The actor, artist, film producer, and entrepreneur J Young MDK, born Jermaine Carter, is making waves in the entertainment industry. New to the name? Well, let’s put it this way: from the get-go, his talent was backed up by the established American actor, comedian, and singer Jamie Foxx who helped kick off his career. Since then, he has released four albums: Now Or Never (2019), Aqua (2020), Black (2020), and White (2020).
Besides being involved in music, J Young MDK is also tapped into the film industry. He has been a part of the film projects “The App that Stole Christmas,” Apple’s “Feds Did a Sweep,” and the Tupac biographical drama film “All Eyez on Me.”
Fast forward to now, J Young MDK will be premiering his latest film project, a short film entitled “Mixed Girl” at The Micheaux Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA on July 15.
What else does he have going on? Well, it appears that the sky’s the limit for this multifaceted biracial artist. On top of the official short film’s release, the “Run Away” singer also has a Latin-influenced and R&B album in the works.
BELatina News had the opportunity to chat with J Young MDK to catch up with everything he’s up to. Here’s how the conversation unfolded.
First of all, tell us about your background. Where are your parents from? How’d you get into the music industry?
My parents have Puerto Rican and Black backgrounds. I grew up loving music while going on regular errands with my mom. I started freestyling and making my own songs over popular hip-hop beats to really get my foot into making music.
I’ve read that “Run Away” was inspired by your dad’s Puerto Rican side and your mom’s Caribbean influences. Tell us about that.
I’ve been around Reggaeton/Hip hop music such as Elephant Man and Marc Anthony my whole life, including traveling to the Islands and making great friends. I’ve always been very diverse because of that.
How does your multicultural household influence your music?
Everyone around me introduced me to many different artists of varying cultures, so I was never narrow-minded. If you hear something great, you find a way to implement it into your music.
Have you been to Puerto Rico or any Caribbean islands from your parent’s roots? Have you explored your Latin side?
Yes, I travel to Puerto Rico 2-3 times a year, specifically old San Juan. I’ve also been to the Dominican Republic.
How do your Puerto Rican roots influence your music?
There’s a particular flavor or spice that comes along with my beats. My grandfather’s wife has actually been providing more of an influence. I acknowledge that cultural awareness is what I’d like to pass on to my kids; maybe they can use that to influence their music.
Is there any Latin-influenced music that you’re currently working on? I know you had a Latin-influenced album in the works last year. Are you still planning to drop it? What can you tell us about it?
Yes, I do have a Latin-based album I’m working on and an R&B EP. There are going to be several collaborations with many Latin artists. It’ll be more of a compilation project. The perfect example would be a DJ Khaled album.
You appear to be a jack of all trades. Tell us how you manage all your projects. How do you keep track of everything?
There are many things to do, but I love everything I partake in. It’s easy to wake up and go to work because I truly enjoy these things. Whether it’s a film or a musical direction, I’m happy to go with the flow of the wind that day. Also, paying attention to how your followers respond to a new project is key.
What inspired you to get involved in the American Diabetes Association?
I am a Type 1 diabetic, so I naturally wanted to explore that and talk to others who have it as well. It is a daily process to overcome mentally, but I hope to provide an example of someone to look at for inspiration.
Anything else you’d like to include?
I just want to thank everyone for the support over the years, including the new supporters. The appreciation goes a long way and gives me the energy to keep producing creativity for everyone. It gives me the ammunition to go even harder for everyone watching.