by: Alexis Faber//
Jacob West, an artist from Washington began expressing interest in creating music at a very young age. With the goal of telling a story, portraying soul and authentic creativity has never been a challenge. West had no choice but to grow up quickly, allowing his story to be a relatable one within our generation. His down to earth personality shines through his work, telling truth within any song one listens to (my favorite being Pain). His work is currently released on SoundCloud under the name of JCB WST. If you are a fan of J. Cole, I guarantee you will become a fan of JCB WST.
Give us a little background on yourself – how did you start your career in music?
My name is Jacob West. I am from Bellevue, Washington and I am 22 years old. I have always had a connection with music and have always known it was something that I wanted to do. I’m a very quiet person and don’t like to talk about my emotions at all and music was a way for me to express myself. I had a journal that I would write in everyday and one day I tried to put it together with music and I fell in love with it.
When creating content (both beats and lyrics), what is your ultimate goal? What message do you want your listeners to receive?
I think the best thing about music is being able to create and tell a story that people can connect with. If your music is real, then there will always be people who can connect with it. My biggest message to my listeners is to be yourself and to always stay true to who you are. I never want my music to be fake, I always want to talk about a real experience of mine because people respect what they believe and know is true.
I adore your music and the depth of it – what personal experiences influence your craft?
When I was younger, I went through a lot with my family. At the age of 4 my mom passed away and 6 months later my grandma passed as well. I lost so many people when I was young, before the age of 15 I lost 6 family members and that was a lot for me to handle. My father is my biggest inspiration and has always been my hero. For many years it was just him and I. When I turned 18, we found out he was diagnosed with ALS which really tore me apart. I had so much emotion built up inside and I had such a story to tell but I didn’t know how to express myself. That’s when I found the art of writing music. Music is the way I cope with pain, happiness, love, anger, aggression and any emotion I experience. It’s what keeps me sane.
What do you hope to accomplish within the next 5 years?
Within the next 5 years, I would love to become a touring artist and have multiple albums released. I know that this all takes time, but I want to stay true to the process – there is no rushing. A big dream of mine would be able to headline my own tour and show in my hometown of Seattle. I also want to open my own studio in Seattle and be able to have other artist come and record; create relationships with other artists from the area to create a hip hop community.
What is an obstacle you had to overcome as an artist? What did you take away from it?
I lived in California for 4 years and was signed by a label and it didn’t turn out how I wanted it to. A lot of artists face troubles when they sign to a label. I just wasn’t getting the help and support that was promised to me and for a while I wasn’t even able to record. I found myself in a really dark place. But now I only look at it as a positive because from that experience I learned how to depend on myself and if I want something done, I can do it myself. This lead me to moving back to Seattle and working on music full time, doing it my way. I’m the happiest I have been in a long time.
Who are your influencers? In other words, which artists inspire you?
My favorite artist and biggest influence is J. Cole. He has never changed and has always remained the same person and in all of his songs he is talking about something of importance. There is always a story that needs to be told.
Which of your songs is your favorite and why?
My favorite song of mine is ‘Angel’. It’s the first song I ever wrote and recorded in studio and it means the most to me because its about my dad and all the things we have been through.
How do you define success?
I don’t define success by money or fame. I think for me success means I am able to affect people in a positive way through my music. At the end of my career, if I am able to affect one person and change their life, then that is success to me. No amount of money or fame will give me that satisfaction.
What can we expect from you next?
Right now I am working on my very first album which is my biggest project yet. It is a lot of work but I can’t wait to share it with everyone. I am excited to show people how much I have grown as an artist.