Nessar Jahanbin aka ‘JAH’ is a Washington, DC based muralist and freelance artist. His work can be found on many walls around the district. You might know the infamous Living Time Line: Paul Robeson on U Street or Chocolate City near 14th and S Streets. He’s also the man behind our ‘Pac Meets Bach design! At Major Key Foundation, we strive to support local artists and arts initiatives and Nessar is just one example. We sat down with Nessar to talk art and ‘Pach Meets Bach. Read on to learn more about Nessar’s story and get outside to experience his work in-person! Wear a piece of this incredible artwork yourself, donate a minimum of $50 to Major Key Foundation programs supporting positive self-expression through music in DC and Baltimore schools and receive your very own ‘Pac Meets Bach T-shirt.
Why did you want to become an artist?
To become an artist has always been a crucial part of my journey. To many people art is a hobby, a leisure, and a form of self expression, to others, creating art is all of those things but much much more. It is a political voice, a spiritual guide, and a microcosm of life itself.
What was the biggest challenge you faced to get where you are in your work today?
The biggest problem is the double edged sword, the paradox, the catch 22. How can one dedicate themselves to their passions if they need to continue going to their job, to pay their bills? Preparation for liberation was very important for me. Saving enough money and putting in extra hours to get ahead, so when the time came to quit my 9 to 5, and dedicate all my time to my craft, I was ready and had a safety net already built. More important than preparation however is optimism and self confidence. I compare it to jumping off a cliff, with complete faith that you will fly. Scary? yes, worth it? Without a doubt. Ive also been blessed to meet great artists that helped guide me.
What you think of the Pac Meets Bach concept?
When I was young I lived a block away from the church Mozart would play at. My parents love classical music and opera, and I learned to appreciate it at a very young age. My introduction to Hip-Hop came mostly through my brother introducing me to the work of KRS-ONE but it wasn’t until I heard Tupac Shakur that I really fell in love with Hip-Hop. I began writing poetry and soon found myself making my own music. When I heard about the Major Key Foundation, ‘PAC meets BACH, I immediately connected with the idea and believe it is incredibly important to teach kids the two most powerful musical forms that have ever existed.
We believe that Nessar truly captured the spirit of ‘Pac Meets Bach through his design and can’t thank him enough for joining us on this journey.
Wear a piece of this incredible artwork yourself, donate a minimum of $50 to Major Key Foundation programs supporting positive self-expression through music in DC and Baltimore schools and receive your very own ‘Pac Meets Bach T-shirt.