Hip Hop Artist/Producer CJAY GRiZ
Christian-John Monias is an Oji-Cree Rap Artist/Producer, Singer-Songwriter and Stand Up Comedian, born in
Winnipeg, Manitoba. CJAY was adopted into his uncle’s family that lives in the Cree Nation of Chisasibi in Northern
Quebec. CJAY was raised primarily by his adoptive mother after his father passed away when he was only two years old.
CJAY picked up how to freestyle and battle rap after being inspired by the movie ‘8 Mile’ in 2002 at 10 years old.
During Christian’s high school years, many of his teachers urged him to pursue a career in music after he displayed
a passion and talent for writing. It wasn’t until around 2006-07 when one of CJAY’s music teachers gave him a copy
of FL Studio, a music creation software. CJAY wasn’t motivated to use it at first until he noticed that a popular
song titled ‘Crank Dat Soulja Boy’ was produced entirely with the Demo version of FL Studio. Many of CJAY’s early
influences include Eminem, 50 Cent, Mary J Blige, Ice Cube, Puff Daddy, Eve, Ludacris, Bone Thugs, Snoop Dogg,
Mobb Deep, Cash Money, Timbaland, The Neptunes, Swishahouse, The Diplomats, No Limit, and many prominent
artists from the mid-2000s. CJAY was also influenced by Indigenous Hip Hop acts such as LiteFoot and WarParty,
artists that have visited his community when he was younger. CJAY was also heavily into stand-up comedy.
After High School, CJAY spent most of his time learning how to produce and write music. It wasn’t until 2014 when
he participated in a program called N’we Jinan that was founded by Montreal-based Hip-Hop Artist, Producer and
Educator David Hodges. The program served as a pilot to what is now inPath, the umbrella organization for N’we
Jinan that currently operates all over Canada. During the first volume of N’we Jinan’s Compilation, CJAY’s
participation were in songs titled ‘I Believe’ and ‘Wolves’ featuring many young aspiring artists from the Cree
Nation. The song ‘I Believe’ along with other singles, helped the album chart on Itunes Canada and debuted at
number one during its first week. ‘I Believe’ was hugely supported by the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, in which the
community provided funding for the creation of a music video. This video is the very first N’we Jinan music video
and served as the main format that has spanned 8 volumes since its inception in 2014.
After this bit of success, CJAY used this momentum to gainfully pursue his desires in music. CJAY remained
connected to the N’we Jinan organization which was then gaining nationwide acclaim and popularity in Canada. In
2018, CJAY was invited to become the first seed artist for inPath. During CJAY’s work as a seed artist, he co-
facilitated workshops while being mentored by established musicians to gain the experience necessary to share his
production skills and also work on collaborations.
For the past two years, CJAY has been seeking musical opportunities and building on his connections with
communities and artists across Canada. CJAY has done multiple residencies with inPath, coming full circle and now
facilitating N’we Jinan workshop residencies in other communities. He has also done work with Wapikoni Mobile
and ArtsCan, similar organizations that provide art-based programming in High Schools. CJAY has also ventured
into the online environment by selling his musical productions on BeatStars and creating online content for
CJAY’s current influences include many artists that have arisen after the 2010s such as Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Pusha T,
A$AP Mob, T-Pain, Run the Jewels, The Weeknd, Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, G-Eazy, Travis
Scott and Young Thug. CJAY also cites many producers as influences such as Dr. Dre, RZA, Scott Storch,
AraabMuuzik, 808 Mafia, JustBlaze, Hit-boi, Nav, Internet Money, Murda Beats, and Kenny Beats. CJAY occasionally
performs stand-up comedy during his performances.
Apart from his involvement with N’we Jinan, CJAY releases music both independently and through PaulStar
Entertainment. CJAY has been working closely with PaulStar for the past few years in building the label from the
ground up with fellow Eeyou artists Paul Napash, Slice, DJ Arrow and Money-1. CJAY is also currently developing
musical projects with artists from across the nation such as Manitoba artists MattMac, Ila Barker, Boogey The Beat,
British Columbia artist EarthChild, Nunavut emcee Hyper T and Montreal’s Violent Ground. CJAY has also worked
with artists from the Cree nation such as EDM producer Vangorian, Wemindji artist Slice, and Nemaska Quebec’s hip hop duo The NorthStars.
CJAY’s main genres of music are Hip-Hop, Trap, Lofi, R&B, Neo-Soul, Boom-Bap, Pop, Dance, EDM, Alt-Rock and
also incorporates various Country elements into his music. CJAY’s lyrical inspiration draws from bringing light
and awareness towards the social issues and situations surrounding the ‘rez life’ style such as poor living
conditions, low income, suicide and depression, drugs and addiction, alcoholism and racism. CJAY tackles many
of these themes and content with positivity and personal experience. CJAY’s main focus and goal as an artist is
to uplift his community and motivate young creators to pursue their ambitions. CJAY describes his production
style as unorthodox, wavy, upbeat and chill, often experimental but very bass and melodically driven. CJAY’s
lyrical cadence often fluctuates between different styles and flows; sometimes rapping fast, slow and switching
between rapping and singing. CJAY incorporates the use of Pitch Correction in many of his songs.
All projects are currently in production and stated to be released 2020-21.
NEW SINGLE "FLOATING" AVAILABLE ON ALL MAJOR STREAMING PLATFORMS on July 10th, 2020.
Spotify link to the song: https://open.spotify.com/track/626GH76ZhYb1FCZKDjluX4?si=rDHRtklnQQ-EfUKDaIr95g
Check out his artist website: