NJE Laid Back Interview

Hip-Hop Artist NJE Tackles Depression on Emotive New Single Ballad for the Broken Hearted

Brisbane hip-hop artist NJE has released an uplifting single 'Ballad For The Broken Hearted' dedicated to those who are going through depression after heartbreak produced by RustyBeatz13 from Russia.

'Ballad For The Broken Hearted' was written by NJE after hearing how much sadness came from a broken heart. Issues such as depression, separation from children, and those going through divorce/break-up triggered NJE to write this song, it's a voice for those going through it.

On the single, NJE said, "I hope this song is something they can feel and relate to going through their personal struggles and pain. I also wrote this for the youth going through break-ups, some just can't cope as well as others,"

"Depression is a real thing and a lot of people don't know how to speak up and tell people how they REALLY feel. Something as small as asking someone "Are you ok?" can make so much of a difference. The second verse of this song is me rapping to a young heartbroken soul, telling them to stay positive and giving them some solid advice from someone who's been there before,"

New Zealand born NJE raps about life experiences and topics that everyday people can relate to. Following what has been a monumental few years, the rapper has had a plethora of releases, including his debut album 'Life's Scripturez,' 'The Independent Hustlers Mixtape,' 'From The Outside Looking In..' and more recently his upcoming fourth album 'The Evolution Of One's Self'. His previous releases garnered critically acclaimed coverage from Channel V, ABC's Rage, Triple J, Nova 96.1FM and radio stations around Europe.

Whether it is the incredible avant garde production, or the all-encompassing lyrical content. Nothing comes out of this experience unscathed. The reliability of his music is what makes NJE the artist he is today.

Over the years he has supported shows with the likes of Ice Cube, Xzibit, Public Enemy, Bone Thugs N' Harmony, Bliss N' Eso, Horrowshow, Seth Sentry, Kerser and more.

Interview with NJE

Question: How would you describe your music?

NJE: I would describe my music as food for the soul. Hip-Hop with substance and something you can feel. I make music for those living everyday life. I can't sugar coat the truth and what's really happening. I just give the people what's real and make them feel something.

Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?

NJE: A mixtape cut of mine called Laid Back. Why? because I see so many smiles when I do it! It's a feel good song about kicking back in the sun enjoying a drink or two with your people. It gets people dancing and I love that.

Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?

NJE: My pups Baxter and Brinkley; sadly they are underage and won't get in the venues. Truth is they behave better than most people I know!

Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?

NJE: I'd say doing it live because it's like a reward to see people enjoy what you have created you know! I love seeing people smile. However I do enjoy studio very much, my engineer Espa and I always have fun sessions filled with laughs and tequila. On that note, shout out to Espa!

Question: What motivates you most when writing music?

NJE: Life: what I see, what I go through. It gives me inspiration to write and give people what I'm really feeling. Writing is such a great way to vent for me. Nothing like it. It's great when an artist you love drops some heat though that also inspires me to write again.

Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?

NJE: Boogie, J.Cole, Joey Badass, Action Bronson are some of the newer artists I'm feeling. However my iPod is full of classic Hip-Hop tunes from Redman, Big Pun, De La Soul, MF Doom, Ghostface Killah, Biggie and Big-L. I'm also a big 70's soul fan, I love my old soul grooves.

Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?

NJE: When I was like 20 I had been writing for like a year, nothing too serious just a hobby on the side. Then I heard D-12 were performing live at Channel V at Fox studios (Sydney). So I rolled in with a mate to see a huge crowd expecting Eminem to come out too. There was like 3,000 people there it was packed! I was just chilling at the back then they asked the crowd is there any emcees that want to get up and rap to show them Aussies can rap too. I let it slide… then my mate said "you got to get up". I put my hand up and was the last selected. I think most of these people just got up to meet D-12, not many could rap (laughs). I got handed the microphone and I dropped a sweet 16 on them and got a heap of love. I rapped again when D-12 came out and met them, it was super awesome. After that I stepped off the stage and got so much love! People were texting me saying I seen you on TV and I then knew what I wanted to do… To chase that feeling, it was super special.

Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

NJE: Oh man, so many to choose from! Some dream collabs would be: Nas, Jay-Z, Eminem, Outkast, J.Cole, and I could keep going (laughs).

Question: Did you have any pre-conceived ideas about the music industry?

NJE: No not really. I know I can never be a super commercial artist so I don't expect fame or to "get rich". Music to me is my expression though, it's deeper than money or material wishes. To get messages from fans saying my music has helped them through some hard times is so much more rewarding. I do this because I love it. Anything else from there is a bonus.

Question: What's a typical day like?

NJE: Well, I recently relocated to Brisbane from Sydney. My life has changed a lot since then. In Sydney I would work a lot; my day job was being a pool lifeguard, I enjoyed it because it kept me level headed. I love people too so every day I would enjoy the chats.

Whereas in Brisbane I work less with my day job and focus on music more. I spend a lot of time mapping out my touring and show schedules. I'm self-managed and run my own company called The Essence Entertainment. I'm a very busy guy and I like it like that. I busk a few times a week to keep my live show sharp too.

Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?

NJE: To help people get through hard times with what I do. It's pretty rewarding. I also get a lot of messages from my supporters saying thank you for being an inspirational person. I'm blessed and thankful for it all.

Question: Can you tell us 5 things required for a happy healthy and enjoyable life?

NJE: Here's my five, in no particular order:
Positive thinking; positive is how I got to live.
To smile: we all experience hard times, but just know the sun will shine again. Turn your negatives into something positive
Puppies. Puppies make everyone happy!
Good music. Everyone needs that food for the soul.

Question: Can you share your socials?

NJE: Facebook.com/njeofficial

Interview by Brooke Hunter


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