The JD ‘Forever Forward’ campaign is a celebration of creativity, resilience, and passion, aimed to empower and inspire the next generation. We caught up on set with one of the stars of the campaign – AntsLive – to ask some burning questions…

What’s your earliest memory of the JD duffle?

I can remember when I was young and I used to walk up to my primary school, it was always a thing if you had a JD bag on you. Everyone would be like, “Oh is that the new one? Which one’s that?” They used to update it regularly, they had the yellow one, the black one and then the Union Jack duffle; I had that one when I was younger. It was lit, I used to be big into my fitted hats so I would go to the Brent Cross JD after school and grab a fitted with some change and come in with a new JD duffle in school, like I was the man! It’s a very classic bag. If you’re from London, you know the JD bag. All these people from Surrey and those sides, they might not know the bag but if you’re from London, you know what’s going on.

Are you going to be sitting down with your family for the premiere of the JD Christmas ad?

Yes, it’s huge! Shout out JD, I feel very blessed to be a part of this. I’m not stunting, this is huge for me! I used to model for JD when I was 16, people don’t really know that. Back then I would take my grandma to the JD stores, so I’ll probably be at my grandma’s. She’ll love to see it; she cares about this stuff so I’ll probably be with my grandma. Shout out to my grandma, she doesn’t care about some achievements, like if I went number one in the charts, she’d shrug her shoulders. But if she sees me on a JD sign, she’s like, “Oh my god, you made it!”

Why is culture important to you?

Culture will tell you more about who you are and more about who everyone else is. I feel like to understand yourself, you need to understand where you came from, where your parents came from; their values and how that’s affected you. I think I really understood that last year when I went to Sierra Leone – where I’m from – for the first time. It opened up my eyes and changed my perspective on a whole lot of things and that’s when I realised there’s a reason that I am what I’m like. It’s because of my cultural upbringing; culture is extremely important. At the same time, you’ve gotta also create your own identity and find who you are in this world as well. But you need to listen to both sides of it. 

What are your plans for 2024?

I want to tour; I want to meet a lot of my supporters and the people that have changed my life. I want to bring my music to them and their cities and take my music around the globe. That’s really the vision. I’ve been in the studio for so many days and nights, next year’s about sharing that a lot more and enjoying hearing my music around the world. 

As you become a bigger artist, how will you maintain that? 

People always come up to me and say, “I appreciate what you’re doing,” which is interesting, because a lot of fans might say, “I love what you’re doing.” When people say, “I appreciate what you’re doing,” it’s almost like you’re doing something new, you’re curating an emotion like a movement. That means a lot because it suggests I’m giving a platform to a certain type of creative that isn’t showcased as much. It also shows people that want to be in my position that they could do something similar. Maybe at this time, for whatever reason, they can’t do that, so they feel like I’m putting on for them, giving a new perspective to the UK scene and doing something different. I get that a lot and I f**k with that, I like it when people say it.

To shop what Ants Live wears in the JD Forever Forward campaign, see link to JD shoppable items here.  

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