Interview: PJ, On Stepping out from Behind the Scenes to on Stage

Photographed by Ana Sanchez

Rapper, PJ, moved to Los Angeles in 2014 and quickly became known for writing songs for Charlie Puth for “Left Right Left,” Meek Mill for “I Don’t Know,” and Wiz Khalifa for “True Colors” featuring Nikki Minaj. In 2015 and 2016, PJ stepped out from behind the scenes on stage with her own songs, which are original R&B with a bit of soul mixed into it. PJ lets us in on her song, “One Missed Call,” her songwriting process, how she stays grounded in this ever-evolving business and her plans for the upcoming year. Read on to find out more about this singer, rapper, and songwriter who is on the rise.

GLITTER: Is it true you started behind the scenes as a songwriter?

PJ: Yes.

GLITTER: What artists have you written songs for in the past?

PJ: Usher, Meek Mill, Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth, Ava Max, Boosie, and Kevin Gates.

GLITTER: Anyone you want to collaborate with in the future?

PJ: Drake has always been at the top of my list. But outside of that, I would love to work with J. Cole, Missy Elliot, or Beyoncé.

GLITTER: How would you describe your sound?

PJ: Alternative R&B and come up music.

GLITTER: What can you tell us about your latest single, “One Missed Call?” 

PJ: “One Missed Call” is very different from anything I’ve done before. But I love how it’s just about trying to reach somebody that won’t pick up. But to me, that song is about paying attention to your intuition.

GLITTER: How do you typically approach your studio sessions?

PJ: A lot of my sessions are like freestyling like a rapper. But most of it is just trying to bottle my personal experiences and releasing them on wax.

GLITTER: What is the songwriting process like for you?

PJ: I like recording over open chords and working with a producer building something from scratch. Sometimes I write to a beat, but I just like the freedom of having someone create around you. But typically, it’s just freestyling. I’ll go in and mumble as much as I can in the first take.

GLITTER: How has your music evolved since your debut EP, Walking Around Pools, released in 2015?

PJ: I feel like partly because I’ve been slowly becoming more sure of myself. It’s just been more honest. I’ve experienced a lot in my downtime, since Rare and I’ve learned a lot about life.

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