Nicholas David Joseph Ahamnos (born September 27, 1988), better known by his stage name Jaliet Caprana, is an American hip hop recording artist, record producer, Engineer, and songwriter from Woodridge, Illinois
Jaliet grew up in Woodridge, a small northwest suburb of Chicago. At the age of ten, Jaliet grew fond and passionate for music and instruments. His father taught him how to play bagatelle by Ludwig Van Beethoven at the age of 11. At the age of 12 Jaliet Caprana taught himself how to play the guitar and started writing his own music. When Jaliet was 16 he started producing songs with artist and childhood friend Kofi Costari.
In 2007 At the age of 18 Jaliet Caprana dropped out of Downers Grove South High School to further his career in music. Jaliet began recording music he produced which ultimately lead to the forming of the group G.R.I.M. an acronym for “Giving Real Inspirational Music.” Since then Jaliet has released his solo album “This One’s For Me.” And “The Midwest Bandits” a collaboration album. Jaliet is set to release his new album “The Perfect Poison” Which is said to be released before Christmas of 2015. Jaliet Caprana’s energy and motivation are based on writing great inspirational music that his fans as well as he himself can be proud of.
Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
Jaliet: I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois in a town called Woodridge. Music was always around me growing up. In the mornings before school, my parents would have the radio playing as they would get ready for work and as I got ready for school. I would always have different songs stuck in my head all day. I can remember as a kid I would bring my parents black radio in my room, set it on the ground and lay by it waiting for my favorite song to come on. By the age of 11 my father bought a keyboard which I fell in love with. I would borrow it and bring it in my room. I found where notes were and started playing by ear. At the age of 13 my father bought me a guitar for my birthday. I taught myself how to play and found the same notes I learned on the keyboard now with the guitar. By the age of 15 I wrote my first song called “Helpless”. I used a computer mic, guitar and my father’s same keyboard to produce the song. Looking back on it now, the song was terrible but my journey to production was just beginning.
Exposed Vocals: How did you come up with that name? What was your inspiration behind it?
Jaliet: At the time a lot of rappers were adopting the name “Lil” this and “Lil” that but I wanted something more unique. I had a pen and paper and started writing down things around me and began a little word play. As a teenager, I spent a lot of time in a town called Joliet. I decided to take out the “O” and replace it with an “A”. Haha, quite simple really but at the same time no one’s touched the name, so Jaliet was born.
Exposed Vocals: What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?
Jaliet: Online music sharing has upset a lot of people but has also created a wide fan base for others. Remember Napster? When my father got his hands on that I quickly kicked him off the computer Haha. I had the opportunity to listen to any artist and song when I wanted and where I wanted. I was downloading all types of music every day, just creating a library on our computer. I remember saying “This is amazing”. I no longer had to go out and buy cd’s or wait for the radio to play the song I wanted to hear. This thing upset a lot of mainstream musicians who put their time and money into creating this art and now people were stealing it without any consequences. Today music is everywhere and we can listen to it whenever we want. I have put all my work on different kinds of social media and music sharing website for free download. I would rather give it out for free knowing someone will then listen to it as opposed to trying to sell it to someone who has never heard of me.
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Jaliet: Absolutely, the best advice I can give someone trying to reach a broader audience would be to market your music like it’s a full time job. Youtube and facebook are great outlets for exposure, however, you can’t just rely on that and hope to grow fans. At every performance the artist should tell the crowd “Thank you” and come hang out with he/she at the merch table. Show them that you’re thankful they came out to support you or even if this was their first time seeing you live. Show them you are a real person. Don’t hide behind stage or ignore them. Try and make a connection. Maybe even give them some free product. As far as radio play, it’s all who you know and who will vouch for you. To be honest, people only listen to the radio on their way to work now days. I have been to WGCI and sat down with DJ 33rd ½ trying to get airplay. You’re much better off sending your music to college stations and using online as your main focus. These days are far different from when I was growing up. You can do it all by yourself and if you put enough effort in, you will see results.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
Jaliet: The only time I did that, was back in 2011 while performing for Kofi Costaris Mix tape release party. I had been drinking and my delivery wasn’t there. I also got too close to the P.A. system on stage and got some unwanted screeching feedback. After the show I realized how embarrassing that was and began taking more pre caution. People want to hear good music and see a performance, not some guy drunk on the mic slurring his words. I learned from this and I am glad I had that experience because it made me a better performer.
Exposed Vocals: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
Jaliet: My inspirations come from my everyday life. Sometimes something will pop in my head out of the blue and I’l go off that. Sometimes the atmosphere around me can inspire me as well. A majority of the time I start writing when I am at home. I will listen to a song and in time fall into a trance. I will start to see pictures in my head almost like how a comedian does before making it into a story. Once I have a topic to go off of, I try and figure out how I want to approach my first line. My goal is to get the listener to see a movie in their head from the lyrics. It’s basically story writing. I write a rough draft and then later rewrite and reword everything to make it perfect. I spend a lot of time to bringing this idea to life.
Exposed Vocals: Do you have a band website? What online platforms do you use to share your music?
Jaliet: At the moment, I am working on a dot com for the label. I own the domain name GrimMusicRecords.com, so in time, that will be where you can buy merch and find upcoming shows. I have been promoting with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can find my albums on Reverbnation, Soundcloud and Youtube.
Exposed Vocals: What are some really embarrassing songs that we might find on your mp3 player?
Jaliet: I don’t find them too embarrassing, but I have about every genre except country and E.D.M. I have songs from the 50’s to now. I listen to a lot of different artists and musicians because they inspire me. I mean if you listen to my album and then later go on my computer and find yourself clicking a Brian McKnight song I may grin but then say “Well, the guy inspires me”.
Exposed Vocals: If you were given half a million dollars and a year off, what would you do? How would you spend it?
Jaliet: I would buy a reliable car but nothing crazy expensive. Then, buy a house with enough space to improve my studio. I would work on a new project until my time is up and then head back to my job.
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
Jaliet: Yes, I run Pro Tools 12, Fl Studio on my Windows 7. I have two 70W Active Studio Monitors with 5″ Carbon Fiber Woofers, 1.25″ Soft Dome Tweeters, and High Frequency Lift Controls. I have a Scarlett 2i2 pre amp which my Rhode Nt1A Mic is plugged into. I use my Google TV as my visual.
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Jaliet: For the most part, I do almost everything myself other than photos and Graphic designing. I promote through social media, and friend to friend. You have to be careful with scams out there stating they will provide a service that will get your music heard by record labels for $400 or $500. Always do research first. Don’t pay someone behind a computer that promises to help you promote without physically meeting them. Use what’s around you and don’t be afraid to explore.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Jaliet: Hmmm… I think I would perform with someone from Strange Music like Wrekonize or Ces Cru. I love their style of music. They widened my imagination just by listening to them. I love the subject matter and style of every unique artist there. Also their music actually has meaning. I also think B.O.B. and myself would make a great mix because we are both different as far as most mainstream artists go. I think we would complement each other.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Jaliet: “The Perfect Poison” is about to be released and I plan on doing a couple shows this winter until spring arrives. I would like to work with some outside venues as well May of 2016.
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Jaliet: I think I would be miserable, to be honest. I release so much from writing. Possibly a blogger, Haha. I enjoy getting my point out to others from writing. Maybe even just gaming a lot. I would probably start some Youtube page of all my game vids and ask people to comment.
Exposed Vocals: Do you remember buying your first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
Jaliet: ”Oh God” this is embarrassing but I use to ask my parents to take me to a store back in the 90’s to buy a WWF cd. It had all the wrestlers theme songs on it. For some reason, I was so infatuated with wrestling I became a fan of the music that would play behind them as they walked to the stage. Next question please…
Exposed Vocals: How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
Jaliet: It’s hard to stay on top of things because I work full time but, this is what I have always wanted to do for a living. So it’s my responsibility to go to work after work. In the long run it will pay off.
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in 2016?
Jaliet: Fans should look forward to my new album, along with some shows in the Chicago land area. I am working on getting T-shirts made, Hats, and maybe some stickers. Be ready because next year will be a lot of fun. I’m sure I’ll be performing with Kofi Costari along with some other great artists.