Toronto-native singer, rapper and songwriter, Jahkoy, took an interest in music at young age, but living in Canada didn’t exactly provide him with the opportunity to have a proper musical background. But, this didn’t stop him from pursuing his passion.
Jahkoy’s musical upbringing consisted of listening to hits from ‘80s boy band, New Edition, and rap moguls Notorious B.I.G. and Lil Kim. By the time Jahkoy turned 11, he knew this was something he wanted to pursue full-time. He started toying with lyrics, rhymes and beats, and soon after, he started releasing music under the stagename Raheem, which was a nickname given to him at a young age by his father’s side of the family, according to an interview he did with Vice’s music channel, Noisey.
Palmer represented himself under the moniker Raheem, while trying to discover who he was as an artist. Through this journey, he realized he needed to rebrand his image in order to take his career to the next level. Palmer dropped Raheem and starting making music under his birth name, Jahkoy.
“I felt like it was time to rebrand at the time,” Jahkoy said. “I was raised inspired by a new genre of sound that I was introduced to at the time that I wanted to rebrand myself. I went to the Disclosure show in Toronto, and I had never heard Disclosure; I didn’t know who they were. They had the headlining show and I got invited to the event through a friend of mine, and when I went to the show, I was introduced to a new wave. It was something that I had never experienced before. I wanted to deliver my perspective in a really cool experimental way. At the time, I was still discovering myself as an artist.”
In the midst of debuting his new sound, Jahkoy decided to move to Atlanta. After spending some time there, he realized L.A. is where he really needed to be in order for his career to kick off into full-gear.
“Being in L.A. now, I’ve been able to experience so much and I’ve gone through so much that I feel like it’s time to tell my story, it’s time for me to let everybody know what’s going on,” Jahkoy said. “When I came to California, I came out here in a time when I felt a lot of doubt in myself and I wasn’t sure what was really going to go on.”
Despite feeling doubtful, Jahkoy found his own path and created an individualistic, diverse sound that would be the start of something new for him. After moving to L.A, the first song the then 20-year-old recorded was called “Still in Love.”
“The story behind the making of ‘Still in Love’ was a common piece that I was having with myself about being in the place that I was, coming to L.A. and not really feeling like things were working out for me,” Jahkoy said. “I was at the studio with my buddy Andrew, and he was going through a bunch of beats he said he had on his computer. He was like, ‘yo, check out this beat.’ I got stuck on it; I couldn’t stop playing it after I heard the first time. Once I got hooked on it, I felt like it matched with what I love to do. I felt like I was coming home, in terms of I was almost falling out of love with my music because I wasn’t getting anywhere. Once I heard that record, I felt very inspired, and I felt really in love, again, so I was expressing the fact that I was still in love.”
The now 22-year-old notes that with being an artist, one of the most important things to remember is not to focus on what people think. Being in the now and creating a sound that fits your story is something that Jahkoy truly prides himself in.
“With being an artist and creating constantly, it’s one of those things where it’s just like expressing yourself,” Jahkoy said. “It’s almost like writing my diary and everybody reading it, eventually. It’s sharing my growth as a human being and as an artist, and sharing my perspective on the experiences that I go through with the people that I meet and with the people that I have around me, like my family members. It’s being able to tell my story.”
Standing in his own lane, Jahkoy’s incomparable sound is nothing like you’ve ever heard before. There are no boundaries when it comes to his music, as he experiments with everything from EDM to R&B and every genre in between.
“In my music, I just like to be all over the place,”Jahkoy explains. “I like to express myself not in a specific genre, so-to-say; not really focusing on something that caters to a specific sound. I like to create music as a whole, and with the rebranding, new ideas were created. I wanted to deliver myself as a new person and share my new ways, because I feel like I was evolving, and just with the growth, I felt like it was a new me.”
Currently at the height of his career, the Def Jam recording artist’s latest tracks have gained praise from Complex, Nylon, Hypetrak and was named one of Billboard’s “Artists to Watch.” His music is also gaining traction from people in the industry, as one of his more recent records, “Odd Future,” has been featured on Drake’s OVO Sound Radio.
Adding to his impressive track record, Jahkoy released his first EP, Foreign Water, on Oct. 28, 2016, and features seven tracks that feed every music lover's desires in one mini album. You can currently stream his newest music, as well as his previous releases, on his Soundcloud. His EP and singles are also available to buy on Apple Music.
Stay tuned for more new music and latest updates on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can also check out his website to stay up-to-date on his most recent projects, tours, news, photo and more.