Just Google the man. Bryan James Sledge, better known as the Grammy nominated artist BJ the Chicago Kid, recently released his studio album In My Mind, which has listeners swooning back to a time where God, love and soul-stirring all played a major part in music. Raised on the Southside of Chicago, BJ moved to Los Angeles at 19 and since has worked with the likes of Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and upcoming artist and EGL favorite, Kehlani. He has toured with renowned talent such as Usher, Jill Scott and the South’s very own BIG K.R.I.T. BJ has had multiple interviews where he’s shared his background, creative process and future plans but we at EGL wanted to get a tad bit more personal with the adoring artist by asking BJ a few questions relating to the tracks on his album and what he thinks about “everything girls love.” First, take a look at the man as he humbly graced the red carpet at last year’s Grammys.
First off, thank you for taking the time to get close and personnel with us at EGL. With that being said let’s get started!
EGL: The first track on the album takes us “Inside Your Mind” and many don’t know that you have worked with a few gospel artists in the past, including gospel duo Mary Mary. How has it been for you switching between the gospel and R&B worlds?
BJ the Chicago Kid: Never switched. I grew up in the church. I’ve always had a relationship with God. I’m a songwriter, a creator and I don’t know how people envision that to happen, but my gift comes from God so it’s not really a switch. I write gospel songs just like I write rhythm and blues. There is a time and a place for everything and I think the old school mindset has spread a little far.
EGL: “Church” is such a relatable track. How did you come up with the concept for this song?
BJ the Chicago Kid: It’s real life. Not just for myself but for so many people. We all definitely have indulged in some kind of “life” to the point where we have applications and responsibilities and sometimes we get faced with a fork in the road and we’re reminded to get back to those responsibilities and that’s what makes the song great, no one has really had a song quite like it.
EGL: “Love Inside,” a personal favorite, is definitely on it’s grown and sexy vibe. What, to you, is the most attractive feature for a woman to possess?
BJ the Chicago Kid: Aww man, a great spirit. Her spirit has got to be right, her inside, her soul.
EGL: In “Resume,” you talk about your qualifications as a lover. If you weren’t doing music, what could you see yourself doing?
BJ the Chicago Kid: I would be creating in some type of way. I don’t know exactly what, but I’m sure I would be designing or creating or building something.
BJ THE CHICAGO KID F/ BIG KRIT “RESUME”
EGL: “Wait Till the Morning,” tells the story of a man who delays telling his woman about his indiscretions. What advice would you give the woman in this situation?
BJ the Chicago Kid: Aww man. That is a very interesting question. I don’t know [laughs]. I’d tell her to sit down and think about it. I’d tell her to wait till the morning.
EGL: Love and Heartbreak is the theme of “Heart Crush,” the 8th song on the LP. What is your favorite love song and why?
BJ the Chicago Kid: Aww man, it’s hard to pick one. Let me think…
EGL: Okay, what’s your top 3?
BJ the Chicago Kid: “Make Me Say It Again” by the Isley Brothers is one of my favs. Uh, what else- Cause they’re different every day, sometimes I forget I know certain songs [laughs]. “Distant Lover” by Marvin Gaye is another one and then “Seduction” by Usher. Those are definitely my top 3.
EGL: You recently released your video for “The New Cupid,” how was it working with your friend Kendrick Lamar again?
BJ the Chicago Kid: No change. Every time we get together some how we always have magical moments. We’re really good friends, more like fam and I appreciate him.
BJ THE CHICAGO KID F/ KENDRICK LAMAR “THE NEW CUPID”
EGL: In contrast to the popular “It’s a Man’s World,” your track “Woman’s World” pays homage to the female contribution. What woman has been most influential in your life?
BJ the Chicago Kid: My mom. No doubt. My mother is always the queen of my life [laughs]. She’s the end all be all.
EGL: You said “Home” is where the heart is and by now we know you are a proud Chi-town native. Are you involved with any local charities or political organizations in your community?
BJ the Chicago Kid: I have a foundation, the Chicago Kids Foundation. I’m actually even more excited that the album is out now, so that I can incorporate the charity on a bigger platform than I’ve been able to do before.
We here at EGL thank BJ for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak with us and we hope you return for more exclusive interviews and updated celebrity news!
Interview By: Melody Lanei