Denver hip-hop artist Jelie finds the recording studio to be her metaphorical spaceship – an outlet whenever she needs an escape.
The Denver rapper drops her latest single, “Spaceship,” and its B-side, “Put in Work,” on Friday, August 26. She wrote the lyrics and did the beats for both songs.
“I wrote [‘Spaceship’] in 2020 with many other songs I’m releasing,” says Jelie, whose real name is Bradlie Jones. “A lot of people were stuck or had other things they needed to focus on. I was able to say, ‘I’ll just go to the studio’ – I’ll fly away if I wanted to.”
2020 has obviously been sucked in on many levels, but Jelie (pronounced “Jel-eye”) has found a silver lining. She worked in a call center and the pandemic allowed her to work from home. No more office politics. More trips. Just more time to make music, which is his main activity in life.
“It was amazing,” she recalls. “I started having a bunch of opportunities to create content. … I had nothing to do but be creative, and I only had time to do what I wanted to do.
Jelie has since quit the call center gig (she jokes that she’s the worst employee ever because she can make money pursuing her passion, so she called it quits work daytime) and does a variety of gigs related to his education in music production and sound engineering, including some teaching. She still works from home, where she has a studio. She also works in several studios around Denver.
Staying working for her, because when she first started learning music and rapping, she was doing most of that from home anyway. “When I was a kid, I was learning freestyle, I was doing it in my grandma’s basement to instrumentals from the 50 Cent video game,” Jelie recalls. “I had a little karaoke machine that I got for Christmas, and I was dubbing everybody’s tapes.”
Jelie releases “Put in Work” on the B-side and considers the track a “zone song”. For her, being “in the zone” means focusing and taking care of herself, physically and mentally. She taps into her life when she writes her songs and she spoke about her mental health issues in her single “Cope”, released during Mental Health Awareness Month.
“’Yes, I take care of myself; got help from a personal trainer and a therapist,” she says, repeating a line from the song. “I literally have a personal trainer and I have therapists and people I talk to to make sure I’m 100% so I can give 100%. You cannot pour with an empty cup.
Jelie is working on a full album which she hopes will be released later this year. She drops singles every month, so it’s been a productive year for her.
“I’m looking to organize a dance competition for my next single,” she says. “I want to collaborate with some kind of dance studio or a b-boy group.”
In the meantime, she is performing live with EDM musician Maddy O’Neal in September. The show, called We’re Here Fest, benefits Beats by Girlz, which teaches girls and people at large how to make music, with the end goal being greater access to the world of technology.
Jelie has been a volunteer with the organization for about two years and teaches hip-hop production techniques, but she says Beats by Girlz also teaches other genres.
“Some of them are doing country,” she says. “Some of them do EDM. Some of them cross between different genres of hip-hop. There’s a few singer-songwriters. It’s all you can imagine.
We’re Here Fest, 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, The Lyric 1209 North College Avenue in Fort Collins. Tickets cost between $35 and $45. For more music, visit jelie303.com.