Meet up with Jenius, the WondaGurl Protégé Who’s Created for Travis Scott and Pop Smoke

In contrast to most teenagers, Julius-Alexander Brown does not daydream about performing with Travis Scott, Pop Smoke, or WondaGurl. All that and a lot more is as a substitute a truth for the Ontario-born producer far better recognized as Jenius. The 19-year-aged up-and-comer’s ties with perfectly-founded Canadian producer and record govt WondaGurl are so strong, in truth, that she not too long ago signed him to her Wonderchild imprint, a subsidiary of Scott’s Cactus Jack label.

For the duration of a mobile phone interview soon after signing to the label, Jenius’ great and serene demeanor was flecked with plain enthusiasm, his inclination to rapidly repeat important phrases (a trio of “I’m good”s on signing on, for instance) betraying the youth beneath the proficiency outside of his many years. In truth, the Canadian business has been buzzing about Jenius’ prodigious possible due to the fact his consecutive 2019 and 2020 Juno nominations for collaborations with Toronto rapper KILLY, not to mention his contributions to chart-topping albums by Scott’s JACKBOYS project and martyrized MC Pop Smoke. And but, the growing producer is swift to share props with his mentor.

“She’s usually been fam, even just before I signed with her,” Jenius suggests of how WondaGurl took him under her wing when he was just 15 several years previous, prior to remarking that joining Wonderchild is “a blessing.”

Of the recent signing, WondaGurl tells us: “Jenius and I have been operating jointly for a handful of years now, and I’m thrilled to officially have him as a part of Wonderchild. His audio has created so much over the a long time and I feel his likely is unlimited. I’m happy to have him on the group.”

Down below, Jenius tells us additional about operating with Travis Scott and Pop Smoke, considers the controversy encompassing his prior collaborator Tory Lanez, and tells us what it was like to show up for significant school homeroom on the day he turned a Juno nominee. 

How are you doing just after the huge announcement about your Wonderchild signing?
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I’m superior, I’m very good, I’m excellent. Just having fun with the vibe below in L.A. I have been motivated by so many rappers from here—especially Dr. Dre and N.W.A. And the people today I’m working with in this article currently are also inspiring. 

Like who?
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Jack Harlow, Sheck Wes, and Eddie Benjamin just to identify a few.

These are absolutely some scorching names to be associated with. Having said that, your closest business connection is arguably WondaGurl. What do you like about operating with her?
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I like how she’s incredibly, really humble, in phrases of how she carries herself. I have been around her really a though now, and witnessed her do songs with some of the most significant artists in globe. And she won’t even bat an eye. 

She also stays quite real to herself. There’s no one like her, and she has the self confidence to remain exceptional. Not that I didn’t have individuals qualities myself prior to, but developing up as a young producer about her, I undoubtedly took observe that she was that way.

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“I totally even now want to get a Grammy. That’s been a purpose ever due to the fact I begun creating tunes.”

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Can it be difficult to stay grounded and maintain that type of authenticity when you’re in L.A. and immersed in a person of the most competitive scenes in the world?
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Not necessarily. I generally go with what’s most comfortable, most pure, in any circumstance. And I constantly make sure to hold in contact with folks back residence in Canada, and continue to keep myself in examine. 

That healthier outlook will have to arrive in useful when you are rubbing shoulders with megastars like Travis Scott. What is he like in individual? 
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He’s seriously dope. A good artist. It was surreal to get the job done with him, but also validating. It designed me think, I can do this at this amount.

He’s often seeking to split the boundary. He has his individual seem, but he’s always seeking to press it forward. I’ve been functioning for decades now, and have not found that quality in most artists. He has that fire to usually inquire about what’s up coming, not what’s now, on a sonic amount. 

You point out “working for a long time now,” which is also surreal, thinking of you are only 19. How did you get started at these kinds of a young age? 
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Before I started making, I was normally a big admirer of audio. I was elevated in a Jamaican house, so some of my early influences have been certainly Bob Marley and Barrington Levy. A ton of reggae. 

My father employed to create again in the working day, in advance of I was even born. I would walk in on him generating beats when I was a child and talk to what he was executing, and he would demonstrate me the studio ropes. We would make beats collectively, then I began creating them on my own, and that obtained me to wherever I am now. 

What does he feel of your tunes now?
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My dad enjoys it. He recognized I had my possess sound from the starting. He inspired me to do what I like, and not stick to what is currently out there. He unquestionably observed that I was distinctive, sonically. 

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“That just occurred to be one particular of the beats that WondaGurl and I had been creating. I truly created that defeat with her when I was in substantial university, senior yr, in 2019.” – On generating Pop Smoke’s “Bad Bitch From Tokyo”

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That looks to be a big theme of this interview, and your strategy in general—marching to your individual drum, staying humble and genuine to by yourself, from doing work with your dad to your recent achievement with WondaGurl.
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Yeah, and that all commenced with my dad. He was the a person who messaged WondaGurl on Instagram, indicating, “I’m a producer from the east conclude of Toronto, and I want my son to operate with you.” She and I hit it off, built beats all through our classes, and she usually stayed in touch. She would question me how I was executing in school, listen to the audio I was working on, and the connection just grew in a natural way.  

Let’s communicate about some of your other cohorts. Followers have been impressed to see you experienced labored on “Bad Bitch From Tokyo,” the intro to Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Intention for the Moon album.
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I under no circumstances got to meet up with him, which is unlucky. RIP. That just transpired to be 1 of the beats that WondaGurl and I have been earning. I essentially created that beat with her when I was in large college, senior 12 months, in 2019. Then she performed it for him, obtained him to rap on it, and it just ended up coming out on the album. I have been a huge enthusiast of his, from the very first time I read his songs. It is unfortunate he experienced to pass absent, but to be able to work on a person of his songs was a blessing however. 

What was it about him that built you, as you mentioned, these a big enthusiast of his from the start out?
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Definitely his fashion. The way he carried himself and sounded. And also the output he hopped on. The vitality he brought was unique to him, like nothing I’d read just before. He designed a complete movement about himself. 

Another of your large-profile collaborators, Tory Lanez, brought on really a bit of controversy past calendar year. His actions has built him persona non grata in some circles. Would you get the job done with him again following all that? 
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I worked with him many years ago. I haven’t worked with him once more however, however I don’t know if what happened would essentially end me, because his predicament currently has practically nothing to do with me. I’d have to see how all that goes. 

I’m also curious about just one of your extended-time cohorts, from closer to dwelling. Convey to us about your chemistry with Toronto rapper KILLY.
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We begun functioning together in Quality 11 in substantial college. I labored on his to start with and 2nd albums, mainly because he believed I could bring him a different audio. Me and him are constantly seeking to make a little something distinct and unconventional, and seeking to push the boundary of what can arrive out of Toronto.

Have you labored with any promising up-and-comers that you’d like to shout out?
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Eddie Benjamin, a young child from Australia. Very same age as me. He’s undoubtedly, certainly, certainly likely to have a enormous long run. He’s a different man or woman I function with all the time out right here in L.A. He’s a multi-instrumentalist that can play guitar at the maximum level. He’s also an outstanding singer and a boundary breaker. He’s likely to change the market sonically, and anyone should have him on their radar. 

How about your future? What are you environment your sights on up coming?
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I hope by the end to remain satisfied carrying out things I haven’t accomplished ahead of. And definitely getting awards and things. 

What type of awards?
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When KILLY and I bought nominated for Junos it was remarkable. Individuals were being coming up to me in faculty and congratulating me. Following: I want to get diamond-stage profits. And acquire a Grammy. 

The Grammys are even now suitable to you, despite being created off by absolutely everyone from Drake to The Weeknd?
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I unquestionably nevertheless want to get a Grammy. That’s been a goal ever considering that I started out making music. The controversy has very little to do with me. 

Just about anything else you’d like to insert?
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I’m coming, and you’re going to listen to a great deal additional from me. And that’s seriously all I have to say. 

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