Get To Know Groovy [Interview]

Ian Hansen

New Jersey native Groovy had a breakout year in 2023, thanks to his single "jersey luv" featuring B Jack$, which gained traction on the TikTok algorithm and became a key element in the Jersey Club movement dominating this decade. As he aims to sustain this momentum into 2024, let's delve into more about Groovy below:

Congrats on the incredible 2023 you had. It was incredible to watch from afar. You are doing something unique with the jersey club vibe. To get started, what was it like growing up with a father who did music?

It was interesting. As a kid, you don’t see it as this big deal that my dad was a DJ. It was just like, “Oh, my dad just plays music loud.” I grew up hearing different types of music at all times of the day and all times at night. We often had artists. coming to the house to work on music with my father. I met a lot of people from places like London and Chicago. It was normal.

How do you think it helped you figure out that you wanted to be an artist?

I think it was the sense of community. It seemed very natural to go and meet people and artists. My first time making music was in a group setting. It was all very normal to me.

Here we are now – Groovy. Take me through how you came up with that name and the moment you realized you wanted to take music seriously?

I had the name Groovy before I started making music. It was my Instagram handle. It honestly comes from Schoolboy Q. He was my favorite rapper at the time. His alias was Groovy Q, and my real name is Julien so I wanted to go by Groovy Ju. 

Jersey Club has been huge this past year. What has it been like being from Jersey and watching it bud into what it is now?

It just felt like this was my time. Jersey Club has been around since before I was born. For it to just now hit the mainstream at the time where I am getting most popular in my career feels like fate. The old jersey club videos that have millions of views on Youtube were at my high school. It is very engrained in where I am from and my sound.

I do not feel like there are many people in your lane with the soulful spin on it. How does it feel being a part of something innovative to push Jersey Club forward?

It is interesting. I feel like I am pulling out the old bag of tricks. In the early 2000s, there was Jersey Club with real deep R&B vibes. Even artists right now like Cookiee Kawaii have tapped into that. They have shown me love so I feel like I am just pulling from the resources I have here. 

This year has been huge with “jersey luv,” but what is it like seeing millions of people be receptive to your music?

It is weird because I will go to the store and be regular, then I will realize there are 20 million people listening to my music. It is a crazy phenomenon. 

What has it been like seeing people go crazy at the shows?

That is the best part man. When they know the lyrics, and I can put the mic down and it is still going, it feels amazing. It makes me excited to keep going. Their excitement is my excitement, and it is validating.

All your music has this spacious and atmospheric feel to it. How did you come up with that vibe and feel for your sound? What do you look for in beats?

Space is a big thing. My main producer, Alejandro, has really honed on having space for vocals and layers, while still keeping that interest in the beat. We will work with other producers and have to be like, “Can you strip some things back or filter some things out?” My vocals are high so when we have that deep low end, and I can come in and fill the high end, it is a really nice blend of sounds. 

What is your guy’s recording process?

We record in Newark at my engineer Danny’s house. It has really chill family vibes. We go there with a blank canvas and start filling it. Alejandro is really big with helping me with ideas. It is like a soundboard, and we go back-and-forth. It is a vibe. Sometimes we will record very brief and come back the next day to finish it. I take a lot of time with each song to get the sounds right.

Looking forward, what do you want your legacy to be when music is done? 

That is a big question. At least in five years, I want to be a part of a huge smash record outside of internet virality. I want to be like how Future was. Even if he doesn’t get another hit, his voice has been on some of the biggest songs of all time. I want my voice to be in that same space. I want to help other artists. I am in the process of signing other artists and helping them get their career off of the ground. I want to build an aesthetic of a collective or a record label.

Who are some dream collaborations?

A fun one would be T-Pain. Even if it was a Soundcloud class, I would love to see what we could do. That would be a big one for me.

Who did you grow up listening to?

T-Pain on the melodic side. My dad doesn’t really listen to hip hop, but he listened to Graduation by Kanye West a lot. That is one of the first hip hop albums I remember. Of course, the classic house songs because my dad was a house dj. 

What is next, and what can fans look forward to? 

An EP. I am hoping to put out a single much sooner rather than later. I am gearing up to be very locked in for a month in the studio.

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