“Turn your passion into your profession.” Today’s youth is getting better at understanding that quote and applying it to their lives. As an entrepreneur, I love seeing others take control of their lives before they graduate high school.
Jose Garcia found a way to turn his voice into cash. He goes by his rapper name, Zey Rose. His journey started from writing poetry in elementary school. Eventually, it segued into freestyle rapping. At 17 years old, he’s taking his rapping seriously.
Where are you from?
I was born in Rhode Island. I lived in California for around 7 years. Then I moved to New Jersey and I went around the whole Hudson County, basically.
Where did you send most of your life?
It’s more like half and half with Jersey City and most of it in Hoboken and North Bergen.
When did you start rapping?
8 years old. Started from poetry and it continued after I got influences from what my parents were listening to. It was a lot of like Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Eminem, and artists like those.
Did you think you had a passion for it at that point?
At first, I wanted to play basketball. Music actually came a little while after. It was more of just a hobby for me.
When did you grow a passion for it?
It started when I got dropped from my freshmen basketball team. I felt like it was a sign because it gave me a lot more time to make the music and I actually started getting better at it. I later decided I should start persuing that.
When did you get serious about it?
When I started dropping music on Soundcloud when I was like 12 or 13 years old. I made beats and stuff on my phone. It was terrible quality, but that’s when I started dropping a lot of beats on my own.
When did you start your YouTube channel?
I started it in 2016, but I didn’t post anything. I think the first post was 7 months ago.
How often do you now post?
My plan is actually to drop 50 songs minimum this year. I’m trying to get to work and I’m trying to drop more than one song a week.
What grade are you in high school?
I’m a junior.
How old are you?
When I heard your song ‘Prime Time’ I got the vibe of Eminem cause he never raps about money or girls or what you would probably hear on the radio. What was your story behind that song?
When I made that song, a lot of people were thinking back and reflecting on where I was before. I was reflecting on a time where I was looking at other people and how celebrities get famous. They didn’t really have to go through the things other people have went through.
When you put your music out what is the message you’re trying to portray to your fans?
Depends from song to song. A lot the messages that I know I end up making are usually about starting from a little less and trying to get to motivate people. And that they can always get better.
When you feel like giving up, why do you continue?
I just think of all the people that told me I could make it and I didn’t really wanna let no one down. That and I really love music. Whether I feel like I’m gonna make it or not, I wanna continue as much as I could.
Are your parents supportive?
Yeah, both of them are actually really supportive. My mom is always trying to get me into shows and photoshoots and stuff. They buy me the material I need to help and keep telling me to keep going.
Is there anything that you want your fans to know about you?
Just that I was in their shoes days ago. I’m not anything crazy, I’m just somebody who you could relate to.
Do you ever do freestyle rap?
That’s actually how I started. I would actually freestyle on random beats that I’d find online.
What are your favorite rappers?
Some of the cliche ones like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Eminem. And some underground dudes like MF Doom, Tyler the Creator, guys like that.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I make my own beats too, I do really good with those. I started not even a year ago, like only 10 months ago. I’m trying to make music videos. I’m trying to make sure I’m getting everything independently done. I’m trying to be an independent artist and run with the whole idea.
Do you have somewhere that people can follow you?