Known to most as part of the mythical French rap band MZ, Jok’Air decided at the start of this year to deal with this industry alone. Whatever the reasons for the split, the Parisian rapper a few weeks ago dropped his mixtape Big Daddy Jok letting the public know that he’s in the rap game for long. We met him to talk about going solo, the gay community supporting his music and what he thinks about the actual rap scene in France. 

You quit MZ at the end of 2016, and now you’re a solo. How does it feel?

Everything is going well. I feel freer than I was in the band. It ended just as it was the right moment to stop doing music together.

You aren’t rapping about parties and women now that you are solo. There’s a real social conscious and how young people need to be honest with themselves.  Is that true? 

This change is me at the moment. It’s Jok’Air. MZ was a band with three different personalities and now I’m expressing myself alone. My fans knows that there’s not a big difference but they understood that I’ve got some messages I couldn’t share in a band.

Rap has a reputation for misogyny. Do you think its part of the culture to rap about girls? 

No, you can make rap with different messages. Some rappers sing about guns and social investments as you can listen in my songs but everyone is free to have their own message.

When listening your mixtape, it’s not only rap, it’s also very melodious.

Artists need to evolve throughout their work and career. Artistically it’s the need for an artist to explore news things in music.

You released your first solo mixtape at the end of February. Why did you release it for free on Deezer? A gift for the fans who supported you from the start? 

I think it’s was a must to give my fans to introduce the new me and to make them know that everything is gonna be alright! The most intelligent people will automatically follow my art!

What do you think about the French rap scene?

It’s very surprising to see how many new comers are arriving with so much creativity. It’s very important to accept others and I feel a bit concerned as I consider myself as a newcomer as well.

Do you think rap is becoming more mainstream? 

Yes of course. I hope rap music will become popular as well as French pop music. Maybe in some years, rap music will be on French TV. For example I’ll will be pleased to collaborate with artists from the electro scene.

In France, do you think gay people can be identify in rap music? As it’s mostly a chauvinist type of music.

I think everyone can have his place in rap music. A gay rapper needs to represent himself and be proud to be whoever he is. I know during my gigs, there’s white, black, Muslim or even gay people and I want them to be together bringing a positive image of art even if they are all in a rap concert! It’s important to be respectful to others whatever your sexuality.

Interview and 35mm images by Ivica Mamedy