Jasper Typical is Anything but Typical

Portland artist Jasper Typical is colorful. The young R&B artist is one part of the art collective, Raised By the Internet, founded by Jelani Aryeh. Following the release of Aryeh’s promising EP “Suburban Destinesia,” he and several others formed the group through reddit. The group dropped their first full length project titled “Motherboard” in early January, and the project received much acclaim from several music blogs including us at Color and Rhyme.

Jasper, however, isn’t just another member of the collective. His solo work is extravagant and leaves nothing off the table. Reminiscent of artists like Frank Ocean, Typical’s music depicts gorgeous tales of young love, heartbreak and searching for the one.

Jasper’s newest single “Wallflower” will be coming out on Valentine’s day. Jasper proclaimed it’s a song for “those people who freeze up whenever they’re around their crush.”

What inspired you to start making music?

Family. Growing up my parents surrounded me with all sorts of crazy music–the same stuff that eventually inspired what I make now. It was like Radiohead, Andraé Crouch, Sade and Keane to start off with, then I slowly started finding bands and artists that I liked on my own. From there I was introduced to a whole world of sound that I was totally unaware of. Frank Ocean, MF DOOM, Elliott Smith, Janelle Monae and Kurt Cobain are just a few of the names that I fell for and from them I was inspired to start messing around with making my own music.

What was growing up in Portland like?

Well, it’s a beautiful city. What you’ll hear about it being whacky and “weird” is completely true and definitely embraced by a lot of the people who live here, but there’s a whole other side to the city that’s completely buried beneath the tacky “Portlandia” shit. Portland is historically known for disregarding and pushing out the once thriving black communities that lived in parts of the city like North Portland. My family moved to this side of town in the late 90s so I’ve had to watch as my friends were kicked out of their houses and beautiful family run businesses were demolished to make room for big ugly condos so tourists can set up camp. Basically, I love Portland but there’s a real problem with gentrification that keeps getting swept under the rug, and it’s important that people know about it!

What effect has Portland had on your music?

Oh, it’s been huge! That’s one thing Portland has going for it. The music scene here is completely incredible and always thriving, especially with Aminé’s recent fame. From 2000-2005 my dad owned the all-ages venue “The Meow Meow” that put on incredible gigs for punk kids who had nowhere to go on Thursday nights. I was a little young to go then so as soon as I was old enough my dad started taking me to see local acts like Hazel and Kelli Schaefer. This environment made me fall deeply in love with live music and got me even more pumped to perform one day.

How did everyone on “Raised By the Internet” meet?

Well, a large majority of us met through the Brockhampton Subreddit and Discord while the other few of us were lucky enough to be invited in later on. How I joined is actually one of my favorite stories to tell. Summer of last year (2017) my parents surprised me and my sister with tickets to San Diego comic con and that same day I found out Tyler, The Creator was going to have a panel, so at that moment I made it my main priority to talk to him! Once the con finally came around I got in line for the hall he was speaking at around 7 am and was first in line for Q&A. After I asked him my question I was heading back to my seat when someone tapped my shoulder–it was Jelani. He told me he had recognized me from my appearance in the American Boyband Viceland show and immediately, without thinking, I asked for his Instagram knowing that this could be something special. The very next day he sent me a DM asking if I was interested in joining his music collective and after a little bit of thinking I gave him a big ol’ yes!

Describe Brock Hamptons influence on the group.

Funny enough, we’re all fans but I’d say that the only thing their influencing is our work ethic. We’re always shooting ideas around and we’re always trying to make something different and fun. I’d say, comparing Raised By The Internet to Brockhampton Is like comparing The Office to Parks and Recreation. We started from a similar place, formula and mindset, but we’re our own thing. That’s the beauty of it all.

How does the group stay in communication with each other?

Discord, Skype and Snapchat. There’s rarely a time where we’re not up to our shenanigans on one of those platforms.

With so many talents on Raised by the Internet, how should fans keep up?

Our website, has all the information you need about everyone in the group and what we’re up to!

What is the goal for you as a solo artist?

I wanna inspire people. As corny as that sounds I really just want to have the same effect on some kid as Frank Ocean had on me growing up. Also, I wanna make music with my idols cause who the fuck doesn’t want to do that? I’d definitely feel like I made it if someone like Childish Gambino or Mac Demarco said they liked my music. P.S. I definitely dream too much.

Just a few months ago you had your first show, describe how that got set up and how you felt?

Wild. I played the reunion show for Oregon’s TomFest and that was actually a dream come true… even if there was only like 30 people in the crowd…

Do you have anything coming soon as a solo artist?

Oh yeah! Big things! I’ve felt my proudest with some of the tracks I’ll be releasing in the coming months so stay tuned! I honestly can’t wait for everyone to hear it.

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