South Africa’s Ross Jack Taking Hip-Hop to the Next Level

Ross Jack

Ross Jack

Introducing South African artist, Ross Jack, who’s been kicking our Hip-Hop scene up a notch – locally and internationally.

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The Johannesburg-born artist started out as a producer for other SA hip-hop artists, after which he released his very own single, Seven45 in 2012. There really was no stopping him from there as single after single climbed the charts. His third track Home Safe held top of the iTunes SA hip-hop chart for four weeks.

In 2015, Ross Jack released his debut studio album with Sony South Africa titled Self Medicated and went on to release his very first UK single, Fall, followed by his newly released single, Fear the Rush featuring Arrow Benjamin (co-writer and featuring artist on Naughty Boy’s Runnin’ (Lose it All) ft Beyonce).

At the moment the hip-hop scene in SA is rapidly growing and Ross is on his way to spearhead this movement into new territories around the world. “I’m happy the game is in a healthy place. My thoughts are that from here we should define the sound a bit and make our mark internationally, something I am trying to do.”

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He admits that the hip-hop scene in the UK has more avenues to explore sonically, where as SA seems to take a lot of influence from what’s hot on the streets in the US. “I get frustrated when I hear South African artists sounding like Young Thug if he only spoke Zulu or Tswana etc! The UK seems to do its own thing when it comes to the genre and that’s interesting.”

Some of his plans include some kind of tour through the UK next year. “That would be the best way to take the music to the streets.” Fans can also look forward to a new album from Ross, which he’d love to have ready by the back end of next year.

Ross says the fact that he produced music before he explored his own sound, was creatively necessary. “Look, it’s never easy listening to yourself on playback for the first time, and it takes work to become decent on the delivery… today I feel I’m a better producer also because I understand that arena.”

Musically, his major influences as a beat maker includes J Dilla for texture, creative Kanye West and then legends like Diana Ross, MJ, The Rolling Stones and Oasis for taste. He describes his own sound as ‘Electric Soul’ or ‘Stoner Pop’.

His new single Fear the Rush is labelled as the perfect introduction to his sound – a combination of soulful vocals with brooding, atmospheric instrumentals, showcasing the kind of melodic hip-hop that’s already helped him top the charts in SA.

You can listen to it over here:

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