With love as the timeless muse, rising artist Judah Dub prepares his debut EP Dinner for One

The Los Angeles-based musician has returned this year after a 12-month hiatus, with a string of jazz-infused trap and boom-bap singles. The February-released ‘Miles Away’ delivered the first taste to his seven track EP, but second’s are now served with his latest song ‘You and I’.

Set to drop in September, the project is an honest journey through love, hosted by Judah’s introspection, and one that he laments “is not an easy road but we must travel it nonetheless.” Ahead of its release, we spoke to Judah Dub about his early creative inspirations, AI technology in music, and what else to expect from Dinner for One.

How would you describe your music without mentioning any genres?

Timeless. At least that’s what I want to evolve into. I don’t want to make songs because it’s trendy. I want to become the trend. I do that by making music from the heart and making sure that what I make is always meaningful to me and hopefully, people are able to connect to the story I’m making.

How did you initially start making music and how would you describe that experience?

My younger cousin was a heavy influence when he started battle rapping. I thought it was so cool and brave of him to do that. We were in middle school at the time but the recording process didn’t happen until college days. A few buddies of mine wanted to form a group so I started recording with them, and the rest is history.

What were some of the early inspirations in your career?

Being from L.A., Tupac was a big inspiration to me. Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Mac Miller, Lauryn Hill, Drake, Jay-Z, Tyler the Creator, and Andre 300 from Outkast. Those guys are a huge inspiration to me. Stylistically, they all offer different sounds but do it with substance. They are all versatile while having their own niche. I think that is why they are so revered by many. Each of them is uniquely different yet timeless.

How have they changed and what inspires you the most now?

They’re all able to adapt yet evolve and still be current with the times. People with short careers are typically the ones who cannot evolve from their sound or just refuse to acknowledge the change happening in the music industry. There’s a sweet balance in evolving while keeping your niche intact. I truly believe that can be done. We must be open-minded.

I think what inspires me the most are the 3 F’s; family, friends, and fans. I’m just a hungry artist that wants to succeed for them. I grew up very poor and to be in the position I am in, especially with how my parents struggled, I absolutely want to give them the life they deserve. My close friends who have supported me all these years and have been honest with my music, I appreciate them for all of it. And for the fans that have been with me since I launched my career, they drive me to do better and appreciate the love that I received so far. It’s been a tough road but I am thankful for every step.

Your last few tracks have been themed around love and your significant other, so I want to know, what’s the best love song ever? 

Ever? That’s a very tough one. Hmmm. I’d have to say ‘At Last’ by Etta James. I know it’s cliché, but I think it is cliché for a reason. Again, it is timeless because it emotionally connects with everyone that wants to be in love or is in love. Also, Etta James’s vocal performance on that song is unmatched.

What’s been your go-to album this year?

There’s been a few that’s on repeat this year. Her Loss by Drake and 21 Savage, Red Moon In Venus by Kali Uchis, Never Enough by Daniel CaesarJackman by Jack HarlowWon’t He Do It by Conway the Machine. Even some K-pop one’s like OMG by NewJeans, My World by Aespa, XG’s album, D-Day by Agust D. Non-albums like Peso Pluma’s singles, Bad Bunny’s, etc. I just feel like I listen to everything right now. It’s honestly a good time for music. You can hear everyone’s music around the world at your fingertips. Everyone is just so creative and music is just evolving so quickly. And it’s just so easy to access and I love it.

What do you think about the recent development of AI technology in music?

I’m going to start by saying, I think people are worried for the wrong reasons. AI is a tool that helps those who do not know how to completely express their musical ideas, or creative ideas in general (music videos, snippets, etc.). But to be able to express those ideas, you still must be creative with everything you do. As AI gets better, it’ll be easier and more convenient to do something creative at a faster pace. But it does not mean it’ll do everything for you. To me, what makes something creative and timeless is emotion and passion. That is something that cannot be replicated by a machine. It may be able to do it to some degree, but again, especially with music, emotionality in performances cannot be replicated by technology. I’ve heard some AI songs that sounded like the original artist but didn’t have that oomph, that emotion, that the original artist portrayed in their previous songs. The composition was good, but the performance of it was average at best. AI may improve, but emotions come from the heart. AI will never replicate that.

Also, just to expand on that a little bit, AI still needs to be guided by us behind a computer for it to function. It does not think for itself. At least for right now. It’s still human-made and human-controlled. I wouldn’t worry about AI much.

Personally, I think I will be utilising AI in some capacity, especially visually. Musically, I’m not sure how it can help me at this time, but it definitely does not hurt to explore those avenues. Creative people will always find ways to be creative regardless of what is evolving around them. I think for me, I want to explore every tool I can to improve my musical acumen.

We’re almost halfway through the year now, when can we expect your next project?

Dinner for One should be out in September. Due to some projects that fell apart and a particular producer I’m working with being busy with a much more important project (excited for him), Dinner for One will be a little bit delayed but nonetheless, I’m very excited about this story I want to tell.

What else can you tell us about the upcoming project?

Dinner for One is a special project to me because it’s a story that has come full circle. The album is non-biased I would say, because although I would love to be the hero in every story, I know in some tracks I will not be portrayed as a saintly figure. But to me, that is the point. We all make mistakes, but we must acknowledge those mistakes to better ourselves. Love is not an easy road but we must travel it nonetheless.

Aside from the EP, what do you have planned for the rest of 2023?

With music, I am working on a fun project with a few artists on a “mixtape” level. Just allowing me to step out of my own music and genre from time to time and try something new. I am just working hard on really perfecting my craft. Learning instruments and taking singing lessons always helps. I’m going to be collaborating with a few visual creators to help me create more content for my fans out there. But aside from music, just trying to be healthier and just keep physically healthy in between projects. But most importantly, working on my next solo project. Busy is the word and I hope it all comes together smoothly.

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