Photographed by HASSAN MAHMOOD
GROOVY is an up-and-coming Neo-Pop/R&B artist from New Jersey. His sound is a unique blend of R&B and Jersey Club, sure to get your feet moving.
His music contains many different influences. Not only does he blend R&B and Jersey Club, but he also takes inspiration from different subgenres of music. With an ability to write catchy hooks, infectious rhythms, and clever lyricism the future of Neo-Pop/R&B looks promising as GROOVY continues to blend genres and craft unique tracks.
GROOVY is quickly making a name for himself in the music industry and is showing no signs of slowing down. His music is fresh, unique, and invigorating, and his creative approach to creating music is something that sets him apart from other artists. With each new single and release, GROOVY's sound continues to evolve and mature.
We spoke to the artist about his musical influences, New Jersey roots, his current single “BADGURL”, and more. In his latest single, GROOVY proves that diversity is the spice of music. Blending throwback boom-bap production with elements of retro R&B, “BADGURL” is an enticing track that will leave you craving more from GROOVY
Watch the 'BADGURL' official video:
ColorBloc Magazine: How did you come up with the stage name GROOVY?
GROOVY: It’s actually an ode to one of my favorite rappers. GROOVY is a shortened version of my Instagram handle (groovy.ju). I came up with the handle in highschool when I discovered ScHoolboy Q. He often referred to himself as groovyq, so I thought “hey, I’ll be groovyju”, a mix of Schoolboy’s alias and my long-term nickname “ju”.
ColorBloc Magazine: At the top of the year you released 'Jersey Luv' and now you're back with a groovy new single 'BADGURL' which comes out next week! Can you tell us more about what inspired the track?
GROOVY: BADGURL is inspired by a type of girl I frequently find myself with; A first or second generation West African or Caribbean girl with strong traditional values, but curiosity about the arts, pop culture, and nightlife.
ColorBloc Magazine: How would you say "BadGurl' compares to 'Jersey Luv'?
GROOVY: The story is a lot more focused and the speech more direct, however the vibe is more relaxed. BADGURL is me in a calm confident position, whereas in jersey luv I was anxiously excited. Musically, BADGURL is smooth Alt-R&B, jersey luv is way more in your face.
ColorBloc Magazine: In the 'BadGurl' video, the main girl gets initiated as one of the GROOVY baddies. Looks aside, what is your definition of a bad girl and how did you come up with the concept for the video?
GROOVY: A bad girl is someone confident in her uniqueness. I love original people, and the girl in the song needs help stepping into her own. For the music video I wanted to personify the relationship dynamic I had with a “bad girl”. We took an edgy approach of me being a cult leader indoctrinating the main character. Unfortunately, that’s probably how a bad girl's parents would view me lol.
ColorBloc Magazine: As an experimental R&B artist, what elements of traditional R&B do you play on within your music?
GROOVY: I'm fairly intentional with my melodies and runs. I try to practice keeping a good pace of the lyrics while still leaving room for an emotional trail off or a dignified adlib. There isn’t much reference when it comes to blending R&B and jersey club, so I try my best to utilize fundamentals from both.
ColorBloc Magazine: How do you feel about the statement "R&B is dead"?
GROOVY: R&B will never die. Genres go through evolutions that will both enrich and dilute the sound, but no matter what direction you lean, R&B’s influence will be here. I don’t believe any genre has died, they change with the times.
ColorBloc Magazine: When you make a decision about a creative direction or style for a song do you stick to it?
GROOVY: I like to think I try. It’s hard to blueprint artistic expression because creativity is spontaneous and fleeting. I have a goal in mind of how I want to display my music and my art to the world, but being too rigid would make it a chore. If the vibe feels right I lock in but I allow myself room to roam.
ColorBloc Magazine: How often do you change the original concept?
GROOVY: Case by case basis. Both jersey luv and BADGURL were one stop shops, I had a plan and saw it through. Other songs end up being everything but my original idea. The end goal is making enjoyable music no matter what the starting point was.
ColorBloc Magazine: What does your creative process look like?
GROOVY: Sitting with my engineer DJ Daniverse and my producer Alejandro. They’re invaluable to my process. They understand what I’m trying to do and facilitate my ideas in a really positive way. Plus we all get along great, it’s nice making music with friends.
ColorBloc Magazine: As a New Jersey native, house music has had a great impact on your artistic style. In your opinion what's the biggest misconception about jersey club and house music?
GROOVY: That one is more sophisticated than the other. They have such a similar culture; I go to clubs, my favorite DJ introduces me to new mixes, and people are engaged and excited about the scene. Jersey club, while it’s been around for years, doesn’t get the same respect as house music. Not only do I hope to change that, I hope jersey club gets a seat at the table of music for the mainstream.
ColorBloc Magazine: You once mentioned Michael Jackson as one of your major inspirations because of his ability to evoke emotion in his vocal performances. Do you have a favorite vocal performance from him?
GROOVY: THIS PLACE HOTEL BY THE JACKSONS. HANDS DOWN.
ColorBloc Magazine: Mental health is important and the life of an artist has its ups and downs. What has been the hardest change in your life you had to go through and what helped you get through that time?
GROOVY: I’m honestly still going through it. The hardest part about being an artist who wants to be successful is you can’t stop. Everything takes a back seat to music, and not everyone understands that. The landlord doesn’t care that I just had to buy new equipment, love interests don’t care that you're short on time, and life doesn’t stop for anybody. As an artist, you have to understand it’s not easy, and that the goal isn’t for it to get easier.
ColorBloc Magazine: In your opinion, whom do you consider to be a visionary?
GROOVY: Pharrell. An artist and a producer who has been a defining voice for multiple sounds across multiple years. He just had the ear, it’s impressive.
ColorBloc Magazine: Who are some artists that you're interested in working with in the future? Artists are impactive in so many ways, how do you want to impact the world through your artistry?
GROOVY: In the near future I want to build with people from the club and R&B scenes: Kanii, Jordan Ward, skaiwater, Project X producers, Cookiie Kawaii etc. Down the road I would love to see what I could bring to household names: Drake, Pharrell, Summer Walker, SZA, PartyNextDoor. I hope my music makes people feel something. It can be good or bad, but never indifferent. I want my music to demand a response.
ColorBloc Magazine: You've teased an EP is coming this year, any more you can tell us? Is the tracklist complete, have you decided on a title for the project?
GROOVY: I can’t show you all the cards in my hand lol. I can tell you that besides the two singles I have a third song ready to drop soon. It’s funny because the sound is evolving from track to track. The focus is club and the mood is R&B, if you’re a GROOVY fan you’ll be happy <3.
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