Exclusives Interviews 5 March 2021
Author: Ore Bolarin

GRM Exclusive: A1 x J1 talk their viral hit “Latest Trends”, musical inspirations & more

5 March 2021

Earlier this week we had the chance to sit down with upcoming stars A1 and J1 to talk about their viral hit “Latest Trends” as well as their inspirations, how they first met and more.

Like the rest of us, the two were navigating their way through lockdown and by chance they met each other online and from there, “Latest Trends” was born. We chat to the guys to find out more!

So first off, how have you guys been holding up through the various lockdowns?

J1: “We’re happy, we’re gassed during lockdown right now.

A1: “I’m absolutely buzzing right now; this lockdown is the best lockdown ever man. Best lockdown ever!”

2. I read that you guys first came into contact during lockdown through the app Houseparty, what’s the story behind that?

J1: “So A1 was in a room, with some girls. I had mutuals but we didn’t have each other on Houseparty. I joined the room, we started talking and I found out he was a rapper. I checked out his Instagram and was like ‘oh mad you’ve got talent’. I followed him, he followed me, and we’ve been talking ever since.

A1: “And like when I met J1, that’s when I first started rapping. So it’s like J1’s been there since day one.

“Latest Trends” has a feel-good vibe with its upbeat, guitar-based production courtesy of ShoBeatz and smooth vocals from A1 on the chorus and his verse. J1 comes through with clever wordplay and bars, the chemistry between the two is clear to see and adds to the infectious energy that the track displays.

I asked what inspired them when making the song as well as some of their music inspirations in general, and whether they ever thought the song would be this big.

Latest Trends” is a massive hit but what inspired you guys to make the track?

A1: “My struggle man, just the experiences I’ve been through. That’s what made me write. I used music to block certain stuff away from me, use it as an escape. So I recorded it, showed the mandem and everyone was like ‘it’s cold’ so I went studio and recorded it.

J1: “Yeah so he sent it over to me, I was like ‘rah this is cold’. Then I went studio and recorded my verse.

A1: “We did all this without meeting each other.

Who would you guys say are your biggest musical inspirations? Who did you guys grow up listening to?

J1: “Santan Dave, he’s a big one for me.”

A1: “Yeah Dave as well, J Hus too.”

Their debut song “Latest Trends” currently has over 13 million streams on Spotify and the music video has over 2 million views in its a first week on YouTube, a testament to the quality of the track.

Did you guys anticipate how big “Latest Trends” was going to be? And when did you guys realise you had something special on your hands?

J1: “Nah, not this big at all.

A1: “No way. We knew it would do well, but not this well.

J1: “Doing well for me would’ve been like 10k views.”

J1: “I always knew we had something special. A1 though, he didn’t wanna post it on Tik Tok.”

A1: “Because it’s the first song we’ve ever released! I was a bit shy about releasing it, I thought people might not like it.

J1: “I was like we have to post it, people have to hear this.

How have you lives changed after the release of “Latest Trends”?

J1: “People are taking me in more.

A1: “I find that I’m in the studio a lot more. And it’s like a job for us now, it’s crazy.

“Latest Trends” went viral on Tik Tok, first with a snippet which had thousands of videos being made from the audio. Soon after A1 and J1 released the full track with the lyric video amassing nearly 3 million views on YouTube. I asked the guys what their thoughts on how Tik Tok is becoming a platform that helps artists create hype for their music.

A1: “I think me and J1 have proven how powerful Tik Tok actually is.

J1: “Yeah, I never thought Tik Tok was this powerful.”

A1: “It’s a very powerful platform, it’s an amazing app.

So, after a stellar start to your careers, what do you guys have planned for the rest of 2021? Can we expect a project in the future?

A1 and J1: “More bangers! Wait and see”

Getting to interview the two young artists I could see how much the success of “Latest Trends” meant to them. The future looks bright for them both, and like they said, we need to wait and see what’s next as they’re sure to have more hits on the way.