EP Entertainment/Motown Records
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When he was ten-years-old, Ljay Currie got a piano and taught himself to play by following along with YouTube tutorials. Within a few years, the California native had also mastered drums and guitar all on his own, as well as learned to make beats and produce his own tracks. But as a star player for the Fairfax High School basketball team—and one of the top 100 players in the country—Currie felt an intense pressure to abandon his musical ambitions and pursue his athletic career.
On his upcoming EP Free—his debut release for Motown Records and EP Entertainment—Currie more than proves he was right to embrace his instincts. With its deeply melodic yet inventive blend of hip-hop and R&B, Free shows the L.A.-based artist turning his natural musicality into songs that uplift and encourage a more open state of mind.
Currie played piano and guitar on most of the tracks featured on Free, tapping into the musical skills he’s honed since he was a little kid. Growing up in Gardena, California, he was raised on the jazz and classic R&B records his dad played at home, which he now credits with cultivating his feel for rhythm and melody from an early age. At age 12—soon after picking up piano, guitar, and drums—Currie immersed himself in learning everything he could about music production. “Whenever I had any kind of downtime away from basketball and school, I’d put my headphones on and try to make beats,” he recalls. As he found his style as a producer, Currie moved on to writing songs. “At first I was just writing about money, cars, clothes I didn’t have,” he says. “But when I was about 17 I started taking it more seriously, and writing about real-life situations.”
With that energy undeniable and infectious all throughout Free, Currie fully intends to stay true to his intuition as he moves forward with making music. “Sometimes I’m in the studio and I’m not really feeling it, so then I just let it go,” he says in reflecting on his artistic process. “But then other times I might be lying on the couch and all of sudden I feel this need to create, and I’ll come up with something right there. I’ve come so far just following my passion like that, and I’m just gonna keep on chasing the dream.”