“J Vessel is a London-based artist, 21 years old, who tries to honestly convey his life for his listeners.”
J Vessel says that hip-hop has been the soundtrack to his life. “It influences what I wear, how I speak.” His father was a Christian DJ, so he grew up listening to U.K. Christian Hip-Hop artists like Guvna B and Dwayne Tryumf. “The words in their hip-hop was different to the normal hip-hop at the time and it kind of got me on a good path early.”
“I started off as a producer really for fun, taking my dad’s laptop when he was sleeping and going on GarageBand and making beats.” At age thirteen, he started rapping words to these beats. His father often hosted open-mics and would invite him to share a song.
“I kind of stumbled into it and haven’t stopped since then.”
When he was first trying to find a stage name, he looked in thesauruses to find “the toughest name I could possibly have.” That didn’t work. One day when attending a Christian conference, “the word vessel just came to me and it was like God wanted to use me to be a vessel, to speak through me.”
He started calling himself Vessel until he found out that there was another artist out there with the same name. “I stacked the J in front of the Vessel. J is for Jordan, my first name.”
Last month, J Vessel released an EP called The Story of Jordan James. James is his middle name.
“I wanted people to know that it’s okay to struggle with things.”
He wants to encourage listeners to share their struggles, at least with trusted friends and/or family, so that they can be consoled and supported. “It’s not okay to go through it on your own.”
He recommends that people find someone “that is not going through the same thing you are that you can talk to, pray with, [and] get advice from.”
“I just wanted to be honest on this EP [and] tell the whole story of Jordan James: who is that person? Who am I? Not just the Christian artist, the actual person.”
When considering the album cover, he thought, “If you opened the book of my life, what would you see most.” Cash symbolizes his pursuit to make a living. “You see a little number with a text me on it with a kiss. That is like lust and girls… How do I honor God in my relationships with females?” The rosary represents prayer and faith. The gold chain signifies “the rapper in me.”
J Vessel said that recording The Story of Jordan James was his best time making music yet. He worked on the album exclusively with his friend and producer Victizzle. “Every single song on there we made in a day, its own day.” When they meet up they start the session with prayer, then “he starts making a beat, I hear a melody and the rest is history.”
The album begins with “Looking For Me,” a song to the haters who don’t like the J Vessel who follows Jesus.
“When you want to do something positive with your life or you want to follow God, you want to leave the old you behind and you tell your friends and they’re like ‘Nah man, why are you trying to be better than us,’ [or] ‘You think you’re too good for us now.’”
J Vessel says that if you’re looking for him in his former path, you won’t find him there. “I’m a different person now. If you’re not trying to get on my wave, then sorry mate.”
In April, he performed at an event in London with Christon and Taelor Gray. After J Vessel’s part where he performed “Looking for Me,” Taelor encouraged him saying, “I’ve heard that song. Why are you performing it like that? You’re supposed to perform it how you sang it. Just sing it out.” From then on, J Vessel has felt a sense of confidence in the studio.
He wants to talk about young people being positive in “Young & Free.”
“All young people are just one way to the older generation a lot of times. There’s a lot of negativity surrounding younger generations, but I don’t see that.”
“Lose Control” is about a battle with lust. “I feel like that’s a real topic for a lot of young Christian single or unmarried people, especially the ones I know.” He says that he wants to paint a picture of the moment that you’re struggling with the temptation to do something sinful. In “Lose Control,” J Vessel does a lot of singing, a talent he has developed over the years.
“Shine Up” is the final song on The Story of Jordan James. He wants listeners to know that if they are not leading the best life they can, to “have a positive outlook on it and remember that you don’t have to do this for your whole life.”
Outside of music, J Vessel likes playing soccer, playing FIFA, and “everything to do with football basically.” Being from North London, he is a fan of Arsenal.