2015. I’ve been on Windy City Live w/ Jamila Woods, performed at the very first T.I.P Fest curated by Chance The Rapper, I started out at Young Chicago Authors, I’ve been featured in These Days News, etc. 🙂

EM: What is your earliest memory of music?

CJ: Friendship Baptist Church, on the West side of Chicago, the church both of my parents grew up in.  I started out singing in their Angelic choir. The choir director, Ms. Banks, figured “oh, she’s Allison’s (my mommy) daughter, I know she can sing”, & she’d always hand me the mic for leads. I was a lil’ nervous 7 year old who didn’t have much control over her vocals just yet, so I didn’t sound all that great! Lol!

EM: When did you first start recording music?

CJ: I started recording music my Junior year of high school. It was in my friend Ray’s house. I had a group of friends who also rapped and sang & my homie Nate would always bring his equipment to Ray’s crib (his crib was like the hang out spot). And Nate said “Chris, I have a beat for you”. And blessed enough, this song I wrote months before fit the beat.

EM: Who are some of your biggest influences musically?

CJ: Mmm… some of my biggest influences musically had to be be Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Erykah badu, Lauryn Hill, Andre 3000, Louis Jordan, Solange, Robert Glasper … Man, so many other folks that I wish I could name. My goodness.

EM: How would you describe your music to someone who has never listened?

CJ: Hmmm, I’m not quite sure. Everyone’s ear doesn’t pick up on the same things when listening to music, you know? So, like… what I may describe it as, someone else wouldn’t even hear/feel that. So, I’m not even sure, really.

EM: I feel you, what are your top five favorite albums of all time? (Add more than 5 if you want!)

CJ: Ohhhh!!! Mkay! More than 5… bet!!

1. Baduizm
2. The Love Below
3. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
5. A Seat at the Table
6. Malibu
7. Mama’s Gun
And if I’m not tweaking, they may all be in order, too!!

EM: Great choices! What are your favorite mixtapes?

CJ: Acid Rap, of course!  Audio Push has this mixtape entitled “The Good Vibe Tribe”. They’re so cold to me.

I’ve NEVER heard “God Complex” by GoldLink. BUT, it keeps coming across my music feeds & I really dig dude’s sound. So, I don’t doubt that it’s cold.

EM: If you could collab with one person dead or alive, who would it be?

CJ: Man, just one? Hmmm… I’m gonna do one dead and one alive. Haha!!

Dead- Nat King Cole
Alive- André 3000

EM: 3k is the goat, so who are some of the local Chicago artists you’ve been listening to?

CJ: Isn’t he tho’?!!

Well, I love my friends’ work. So, Plainro, Ausar, Josi (all of AIM), Kopano, Ravyn, Nola Adé,
Oliv Blu & Freejay (of Freesole), my homegirl Keiya, who’s actually not a local, but she’s a Chicago native. I have so many more incredibly talented homies, but to not elongate the list, I’ll stop it here hahaha!

EM: Nelly or Drake?

CJ: Nelly. But Drake up until “Take Care” is released. Drake after “Take Care” is for the birds.

EM: What is your favorite book?

CJ: – Native Son by Richard Wright

– Kindred by Octavia Butler
– Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
– The book of Matthew and 2 Timothy in The Holy Bible
– And literally any book that Walter Dean Myers has written.

EM: What is your favorite song that you have created so far?

CJ: I have a joint entitled “Odyssey Complex” on my forth-coming project w/ my homie Myles August entitled “Po Blk Kids” that I dig soooo much!!! It’s about going on this journey, searching for something more, bigger than ourselves, while trusting God in the process. & it’s such a dope joint!

EM: The National Anthem or The International Players Anthem?

CJ: International Players Anthem!! Fun fact: my older brother, Aaron and I used to lip sync to that everyday after school. 🙂

EM: Hahaha that’s amazing! What are your thoughts on Donald Trump?

CJ: Well, I’m really big on “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all” 🙂

EM: What can our readers expect from you in 2017?

CJ: In 2017, I’ll be releasing my second project entitled “Po’ Blk Kids” alongside my partner in music, rapper/producer, Myles August. & whatever else follows up behind this project. Also, whatever else God has in store, I’m prepared & excited for it!.. <3

EM: Last question, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

CJ: To be completely honest, I have no idea. But w/ consistency hard work and prayer w/out ceasing, I’m much, much further than I am now in each f my crafts (writing, singing, photography). & hopefully, within my continued growing success, I’m still in a space of grace, peace & love thru’ it all. In 5 years, I for sure never want to lose my internal health… <3