Jarrett Adams
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Jarrett Adams

Kokomo, Indiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Kokomo, Indiana, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Hip Hop R&B





A camera followed Jarrett Adams through a Kokomo salvage yard earlier this month as he rapped about mistakes, regrets and starting anew.
It took eight hours on a bitterly cold day to film the music video for his latest single, “The Rafters.”
A Fort Wayne video production company edited the footage and sent him the finished product last week. At 1 a.m. April 21, the 25-year-old watched it for himself. It was an emotional experience that he shared on social media.
“Just watched the music video for ‘The Rafters,’ and it literally brought tears to my eyes,” he posted to his Facebook page. “I’ve come such a long way and have even further to go.”
Adams’ latest album, “Exile,” drops May 6. He’ll celebrate Friday with an album release party at The Social complete with live performances.
That moment has been a long time coming for the Kokomo transplant.
Adams, known to his friends as J.A., grew up the son of a preacher. His dad taught him to sing in church. He also played drums, saxophone and piano.
All he really wanted to do, though, was become a successful hip hop artist.
“I was six when I first found out about hip hop,” Adams said. “My brother was a huge Notorious B.I.G. fan. He played ‘Juicy’ for me. I was like ‘what is that?’”
He spent his free time at Marion High School freestyling with his friends and making mixed tapes. By 21, he knew he wanted to make a career out of it. A few years later, he almost gave up on his dream, he said.
Adams said it’s amazingly difficult to break into the rap world. For a while, he felt like he couldn’t hack it. Then he drew inspiration from his 6-year-old cousin, Justice, who died recently from an asthma attack. She was his first and biggest fan, he said.
Even if she was the only one who liked his music, he’d keep making it for her.
Adams’ dad, on the other hand, wishes his youngest son would just stop and find a real job.
“He doesn’t support me the way I want him to,” Adams said. “He probably won’t come to my album release party.”
It’s those kinds of life experiences the up-and-coming rapper uses in his songs. He actually raps about his dad in a song he calls “DoorTHEE.”
The song played over the speakers at The Social during a private listening party on a recent Sunday night.
“Papa thinks that I'm tripping cause I don't want his position,” he rapped. “Dad I'm hearing you clear, but you don't make my decisions. I sleep with my own visions, carry my own dreams, kill any Goliath that's disrespecting my team. I'm focused by any means. I dare you to intervene. Only way that I quit is if I no longer breathe.”
It was a hit at the listening party, he said. It was everyone's favorite song on the album. It was also the first song he created with his manager Zack Miller.
Miller created the beats, and Adams wrote the lyrics.t was a tough one to write, Adams said, especially since he calls his dad out. He struggled with whether he should leave that in the song. In the end, he did because he wanted to be honest in his music. It's real.
"I have to make music that comes from the heart," he said.
Adams said when he sits down to write a song, he doesn't get up until it's finished. The music just comes to him. Miller said he's never seen anything quite like it.
"He knows what he's going to write in his head, and then he hears a beat and it just clicks," Miller said. "It's pretty remarkable actually."
Miller said he loves music, but he’s never liked rap and its lyrics that talk about women, sex and drugs. When he first met Adams, he expected to hate his music. It turns out it was a match made in heaven..
“This is not rap like you typically hear,” he said. “It’s got a lot of soul.”
His songs break the typical rap mold, and Adams is okay with that.
“We go outside the box,” he said. “There are no rules.”
He refuses to denigrate women in his songs. He prefers to send out a positive message, he said. That makes him an outcast in the rap world — part of the reason he called his album “Exile,” he said.
One of his songs, “Sold2Satan,” calls out rappers seeking money and fame at the expense of their music. Adams said it’s not about money and fame for him, though he hopes he doesn’t have to rap for free the rest of his life.
For him, it’s about using his gifts to help other people. That reminds him of his favorite quote, he said.
“For I’m just an artist; I’m just a man,” he recalled from memory. “I may not change the world, but let me inspire someone who can.”
Those words of wisdom (actually song lyrics from rapper Wale) have become his motto.
Miller said he really thinks that Adams could change the world someday. And someday may come sooner than even Adams expected.
He said if “Exile” gets in the right hands, it could really take off. The off-beat, original sounds set Adams apart from other artists.
Adams' mentor, New York rapper Mickey Factz, said the same thing, Miller said. Even the idea of a successful album gets Adams excited. His music career is literally all he thinks about, he said. When he’s in class at IU Kokomo, he’s thinking about lyrics and about recording. When he’s not in class, he’s writing music, listening to himself perform, recording and promoting himself on social media. Often he’s still up at 4 a.m. working. There’s no time to stop, though. “The moment I take a break, someone else is going to take my spot,” he said. “I refuse to let that happen. There is no Plan B for me. My Plan B is to make my Plan A work.” - Lindsey Ziliak


Still working on that hot first release.



Jarrett Michael Adams a.k.a. “J.A.” was raised the son of a pastor and strong mother in the small city of Marion, Indiana.  The youngest of two, J.A. learned from a young age that nothing in life comes easy or free.  Adams, a multitalented musician who can play numerous instruments and create heartfelt music, is determined to get his foot in the music industry’s door.

J.A. was introduced to music at a young age.  His father made sure that God and music were an important part of his children’s lives.  Adams grew up singing in the choir with his older brother and at times practiced and trained with his father, who could sing opera.  When he was 6, though, J.A. was introduced to Notorious B.I.G. by his older brother, and his love for hip-hop was born.  During that time Adams took piano lessons from a hometown pianist and developed skills that have helped him tremendously in his music career.

Growing up in church, J.A. first thought it would only be right to make Christian music because of who his father was.  Fighting with himself and finally realizing that his path could be different from his father’s, Adams decided to not title his music. Instead, he chose to make music from the heart and be himself.  During that time, he felt that his talent was being restricted by the beliefs of others.  In 2012, Adams came out with his first project, “SHOTS.”  This project was focused on feelings and issues Adams felt he couldn’t discuss during his Christian music stage.  He titled it “SHOTS” to depict the different feelings that alcohol offers.   Each song focused on a different feeling or drink.  Unsatisfied with this first project, Adams went back to the studio and started working on his next project, “Carnivals and Nightmares,” which dropped that exact same year in December.  Unlike “SHOTS,” “Carnivals and Nightmares” showed J.A.’s creativity, his ability to create music and his lyrical skills.  That album also allowed Adams to finally free his mind and not worry about what people thought.  Being the son of a pastor can be tough, but he decided to not worry about his family, friends or even his father’s church members and just make the music that was in his heart.  With that, his career had started. He felt he could finally be the artist he dreamed of.

The following year, Adams shot his first professional music video for a song from “Carnivals and Nightmares” titled “Chris Gardner.”  The song was based on the character Will Smith portrayed in the movie, “The Pursuit of Happiness.” Just like Gardner, Adams felt he too had been told what he couldn’t do, but was determined to prove people wrong and make it with his music.  The video was a huge success and gained Adams notable publicity; ultimately landing him a spot on tour with Class of 2009 XXL Magazine Freshman and former Jive Records artist Mickey Factz.  This was a huge step for Adams, helping him understand that with hard work and dedication that anything is possible.  All of this fueled him to create his first professional album titled, “24.”  The album showed creativity, strong lyrics and brought something different to hip-hop.  The album sold about 500 copies and helped J.A. gain a fan base and put his name out as one of Indiana’s hottest artists.  Adams then released his next project titled, “Circle 1,” which showed off his lyrical talent.  Adams felt that many of his fans and listeners slept on him as a rapper, so he wanted to show them that he could make great music along with very strong lyrics.  Adams wanted the state of Indiana to know that he was claiming himself king and that he would be a force in the music industry, whether you liked him or even knew who he was.

This year J.A. released his fifth project and second professional album titled, “Exile.”  The album’s lead single, “The Rafters,” has been a hit and has fueled an even bigger following, especially among the ladies. The album features Mickey Factz, who now mentors Adams.  The two have a song titled “Sold2Satan” about artists who are not true to themselves and are more focused on money than their craft.  On this particular project, Adams ventured out and tried a lot of different things. It has strong lyrics, and is more creative than any of his other projects. Every song is relatable and touching in its own way.  Factz has said that Adams is extremely talented, and his moment is coming if he continues to work hard and make inspiring music that people can relate to.  Many people say that Adams reminds them of a mix of Kanye West, Drake and John Legend.  But if you ask J.A., he will tell you that he is just an artist who wants to inspire and make music.

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