From recording his first song in a studio in 2015 and feeling like the next KDot, to Rapping and Producing amazing records, from ‘Lagos Vibes’ in 2019, ‘CBTM’ with Lord B in 2021, ‘Manifest Me’ with Chi* and recently ‘Cool Kids’, where he questions himself and reflects on all the things he did to “fit in”. Also simultaneously realizing that no one really feels like they “fit in”.

Earlier this week, we had a quick Q & A session with ‘JNino’, the Innovative Mastermind behind the recent R&B/Soul single “Cool Kids”

Full name is ?

Justin Omorode

Why the name ‘JNino’ ?

Since I was about 7 my dad called me JNino. It’s J from Justin And Nino means boy in Italian.

Can you remember the first song you ever recorded ?

In a studio ? Yesss it was called Crisis in my friend R.bA’s studio in Atlanta in 2015. It’s still on SoundCloud lmao. I thought I was Kendrick Lamar 🤣🤣

What / Who is your biggest inspiration ?

I have few biggest lol . So I grew up admiring Jaden Smith and his MSFTSREP movement also the Soulection. They are really the blueprint for how I operate today. They had a whole community of creatives making music and art very alternatively I just took a lot of inspiration from those two movements. You can probably hear it in my music.

My parents man. They have stood by me in my decision to do music and I really appreciate their support. They inspire me to continually chase freedom and what’s important to me.

Who’s the man behind ‘JNinoTheMc’ ?

JNino is something I try to keep separate from Justin. I feel like when people conflate the two is when there’s an issue even internally. JNino is an artist/producer intent doing music in his own way and centering African culture and art and figuring out what it means to be an Afrocentric artist in a modern sense. At the center of my art is Africa. I hope to champion that forever in a real way

How many songs have you recorded / produced this year?

A lot o. You know how music is. Once I have my laptop I’m making a beat and cooking something you know ? But this year has been slow as I am finishing off my EP. So a lot of editing is going on !

Quick one: Single, In a Relationship or Situationship? *clears throat*

Single lmao. That question came out of no where lmao

How did the song ‘Cool Kids’ come about?

Cool Kids is a song I wrote during lockdown in schools on my piano. I was learning some extra music theory and that was the foundation of the song. Lyrically I always wanted to write a song that reflected my experience of not fitting in with any group in secondary school. But also you can extrapolate the message and apply it to life. So through the song I’m questioning myself and reflecting on all the things I did to “fit in”. Also simultaneously realizing that no one really feels like they “fit in”

If you could get an A or B-list artiste to hop on ‘Cool Kids’, who would that be and why ?

I feel like Tay Iwar would kill this song. He’s always so deep lyrically ! And his voice is maddd. Also Asa would be insane.

Favorite line off ‘Cool Kids’

“Externalizing happiness expecting validation”. The way the rap verse came out felt like a trance. But for me that line represents the idea that you are in charge of your own happiness and no amount of validation can make you happy.

JNino’s Cool Kids Cover Art by Vitalis Nwn

Should your fans be expecting a body of work anytime soon?

I’m finishing off my ep. I got one or two more singles then you guys will hear it. The EP is called Awoken ! You’ll hear from me soon.

If you were asked to pick one, a full-time ‘Artiste’ or ‘Producer’ ?

Ha I can’t pick o. Sorry no vex

What’s that one “I’m proud of the man I’ve become” moment you’ve had?

Performing at the 90s Baby show back at the end of last year ! It was on my bucket list and even though it was small, it was like a mama I made it moment !

If you could change one thing about you, what would that be ?

I would sleep on time. But my creative juices flow better at night !

Any Creatives from your ends we should look out for ?

Vitalis: @vitalis.nwn. He did the Cool Kids video he’s a creative director. Has some amazing things planned this year

Ruyi: @ruyithegiant. Has a crazy Ep coming this year

JNino Cool Kids Visualizer (Directed by Vitalis Nwn)

Favorite quote of all time ?

Orun La Wa and it translates to “We Are In Heaven” from Yoruba. And I think the idea of this puts the burden on us to fix planet earth as a human race, because WE messed it up if we’re being honest.

And lastly, do you have any questions for me? Shoot!

I have just one. How does it feel to spotlight artists and watch them evolve and grow ?

Exciting! It’s gives me so much whenever I discover a raw and untapped talent before he / she blows up.

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