A little boy who loved playing video games indoors was inspired in his teenage years to become a rapper and follow his dreams.
Joshua Valentine aka Jimi Priceless, 25, is from Portland and wants to make it big in the rap scene someday soon. He produces and mixes his own music and writes his own songs.
He was an only child and recalls not liking the way one was expected to express oneself during arts and culture lessons when he was a pupil at Portland Primary School.
“When I was a teenager, I developed my own taste in music. I was a big fan of Linkin Park then. I tried singing their songs but that was terrible. I then started listening to rap music and really liked it. When I was 19 I listened to other genres of music, to what it sounds like and the way the music is used in different songs,” said Jimi.
“I always knew I wanted to be somebody. It was hard to believe that I wanted to do rap as I was a shy person growing up. I decided to study at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in 2011. I studied Information Technology in my first year. I then visited a friend at City Varsity, not too far from where I was studying. He did sound engineering and showed me the studio that they used. That is when I realised I was in the wrong field,” he said.
In his first year, he passed Information Technology and continued with it in his second year.
“I stopped studying and dropped out of university in October 2012,” he said.
He remained at home until 2013, making music, with his friends regularly coming over there to join in. Together, he said, they “wanted to take over the world with rap”, but then one by one they started getting jobs. And soon he was the only one left, he said.
“I was tired of sitting at home and decided to do a learnership with S Buys Academy to be a pharmacist’s assistant. I went to different workshops in Tygerberg and Goodwood. Once I finished the learnership, I applied and got a job as a pharmacist’s assistant in Heideveld at the Community Day Centre (CDC) and have been working there since 2016 to date,” he said.
But he is not leaving music behind and wants to network with other artists in the music industry as well as entrepreneurs and businessmen and women.
He started a project called FROG in October 2017, an idea which was born while he was watching a Power Rangers movie back in the 1990s.
“There’s this scene where everybody gets their special powers, a wolf, a falcon and a crane and then the last guy gets to have the power of a frog,” Jimi explained.
“He was so disappointed by that. I could relate to him. Sometimes I am not up to the best level I would like to be at with singing and rapping but I am still going to do what I need to do. We should be comfortable in our own skin and be who we are.”
Asked about his stage name, he explained that it came about when his high school classmates in Grade 9 at Mondale High School in Portland were studying Who Killed Jimmy Valentine?, written by local author Michael Williams.
The name Jimi has stuck since.
“I feel really positive about the future, I believe in speaking things into existence. I try not to have fears, as I don’t want to obsess about them and let them manifest in my life. I will release a new single on August 10. My next album will be released in September,” he said.
Explaining that his inspiration comes from his experiences and feelings, he told Plainsman: “Put your energy into music with what you’re going through. The one small step can lead to another small step and things will eventually grow to get better. I encourage young people to know what you want to do. Don’t let things in your life affect you to make your parents or friends happy. Be comfortable in your own skin, and love who you are.”
For more, or to listen to his track, you can follow Jimi Priceless on social media.