Isn‘t English the omenous language.
Whilst obsessively listening to Jesse’s music, it seemed so apparent that this was not in-your-face type of a beat, more like a silent rumble waiting to turn into an earthquake.
There’s this flow – too fucking cool and collected for a 16-year-old. Jesse’s remixes float somewhere in the outer stretch of the known remix universe, like a bionic rainbow ready to set you on fire. It‘s a different kind of fire. You’ll wanna poke at it. Don‘t be afraid of the fire, cause this 16-year–old ninja beat–tamer is the wild card for hip hop.. not to mention music at large. Just not officially until he’s done with highschool.
His myspace icon depicting a computer–headed boy. The irony, the irony – dude’s music is so human you almost feel it reaching it out for you.
Interview and mp3s after the break.
I read this book where a pregnant woman would play classical music to her belly and read dictionaries to her unborn kids. It all turned out nasty in said book, but do you remember being impacted by something as an unborn kid?
My parents always played jazz for me. Classical music all day for me as a little fetus.
I guess it worked.
Is there anything unsample-able that you’d like to sample?
Nothing is unsample-able. There is always a way. It’s all about the perfect chop of audio mixed with the perfect filter. Sure you wont get the perfect result, but it works.
Drop some names here.. What artists would you like to work with, musically, visually, or any other way?
Oh man, I could go on for days. Jose James, that dude is killing me. It’s rare, and it may seem silly to say this, but Jose really captures the core of himself in his music. I mean, he really has the perfect connection of artist and man. It’s hard to explain. I would love to work with him. He digs my stuff and I recently did a remix of his “Velvet“ track which he enjoyed, very much so. It is an honor to have a dude like him digging my beats. Means a lot.
Other people I’d love to work with would be definitely a lot of live musicians. I’d kill to work with Sanders or someone like Mulatu [i.e Astatke] or Doug Carn. Another vocalist would be Dwight Trible of Build and Ark. One of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard since Leon Thomas.
I’m not exactly a hip-hop beatmaker… well at least for rappers. But I’d kill to work with Count Bass D and Insight. Insight is brilliant, really.
How’s school going?
It’s good. I’m taking 2 condensed (2 courses in 2 months). Law and Comp Music (I sample) are the courses. In Law I slack a lot which is not so good. I make beats every class. All off records I have recorded to mp3 for the occasion. And then I just do it again in computer music.
University is up next… I guess.
What do you want us to do with your music?
Listen to it?
What’s the creative process like? Does inspiration hit you like a flash of brilliant lightning? Or do you just muck about in Ableton until things sound right?
Well, see, I have nothing planned. I know this will sound hokey or just very odd, but my music is based off of my emotions. I make 10 minutes of solid recorded music per day, and it is always different. My music will mirror my feelings on that day. I guess it’s sort of like a looking glass into the core of who I am.
A couple days back I was very stressed out and sad. I went straight to my music and just created. There is no thought process, no thinking of what and where I should sample. It is all organic and pure. It all comes from what I am feeling at the time. It has nothing to do with a thought process, but instead one of feelings. It is the only time in my life where my feelings control who I am completely, and my mind sits back and the world drifts away.
Have labels started hitting on you yet? I’m thinking you want to put out your music sooner rather than later, does a young artist like yourself feel the need to have a label cover all those pecuniary aspects, and leave you to focus on the music?
Sort of. Its hard to explain.
I won’t put out my music for about 2 more years. I have big ideas. I feel my music is good now. Good for my age. But I have only been at this for almost 2 years. I think by 2 years I will be ready to press a single, EP or album. I want it to be great and I want it change peoples perception of who and what a sampler is and can be. I want live musicians on it. No theory, no writing. Just from the soul.
Often my friends don’t quite understand what I do. When I show them my sample sources and I show them my whole set up and how I do everything, there jaw drops. I truly want to push the envelope as far as possible with sampling. I can only hope for the future. I am not at that level now, but maybe one day I can merit half, a quarter of maybe just a bit of the dream that I have.
Do you have a pet name for your synth?
You start out by doing music for yourself. Do you think that’s ever going to change? I mean, you’ve put yourself out there on myspace- how have peoples’ reactions influenced you?
I started out as a piano player. I did improv by 6 and everything by ear. I did trumpet and my old high school (I am at a new one) and I had stellar marks but I could not read music and I failed theory. Everything was by ear. I started sampling because I wanted to conduct, but I could not conduct without the knowledge of theory. I am quite the stubborn kid so I was very set on doing it MY way and only MY way.
My music was really horrible the first year. I thought I was the shit because I got printed in a Canadian newspaper of Exclaim, when I was really a silly kid who looped jazz records and uploaded them to his myspace with some hip-hop vocal samples. I always did it for myself. I always did. I was also very emotional about it, even when I was horrible.
I have gotten to the point where my music has connected to who I am. I cannot choose what to do. I was supposed to do a beat for Othello (rapper from lightheaded) but when I put my mind to what I was doing and focused instead of letting my feelings guide me, the product was plastic, dirty and all around mediocre garbage. I don’t think I could change even if I wanted to.
The reactions have been a blessing and a curse. I got a lot of severe hate on my music in my first year of sampling and it killed me. But in truth, that was the best thing that could have happened to me at the time.
Are you an elitist?
Yes. Not in the way that I think I am the shit. I am very careful of being cocky.
But I will be a complete cunt and judge other’s music tastes as inferior. I’m known by my friends to have an amazing and versatile taste in music. I sort of wear that like a badge and I often act like some Fascist music critic towards anything that they play for me that I do not think is awesome. It’s not a good look. But I guess I have more positives then negatives.
I’m stopping you from sampling a very rare, dope beat unless you reveal your source to the masses. What do you say to that?
I have shown so many people my sample sources. When I show them, they don’t believe me. Fuck, if I had a chance I’d post mp3’s to show what I sample. I don’t dig when beatmakers are afraid of showing their sample sources. It just shows that they didn’t flip anything. I’m guilty of this fact, I used to do it all the time. But I’ve learned to personalize my samples.
The main sample of my track “blue” is a 2 second sample of a flute which I sampled 4 times, filtered it with around 10 filters or so (most made by me) and then I changed the pitch 4 times. When I talk to people about my music one on one, I will always show my sample sources to show what I did, so they don’t think that when I say [I’m a] sampler they GET the creative force which goes behind what I do.
What makes you go Daaammn these days?
Dwight Trible and Jose James melt my face.
I’m really digging people like Flying Lotus, Bullion and 20syl. 20syl is one of the dopest producers out there in my opinion. Many tend to disagree but if you really listen to the dude’s layers, that shit will kill you! Amazing stuff.
I’m also digging outspoken MC’s like Voice and Insight. Both artists REALLY have a way with words.
Cinematic Orchestra, Dj Day, A-ko, Build and Ark, Nicola Conte are also killing it.
Basically people who do there own thing, and do that thing in a very SOLID and concrete manner.
And the most revealing question of all: chocolate or vanilla ice cream?
So hard I cannot give you an answer.
José James [myspace] (Check out his album, don’t sleep!)