Exclusive: Ohio Rapper JA The DragAn Discusses New Album, Collaboration’s & More
First things first, tell us a little about whom JA the DragAn is?
JA The DragAn: I’m a 28 year old Hip Hop, R&B, & Pop Artist born and raised in Cincinnati Ohio. I currently have released 2 Albums “The DragAn,” and “The DragAn 2” totaling 27 songs on these 2 albums. The 1st album was material from 2009-2011 and a solo album. The 2nd album was from 2012-2016 featuring hip hop icons such as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s “Layzie Bone, & Big Sloan,” Mr. “Walk it out” DJ Unk himself, and Gudda Gudda. I’m a single father who loves producing music and video’s and went to college for Audio Video Productions at Cincinnati State and have been writing music since I was 17 years old in my moms basement to writing lyrics by 2013 in Snoop Dogg’s studio with (Son of Dr. Dre) Curtis Young, & Lil Eazy (Son of Eazy E) while also producing a hot behind the scenes studio session video which is currently confidential. I have been on songs, performed as a show opener, and/or produced videos around over 50 Hip Hop, R&B, and Pop celebrities in the past 5 years independently. You know, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Rick Ross, Juvenile, Mike Posner, 2 Chainz, Twista, (G-Units) Kidd Kidd, and many more! All can be seen or heard on my website at JATheDragAn.com
The name JA the DragAn is definitely a unique name. What’s the origin of a name like that?
JA The DragAn: The foundation of the name is unique, JA is the initials for my biological name “Jason Anevski,” the DragAn comes from my grandfather, whose real name was DragAn. He was from a small country in Europe connected to Greece called Macedonia. He lived to be 80 years old and an amazing influence in my life, married to my grandma for over 60 years, I had to carry on his cool name because this dude rocked in every way possible and always was a positive influence to me.
It speaks volumes that you’ve been able to work with so many industry heavyweights. How have you been able to collaborate with such elite clientele?
JA The DragAn: I hustle, grind, communicate, and network a whole ton with people on social media, especially Facebook! Being an entrepreneur and CEO of several companies and record label DragAn Entertainment LLC. The sky is the limit! I also can say that I have 11 years experience for writing Hip Hop, R&B, & Pop lyrics. With 5 strong years of video production with thousands of hours worth of producing, writing, mixing, or editing music and video’s. I show people my website and work and reach out to them to collaborate together and if they like what they see, then I get put on a new project or gig, then I do the damn thing and work my magic! As funk legend “Bootsy Collins” once told me, “ just keep banging on them doors” so I just keep on banging!
What has it been like for you to collaborate with artists of such a high caliber, and earning the respect from them in doing so?
JA The DragAn: It’s been an epic honor to be around the type of industry cats that I’ve had the opportunity to be around. As long as you always keep everything legit and 100, do what you say your going to do, follow through, stay humble, honest, and loyal, then people respect that. I do my part and stay in my own lane, and just keep in moving and stay motivated.
In working with so many esteemed people, what have you absorbed from each of the artists, producers, and videographers you’ve worked with and been able to apply to your own career?
JA The DragAn: Stay humble and not being an arrogant asshole like some people can be once they reach a certain level. No name dropping, but that’s also just part of business I don’t lose sleep over ignorant people and stay focused on my grind. I have always learned something new with many different circumstances while collaborating around 50 celebrities, only 3 were assholes, the rest were super cool and I can see why so many people enjoy working around them. I’m a pretty easy going person.
Being able to work with a literal who’s who of the industry, is there anyone else out there you’d like to work with that you haven’t yet?
JA The DragAn: Eminem, that would be super dope! My boy Big Sloan from Mo Thugs who’s featured in my “Shorty Wap” song with “Layzie Bone” has currently been in the studio with Eminem and Crooked-i- of Slaughterhouse. Just knowing I’m only 1 person away from these people is a refreshing feeling after all of my hard work. I don’t think Eminem is currently working with too many new artists, but would be cool to meet him since he is the funkiest white hip-hop artist ever! (Laughing) He’s one of the best lyricists of all time in my opinion. I would have to bring fire times 3 if I ever had an opportunity to be on a song and/or perform with the champ!
Is there a moment or moments that stick out with a particular person you’ve interacted with that’s made a significant impact on you?
JA The DragAn: Yes indeed, I went from having Bone Thugs-N-Harmony being my all time favorite childhood rap group, to being on a track with my favorite member Layzie Bone whose on my song “Shorty Wap,” you can download, watch, and listen on i-Tunes, Amazon, Spotify, Youtube, & more. Recording around him was a blast in LA! I also had an epic opportunity to open up & perform in front of a sold out “Live Nation” crowd in front of the iconic legendary “Bone thugs-N-Harmony.” Just meeting all of the members of the group on and off stage was a blessing. They were all super cool humble dudes, and they rocked out my hometown of Cincinnati Ohio in March of 2016.
You worked with both Dr. Dre’s son, Curtis Young and Eazy E’s son Lil’ Eazy. What were those sessions like? Did they talk about their fathers much?
JA The DragAn: Yes I worked with (Son of Dr. Dre) Curtis Young for 4 months out in California, as well as (Son of Eazy E) Lil Eazy, whom I worked around a few times. We were all at Snoop Dogg’s studio out in Irvine California while they were instrumental beat shopping, while I was producing a behind the scenes video of the studio session and writing lyrics. We also all went to the “Young & Reckless” warehouse & Ryan Seacrest E! Studios with the two legends sons, along with (Son of Jam Master J) Jam Master J’Son aka Jason Mizell, (Son of E-40) Droop-E, & (Son of MC Ren of NWA) Wax.
Since I know (Son of Dr. Dre) Curtis Young the most, I have talked to him about his father “Dr. Dre a few times, he just stays in his lane, and his father stays in his own lane. I can relate to him since it’s hard to fill the shoes of a very successful father and not ever getting hand outs and having to provide for ourselves without our fathers help. Nobody gave them handouts; they had to earn it, just as we do as we keep progressing.
I also know that Lil Eazy and Jam Master J’Son both really miss their fathers and are still out there doing their thing musically. I salute them all!
Being a jack-of-all-trades so to speak, how to you incorporate all these multi-tasking endeavors into a 24-hour day?
JA The DragAn: Time management! This is grind work yet fun. There’s many late nights writing, recording, mixing, producing, camera operating, directing, producing, performing, and editing! Editing is the tedious long hour work that takes most of the time. I have spent thousands of hours editing to perfect on my craft and projects. I work on all of this outside of being a full time entrepreneur & raising my 4-year-old son Levi who keeps me inspired.
What can we expect next from JA the DragAn?
JA The DragAn: I just recently dropped my 2nd Album with 14 songs titled “The DragAn 2,” featuring Layzie Bone, Big Sloan, DJ Unk, & Gudda Gudda which I will be promoting.
I have a show opening up for “JR Writer” June 3rd 2016 in Cincinnati Ohio performing live at Wise Guys as a show opener. I have another show which I will be “Headlining” called “The Heavy Hitters” on June 18th 2016 at Madison Live in Covington KY. I have already started working on my 3rd album “The DragAn 3,” which you can be expecting more celeb collaborations, singles, and video’s produced by yours truly! As Layzie Bone once said “it don’t stop!”
What are the next projects your working on that we can look forward to?
JA The DragAn: “The DragAn 3” my third album, it don’t stop!
Where can we go on social media to check out your music and videos?
JA The DragAn: My website is www.JATheDragAn.com
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/JATheDragAnOfficial
Snapchat: JA The DragAn
New Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jathedraganofficial/
Everything is JA The DragAn pretty much. Thank you for today’s interview, I appreciate your time, much love!