“Just Jarred” is new to the Chicago hip-hop scene, releasing his first mixtape, entitled “Accidents Happen,” through SoundCloud this past Saturday. The project was years in the making, but in a matter of days he has started to gain listens from all over the world.
Jarred Garcia, or Just Jarred as he goes by on stage, was born on May 3, 1990 in the Logan Square neighborhood, on the near northwest side of the city. He’s currently a student at University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in communications with an emphasis on mass media.
“This is my first step,” he said. “It’s been a while in the making but it’s the first step, but hopefully it won’t be the last.”
Garcia says the writing process began in high school, at Walter Payton College Prep, where he got into freestyling and battle rapping. About a year ago he began to go through a lot of his work, deciding on themes and eventually writing songs. He draws upon many influences in his writing.
“I’ll try and look at stuff that directly affects me and my family,” he said. “Negativity, positivity, I take it all in and keep pushing forward.”
Garcia has been surrounded by music since his childhood, but it wasn’t until he started making music of his own that he realized its power.
“I hadn’t had a voice until I started making music and once I started making music, I loved it and I just kept pushing and making more,” he said.
Garcia loves music without regard to placing it in a genre and therefore finds it difficult to call his music strictly hip-hop.
“I don’t really feel comfortable with the whole genre thing. If music can transcend genres you got something good,” he said. “Thinking outside the box can lead to places you never knew existed.”
Garcia would much rather talk about the content of his tracks, which he describes in one word: life.
“It’s all me, it’s all real,” he said. “I don’t talk about things I haven’t done or things that haven’t directly or indirectly affected me.”
For now, Garcia is living the life of an average college student, going to school and working. Both are keeping him busy, but he hopes to be performing shows in the future.
“We’re working on booking shows right now,” he said. “I’m working seven days a week, 14 hours a day, so doing shows is a goal of mine, but as of now we’re still working on booking venues.”
In the meantime, Garcia is working on his next mixtape, “Top Shelf,” and a collaborative effort with his two brothers, who are DJ Smoke and producer KG, under the name Gold Medal.
“People say I wanna be the greatest of all time,” Garcia said. “I just wanna make an impact, any sort of impact. I just want to put my footprint there.”