Ajani Jones (Ft. Marko Stats) • "Maintain"

We at These Days take great pride in keeping our ears to the ground and discovering new local talent we know our readers will enjoy just as much as we do. 2017 has already introduced us to more than a handful of artists to get excited about, and one of those is Chicago's own Ajani Jones. Fresh off the release of his debut mixtape "Eternal Bliss" in May, Ajani has spent his summer getting Chicago music fans familiar with his name and sound. 

Although the dust hasn't even settled from the release of his debut, Ajani is right back in the studio beginning a new chapter in his career with his new single "Maintain" leading the charge. Produced by Banks The Genius and joined by another notable new comer Marko Stats of Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, Ajani's "Maintain" preaches patience, persistence and perseverance. He knows who his is and where he's trying to go, watch out, Ajani Jones might just be dangerous. Check out his take on the new release below. 

Tell me about the process on "Maintain" - did you and Marko create together or were you sending tracks back and forth?

Marko came through to Glass Tree Studios and we did the track in about an hour. I freestyled the chorus and we just ran with that. He really laid his soul on his verse so I knew we had something potentially great.

The description of the track is that it’s “for Chicago.” How did the city inspire this track and your recent music in general?

The city inspired the track because Marko and I had a conversation about how we all need to focus on creating a movement that can support each other and advance the culture, which is the essence of Hip-Hop. 

Coming off your first full length project, are you viewing this as the beginning of the next chapter in your artistry? Could this be the start of a new project?

This honestly is the beginning of a new chapter for me. I'm progressing as an artist and every year something new happens and I thank God for my team because we are still together moving stronger than ever. I developed my project idea shortly after we made "Maintain" so it low key might've jump started the whole process.

The whole track is about maintaining. Talk a bit about what that means to you - what are you trying to maintain as an artist? What was the motivation behind this track?

Maintaining to me is essential to an artist's success. I believe in energy being the dominant source of influence in music. With that being said, maintaining your balance and hunger to keep pushing through whatever politics comes with the music scene and whatever hard times we go through can be multiplied. Nothing can stop you until you stop yourself and failure is basically that. A lot of people, not just my age and younger but older feel defeated but the question remains have you maintained consistency in what you dream for? To me, thats what its all about.