JNR Choi’s “To The Moon” took on a life of its own, and the song would change the UK native’s life entirely for the better. With an infectious beat that immediately sucks you in, and an opening sample that’s simultaneously nostalgic and modern, “To The Moon” went completely viral thanks to the power of TikTok. Over two million videos to date have been made to the record, and that’s only on one platform.
The best part? JNR Choi didn’t spend a cent on marketing. Born in West Africa but raised in London, real name JNR Choi first debuted in the fashion world before discovering his passion and talents in music. After releasing ”To The Moon” independently, he signed a deal with Epic Records, later releasing the official remix with Gunna and another drill remix with G Herbo, Fivio Foreign, M24, Russ Millions, and Sam Tompkins.
Now, JNR Choi is excited as ever to be cooking up with the one and only Busta Rhymes.
Sheen caught up with JNR Choi in downtown Los Angeles, to discuss his new single “LIKE DAT,” love for fashion, getting Gunna on “To The Moon,” meeting Busta Rhymes, and more!
For those who don’t know, how would you describe JNR Choi?
I’m really just outside. [laughs] I’m like a partyholic, crazy energy, can’t stay in one place, and I make the best music.
Why do you make the best music ever?
Because it’s so versatile, everyone can listen to it. It forces so many different lanes: Afro, R&B, trap, rap, drill, and everything sounds authentic. I’m one of the very few that plays almost every country, city, state, and be able to show the love that’s been given.
Is JNR Choi your real name?
Yeah, it is. It’s Junior Choi. It’s abbreviated.
You just released your new single “LIKE DAT.” Who or what inspired this record?
I was in the studio in New York, and some friends came in. They literally played that beat and within 10 minutes, the track was done. It was really easy. It was not meant to happen because the producer’s on the way, then they came in and said, “ah, let me play some beats while we wait for the producers to come in.” It turned out to be one of those ones where I fell in love with this, this is fire.
The vibes crazy, it’s a flex really. I’m bigging myself up. I was trying to put a bit more of my personality in there, what I be doing. Added some fashion in there, telling
them and talking about pulling up to Milan or Fashion Week for the right price. [laughs] It just shows a bit more my personality in that one, more what I really love making. Really
high energy, I be playing this in the club in Miami. This is actually crazy, the way it makes you dance. It’s going to be fire to perform.
How are your experiences at Fashion Week?
I’ve missed every Fashion Week for a while. Except New York, I went to New York. But last year, I missed all of them because I was touring.
What does fashion mean to you?
It’s really more of a way of life, from an early age. I really express myself from my clothes. I’m for comfortability over everything. I like to put that first, conscious and cozy is my thing. Conscious, and just chill.
Talk about getting Gunna on the “To The Moon” remix, that’s legendary.
When I heard that he liked the song, we shot it out to him. He sent it back with a verse, “like alright this is cool.” Added more to it, sent it back. He went even harder. It wasn’t expected out of people to choose for a remix, but that’s my favorite remix.
More than the remix with G Herbo and Fivio Foreign?
Yeah, that was cool too. But that was more to let everyone show their talents. To see drill resonate in all these places — Chicago, New York, London — it was great to have everyone come team up and show their colors.
Talk about your upcoming collab with Busta Rhymes?
That’s a funny one because it came from just a relationship, pretty organically. We met in Miami last year, he’s one of the first people to give me some valuable advice.
How’d you guys meet?
Literally in the club. [laughs] He grabbed me and said “you got yourself here, keep doing what you want to do.” It was definitely the advice I needed at the time. We met then, we just kept bumping into each other. In Miami, in New York. Literally I was walking into Little Sister’s, he was walking out. He said, “we have to stop meeting like this. Come to the studio. I’m in the studio from Monday to Wednesday next week. We’ll be there from 9pm.”
That was it, I’m like alright. They came, made sure he was there. Pulled up on him. He had this crazy idea of a song and we went HAM. We went back to back on it, it sounds crazy. We’ve been running around promoting it, we’re really excited for this one.
Yeah, to be in the same room with him — we have the same birthday, which is crazy. The session was so fire, the energy was great. I have a video of him going “this is the best session he’s had in 10 years!” 10 years plus, I have a video of it. It was just a real moment. This is Busta Rhymes, this is crazy. A pinch me moment.
What do you like to do and you’re not doing music?
I like to be in the water. I really like jet skiing. It’s such a free feeling. You’re not on your phone, it’s just you in the water. The sun’s slapping you, it’s a vibe. Other than that, I like reading. I haven’t read in a while but I like reading. I need to find more things to enjoy doing to be honest. [laughs] Other than partying, jet skis. There’s nothing else I enjoy doing, really.
Any goals for yourself?
My main goal is just doing what I love. I never like forcing anything or feeling like I’m in a place I don’t want to be. I’m really in a good flow state right now.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of JNR Choi