Today we’d like to introduce you to AJ Chaka.
AJ, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My first experience with music began when I was four years old. I would watch my cousins imitate their favorite Emcees while making recordings for fun on my mom’s old white Dell computer. However, my first serious interaction with music began in 2012, when I was 14 years old. At that time I had recently moved from Springfield, Ohio to Irving.
I was an introverted kid who found comfort in his own space; my older cousin Perris (AKA Pluto) is an extrovert. He would come over to my old apartment and get me to start freestyling with him. We freestyled so much that he started to notice my skills naturally develop right before his eyes. Pluto had a young friend who was a lyricist, by the name of Nino Brown. Nino was the first teenager I ever heard who can rap better than the famous rappers on the radio. This young man watched me during a cypher at my apartment, and told me that, “If you write every day, nobody can stop you, you have the skills to naturally be a great artist”.
When I got to high school, my focus shifted from my new found love of rapping to academics & wrestling. However, back in 2015, the fire reignited in my body and I started working on rhymes again. I began building a name for myself at my school when I would deliver exceptional rhymes in different cyphers. That same year fellow classmate of mine Kobe Payton (AKA Kobe Jacquin) & I started the Ozone Cypress collective in hopes that we would bring a different light to the Irving/DFW music scene while being authentic as possible. We recruited creatives of different facets of life, who all brought something different to the table. Ozone Cypress had a lot of potential to be great, the downfall of the group was the fact that we couldn’t come together as a unit cohesively. The Ozone Cypress collective eventually split ways in 2018. I hold no bad feelings to any of the former members & I wish them the absolute best moving forward!
When I graduated from MacArthur High School in 2016, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Become a full-time Artist, who delivers a positive message to the masses. So, I had a series of conversations with my mother (AKA Queen Ms.K) that year about the music industry. She believed in my success so much that she quit her job, to work with me. In 2016, we took our time & officially created Neo Gold Entertainment/Music Group LLC, our own family made music company. That has record label, publishing, distribution, artist development services, etc… The creation of Neo Gold is the strongest foundation of my career.
In 2017, I released my first record titled, “Trilluminati”, and I began to see some success from the record, it had drawn the interest of a few blogs and tastemakers. Later in September of 2017, I released my first visual titled, “LEO”. When I released it I started to gain a lot of buzz locally and online. I remember my phone was glitching the day of the release due to all the notifications I was receiving. People I grew up with, People in my city and other cities of the world, were contacting me about how much they really liked my song. I was completely blown away by that fact. On Friday, October 13, 2017, I released my debut Mixtape, “Story N Rock Island”, to good success. From that point on I went through a long artist development journey. I returned with, “The Growth Tape” on October 23, 2018, and I’ve been making more and more moves ever since.
For instance, on January 26, 2019, I released double visual for The Growth Tape titled, “Alpha & Split” on YouTube. In addition to that, I was given the opportunity to open up for Texas Hip Hop Legend Lil Flip & Roc Nation’s very own Jarren Benton at SXSW 2019. On June 1st, I did my first-ever headlining performance in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at the “African American Black History Expo”, where I received my first music award being recognized by the city of Harrisburg, PA, for being a participator of the event all the way from Texas. On July 4th, I won the #IAmDallasHipHopChallenge and received a great opportunity to perform at the legendary Granada theater for the annual, “I Am Dallas Hip Hop” concert. And, on August 23rd, I released my new Hit single, “All Sides”, on all major streaming platforms!
Has it been a smooth road?
No, it has not been a smooth road. Along the way, I have had a few bumps. The biggest thing I have improved at is, balancing my life schedule between Music, Work & School. I used to find myself getting burnt out physically and mentally.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
Neo Gold Entertainment/Music Group is a full functioning music company under an LLC. That has record label services, publishing, artist development, management, and distribution.
Currently I am shadowing the steps of the owner of Neo Gold Entertainment, my mother Khalilah “Queen Ms.K” Washington, whereas in the future when I achieve my newfound heights of success, I will take the role of CEO & find unique artist in the DFW who are deserving, just like my mother did with me.
As a company, we are most proud of the growth we have gained since 2016, in regards to the services we offer. What sets Neo Gold Entertainment/Music Group apart from our competitors is the fact that we are Pro-Artist. The music industry has created a bad stigma for record labels due to the treatment towards artist & other staff/creatives. We understand how the music industry works. We are a company built on helping “Artist” in their career, while also helping them to feel safe in doing good business.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I like best about the city is the diversity of race and culture. And, what I like least about the city is the Gentrification, I have witnessed since moving here years ago.
- Address: P.O. Box 177051
- Website: neogoldent.com/aj-chaka
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ajchaka/
- Facebook: facebook.com/ajchaka01/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajchaka
- Other: https://ampl.ink/gq0OW