Published Nov 02, 2016As 22-year-old Jahkoy drops his Foreign Water EP on Def Jam/Universal, the Toronto-raised, Los Angeles-based R&B artist reflects on how far he's come — and how much farther he wants to go.
Jahkoy Palmer always had an artistic side; he was writing poems at 11 and starting out rapping in Toronto as Raheem before realizing he really wanted to sing. He decided to leave Canada to kickstart his career, setting his sights on Atlanta first, bouncing around Miami and New York, before finally ending up in L.A.
He's collaborated with Willow and Jaden Smith and dropped SoundCloud singles — including "Hold Your Hand" and "Still in Love" — that received underground buzz and spins on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show.
The seven-track R&B-flavoured Foreign Water EP took two years to create and he worked with names like Rico Love, ScHoolboy Q and Jeremih in the process.
Here are four things you should know about Jahkoy:
The Foreign Water EP represents a formal introduction to the artist.
"I wanted to let people know Jahkoy is going to become a household name in the music world. I'm letting people know that I'm stepping my foot in the door, and I'm setting the bar high. Anybody in this generation has got to make a change. I feel like the standards for music are very low right now and the care for music is not really there. I want to be the voice that brings that sound that brings that excitement back to music."
Being Canadian-raised and now being based in the States provides him with a unique perspective.
"Travel means the most to be and being to able to do it is inspiring. I grab a little bit of everything from everywhere and it's becomes a part of me. I just kept moving, to where I felt that I was being more productive, that's where I wanted to stay. I went out to L.A. and it was everything and more. That also stems from my single 'California Heaven,' which tells the story of me leaving Toronto for California and just finding my purpose and my passion for what I want to do. That's where I found heaven, you know? It was a different environment for me. So I started developing a different side of creative. It's helping me grow."
Artists should be fearless conceptually and musically.
"You tend to tell yourself no more than yes more often. I didn't sit and think, 'Should I leave?' My advice is don't tell yourself you can't do something. Not ever. Because then are you automatically disabling yourself. You always want to be able, as that's a strength. You never know what comes out of trying."
He doesn't believe in genre.
"I know it's so hard to determine what genre is. Technology has given us the option to fuse sounds. That in itself allows us to create new things. and deliver that freshness. It's exciting. What I'm trying to do is eliminate genre. Accept music as good music, whenever it comes."
Check out the video for "Still in Love" below.