Interview: J.B. Aka. Dirty Moses Talks Staying Creative and New VSO Material
Photos: Frankie Cavone
Back in 2017 we met Albany, NY based Hip-Hop artist JB Aka Dirty Moses and have watched his career flourish ever since. In the past 5 year’s JB has become one of the top guys in his genre to come out of the Captial Region, joined Victory Soul Orchestra and has won numerous awards. From just getting to know him years ago to being able to work with him on a professional level, we couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments and contributions to the Albany, NY Hip-Hop scene. Read our full interview with J.B. Aka. Dirty Moses below:
JB!!, its been a journey since I got to know you back in 2017 when you opened up for Naughty By Nature at Alive at Five. Between that time, you have developed a wider presence and also became a full time member of Victory Soul Orchestra. Where does the drive come from to keep yourself busy and motivated?
Yes, it’s been almost 6 years since that Alive at Five. That was an epic career moment for me. My motivation comes from the many incredible moments I’ve already experienced. Everyday life keeps me interested in making more quality art. Once you have a taste of success, you crave more success. Since I have more time as well, I dedicate some of that time to being creative. I have always had the drive.
How has performing in multiple genres of acts helped your career creatively?
It has definitely made me look at my writing process different. As well as what I may write for someone else. Having a band opens so many doors. Being a Hip Hop artist, the genre didn’t have a great reputation. Having a band somewhat changes that. There’s a level of respect artists receive having musicians back them versus just a DJ or beat machine. I am taken seriously.
It is cool to see some of your original music making it into the VSO repertoire. It must be nice to have the extra arsenal of talent to add onto the tunes! From the last time talking to the band, you guys seemed to be deep in the recording process for the next album. Where are you guys in the process and when can fans expect to hear the new material?
The feeling I get watching the band translate my music to band form is incredible. The trained musicians that read and write music, write down the music note for note. It’s amazing to experience. We expect to have material hit the masses by the summer. As long as all of the stars align. We would love to release two albums this year. A solo from me as well as the VSO album.
DJ’ing is something you have also done for a long time and it looks like in the past year you have really been pushing that aspect of your career more. What do you like most about the craft?
I love that it’s a different form of expression and crowd control. It’s a great income supplement in between gigs or as an add on. It makes the VSO package very presentable. We come and give an hour long performance and then have an after party with me Dj’ing. We can charge more. Haha.
In 2023, it seems like all genres of music are starting to flourish in the Capital Region. What is it like to be part of an incredible collective of musicians that we have here?
Per Capita, we have the most musicians concentrated in this area. I have been a part of this community since I arrived here. It’s an incredible feeling, knowing that I am part of a special collective creating a history and blueprint for future artists. We will leave an indelible footprint or mark when we leave. Doors have been opened so others can thrive.
In what ways do you think the Capital Region Music Scene could improve?
Support each other and help create a sustainable community with help from radio. For some of us, music is all we have.
Back in 2020, we did a video with you talking about all the hot spots to get a bite to eat in downtown Albany,NY. Is there any new gems we should know about?
Oh my God, HERBIES burgers on Lark St. They are open until 2am. Best smash burgers around. WIZARD burger on North Pearl Street. The best tasting VEGAN burger around. Order the Big Kahuna. Trust me on this. COPPER CROW on Broadway in the warehouse district is incredible as well. The Duck Bahn Mi. Oh. My. Gawd. This is a very nice sit down spot, great staff and bar. Get to all of those places immediately. One of my favorites is still Lost and Found because of the Duck Poutine and the adult slushies.
Reflecting is never a bad thing. Looking back, what have some highlights in your career that have inspired yourself to keep going?
I looked back at photos and performance video as well as gauge reactions from fans and audience members and appreciate the love I have received. If that isn’t inspiration, I don’t know what is. Lol. The photo of me pointing to the crowd at my first Alive at Five was an epic career moment.
2023 is going to be a big year for yourself and everything you are involved with. What can people look forward to from JB this year?
Hopefully more performance opportunities as well as releasing these two albums. I look forward to traveling and touring as well. SXSW comes to mind. Submitting to NPR’s tiny desk. New music videos and adding on to the art.