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Jazz Cartier Interview: "I’m Going Harder or I’m Gonna Go Home"

Performance advice and Hennessy talk with Jacuzzi LaFleur.
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Just 10 days ago—roughly 10 years in internet time—I had the opportunity to sit down for a brief interview with Jazz Cartier in Miami during Rolling Loud.

The longtime DJBooth favorite—his first feature on our pages was "Ataraxia" in June 2012—and recent Capitol Records signee is currently prepping his debut album, entitled Fleurever, which is led by single "Tempted."

Like my Rolling Loud chat with Peter Rosenberg, I was able to pry away some invaluable advice from Jazz as it pertains to performing live, not to mention his mindset going into the forthcoming album and the various benefits of drinking Hennessy, of course.

DJBooth: How have you developed your live show?

Jazz Cartier: Practice man. Practice every single day. Practice in front of the mirror. Work out and make sure your breathing is on-point. I don’t rap with the [backing] track, I rap with just the beat, you know what I’m saying? So I make sure every word is clear. The performance is everything, man. That’s your bread and butter, that shit will give you more fans. A lot of people half-ass it. Not me.

What do you think makes a great live performance?

Energy. Energy is always the big factor, no matter who it is.

Is that energy for you? Energy for the crowd? Both?

Both. If you’re a fan coming to see a show, you have to give the artist as much as the artist is giving you.

What does your pre-performance routine look like?

A shot of Henny. Another shot of Henny. Another shot of Henny.

What about afterward?

More Henny.

Is it different performing at a festival vs. an intimate show? And what do you do differently?

Intimate shows are more controlled. Festivals—you have to be a good performer to rock a festival. [Festivals] take a lot of training. Getting up on that stage, people don’t really know you, especially if you’re coming up, so you need to sell it.

Who is giving the best live show in hip-hop right now?

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What are you currently working on?

Fleurever, the album. It’s coming soon.

Is this the debut album?

Yes.

How is this going to be different from your past projects?

I got my bounce back. I’m going harder or I’m gonna go home. If this one doesn’t kick, it’s not Plan B. We don’t make no Plan Bs.

Is it a difference in mindset vs. the tapes before?

Way different mindset. I have a bounty on my back now, you know? I feel way more inspired than I did two years ago.

Anyone you’re working with right now you can tell us about?

Hush hush. It’s a surprise.

Who are you listening to right now?

Cousin Stizz. Smino. GoldLink. J.I.D. A.CHAL. Denzel Curry. Reese LaFlare. Jay IDK. Everybody, all my dogs.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give an up-and-coming artist?

Your performance is everything. Always remember that. Never half-ass a performance. Never think about the money—it’s never about the money, it’s all about the fans. And always keep your head straight, man, because it’s easy to lose yourself in all this chaos, all this drama, all the vices. It’s fun.

How do you stay above that?

Find balance. You gotta find balance in everything. I was doing this shit before I was rapping, so it’s not new to me. Know what I’m saying?

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