We had the good fortune of connecting with Jared Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jared, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make was choosing myself. Realizing that no matter what any outsider had to say about me I had to always put myself first. Sometimes we get so caught up trying to please the people around us, wether it be our parents/friends/colleagues/etc that we end up steering away from the things we want to do ourselves. Creating is my passion, it makes me happy, it makes me feel fulfilled. I had to look myself in the mirror and ask myself “You only have one chance at life, what do YOU want to do with it?” From that day on I began to build on everything I truly wanted to do. I started making music and creating clothing, building my brand from the ground up. I learned to fall in love with the process of becoming who I truly wanted to be. Doing this opened so many doors for me, I began to meet and make connections with so many people with the same interests as me, allowing me to grow with my arts. Each day is an opportunity to become better then the last and I’m still in my own process. Always choose yourself over anything, you will be surprised how far it can take you.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I feel like I am most proud of how I made my dreams a reality. Big or small, any thought you have in your head is very much possible with the right amount of focus. I got to where I am today with hard work and dedication towards my craft, long hours trying to continue to make myself better. Nothing happens overnight but I wanted to prove to myself that if I put in the time I can make myself a better song writer each day, I can make myself a better rapper each day, I can create even better ideas for my clothing each day. It’s not easy being a creative, working on your craft each and every day and still seeing no big result or change in your current situation can cause you to feel very discouraged, even somewhat depressed. It can cause you to feel as though all the time you’re putting in means nothing, I still struggle with this today but I have to continue to tell myself “don’t quit, you’re one step closer to where you want to be each day” if I quit now then what was the point of making all those sacrifices? What was the point in putting all my time into it? I just want all my supporters and fellow creatives to know that my brand is more than just a brand. My music is more to me than just music. It’s a representation of me putting my mind to something and executing it and YOU CAN TOO. Never stop believing in yourself, never let anyone tell you what you cannot do because they are just projecting their own fears onto yours. We are all human beings, so why not you?

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Charlotte has many great places to eat, one of my favorites has to be Pio Pio which is Peruvian cuisine. Fresh Waters is another spot with great soul food, as well as Bordeaux restaurant in NODA area which has really good Louisiana cuisine. NODA is a really good area for creatives with many different artistic spots to create content, shoot video, or do photography. Downtown Charlotte is also beautiful to simply walk through and enjoy the scenery or company of others with many places to choose for food or entertainment.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Special thank you to everyone who has ever listened to one of my songs, bought a piece of clothing from my brand, gave me words of wisdom, reposted my work, or showed me any kind of genuine support over my journey. Believe me, it does not go unnoticed. I would be nothing without my supporters, they are the reason I am able to have any kind of success with my work. You all mean more to me then you know, thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Instagram: Instagram.com/jigginjay

Twitter: Twitter.com/jigginjay_

Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCUc6Y8henejcM0CkHWXWKaA

Other: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0KwnfhnUF9f0lwISowRkLJ?si=fdR-vesBTE-sjeIMX73uyA&dl_branch=1 https://music.apple.com/us/artist/j-rod/1522978857

Image Credits
All photos captured by Meech Made Media, LLC @meechmademedia

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.