We had the good fortune of connecting with Jazz Kelley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jazz, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking is something that I’ve always done, even as a kid. I was the kid that constantly heard don’t jump off that or don’t climb that high, or don’t go so fast! However, I believe as I’ve gotten older there was a period in my life where like any other human you adapt to your surroundings & pick up your environment’s fears of the outcome if you take certain risk. But, I’m so grateful for my team & support system, because they always keep me grounded. If you’re by nature a risk taker at some point when you stop taking risk it actually does something to you internally, because it’s in your DNA. In other words it’s only so long that you can pretend to be who you are not. So for me I got to a place of frustration that I allowed myself to get to due to me picking up other peoples fears & opinions on what I’m doing. Anything in life requires a risk. The fact that me going outside in 2020 is a risk for several reasons like contracting COVID-19 or being shot by a crooked cop, because of what I look like and not who I actually am that is a risk! However, I don’t want to die wondering what if? Its either you take it or die wondering. So risk taking is a part of life and honestly if you want to flourish you have to take risk. Taking risk has literally changed my life & career for the better. I would not be where I am today playing drums for the NBA, MLB, NFL, & several others if I had not taken a risk. It’s like riding a roller coaster, you’re terrified climbing to the top of that first drop, but once its going down…thats it. There’s no stopping or turning around. I’ve learned to fall in love with the journey more than the destination, because the destination is only a short lived moment until you begin your next ride. It’s all fun and an experience of a lifetime.
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’m so excited with where I am in my career now, because I’ve been blessed to be able to help female drummers across the world young & old. Helping women is something that has always been in my heart. I got to where I am today professionally honestly through a lot of hard work, determination, and favor. God has just blessed me to be in the right places at the right time while being myself. It hasn’t been easy at all. Nothing in life is easy. You have to put in the work and do your part. Things will get tight and they have, but honestly for me when I feel that way thats when I know to go harder, because what I’m searching for is close. Whenever I feel pressure, I know something big is about to happen. I think the biggest lesson for me that I’ve learned along the way has been to BELIEVE. Your mind is powerful, if you breed something in your mind it HAS TO HAPPEN. That’s law. So I’ve learned if I really want to do something or overcome something, I must first believe that I can. Because if I believe I can, it won’t matter to me who else doesn’t. When I look at female drummers it almost puts tears in my eyes every time, because I see a part of me in them. It’s my responsibility to be there for them and show them that all things are possible if you believe. It’s my hope and prayer that when women see the girl on drums that they see themselves, because we are all one and anything is possible. There are no limits.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Listen, when my friends come in town we gotta hit as the old folk say, the “lil hole in the wall” places. So we defiantly gotta hit up JJ’s Fish & Chicken off Candler Rd. (This one specific lol, if you’re from Atl you already know why) Definately gotta pull up to Slutty Vegan, pre rona that is! Haha! Issa whole vibe & they drinks be bussin too!!! We defiantly pulling up on Edgewood to go to a day party on someones rooftop! We pulling up on Fly Nails & Lashes (Black Owned) off Mableton Pkwy to get our nails done. At this point because me and my friends never know what we are doing we go with the wind and its always a lituation! haha
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
God first & foremost! I’d like to dedicate this to all of my family & friends!
Andria Chapman, Mayweather Photography