How did you come by your stage name?
I actually split time between my hometown of Seattle and China. I have a bit of a fanbase over in China as well, so I wanted to find a name that worked for both the east and the west. My name over in China is Ji Kai Rui, so JKR seemed like a good fit for both audiences
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I’ve been making music since I was 15, and have been in bands for most of my life, but I think it wasn’t until about 3 years (and many random jobs) ago that I realized I can’t imagine doing anything but making music for the rest of my life.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
I grew up on a lot of 80’s hits. Sprawling and epic songs that always have a catchy chorus. However, I listen to everything. My album has tracks that range from rock to pop to EDM to hip hop. The norm for most artists seems to be to find a “signature sound” and just stick with it, but I really wanted to try and create something that doesn’t sound like anything else out there.
The genres found on my debut album “Star Crossed” are all over the map, but it is still very much a comprehensive album. My sense of melodic style remains the same throughout, and there are a lot of lyrical ties and references between the songs.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
I think music is so subjective, that it’s hard to call anyone “the best.” But I do feel like my melodies and lyrics stand up to any other artist out there. There are some lines on this album that I’m very proud of. Two of my favorites are:
“the taste of her loss / will it linger and rust /
like a scent you forgot / keeping peace from your thoughts /
il regret is what’s left / of this freedom you’ve bought”
“An empty frame sits in the drawer / thinking of the days / it spoke of love and hung beside the door”
How can fans find you?