Updated: Apr 25
I remember listening to Donell Jones when a friend asked me if it was Jon B I was listening to. This question made me realise that there were other artists with the same type of vibe and so I immediately rushed out to the local music store to find out more. As a singer, producer it's only natural to be on the constant lookout for new and inspiring content which only helps fuel ones own creativity. Did I find what I was looking for? More than that. I found the album 'Cool Relax' which also featured a song I loved from a short time prior to that moment, a song called 'They don't know'. I became a loyal fan. A few years later the album 'Stronger Everyday' dropped and the single 'Lately' was released. When the sound hit my ears, I knew it was time to interview him. I made some arrangements and turns out Jon B was performing at Propaganda in central London UK. He had a photo shoot earlier that day so it made sense to do the interview there. It went so well he decided to continue with the interview and invited me to join him there. Naturally he performed songs from the new album but also threw in 'They don't know' which the crowd were not ready for. Killed it!
Jon B. an exotic singer songwriter producer lyricist and instrumentalist, who brings distinctive sound to our ears. Music legends such as Toni Braxton, After 7, and Color Me Badd have used his expertise in their sound. Influenced by music found in his grandparents' record store, he began combining '70s soul with '90s hip-hop on his 1995 debut album, This defined his sound of his debut album Bonafide released 1995. This Sold more than 1 million copies and went gold. the second release of Djinn's favourite album "Cool Relax" continued the emphasis on classic hip-hop & soul which contains the amazing "They Don't Know" and "Are You Still Down" featuring 2Pac. Raised In California, Jon B's father was a concert pianist and a professor of music. now he Is back with a new message. this is my collection of thoughts and experiences" he says.
Check It Out...
Djinn: Whats up Jon? Been a minute since your last album, (which was well worth the wait) what part of Jon B are we connecting with in this chapter?
Jon B: Thank you man. The Jon B your connecting with, where i'm at in my life, my phase is like, the healing phase, y'know what I mean, I'm more or less getting stronger everyday which is what I'm saying on the album, y'know its just........Whatever doesn't kill you in your life, whatever doesn't take you out, your mental is only gonna add to it; add to diversity, as far as the dynamics in your personality and everything. I think until you've gone through like a mid life crisis, You don't really get to see what being an adult is all about. Now I'm an adult because I've been through something that has been enough of a test on me in my life. Like my divorce with my ex wife and my situation with my studio burning up, I mean like that was enough of a test on me, to be able to get me to basically break that cycle. I got into the industry at a young age, and a whole lot thrown at me, y'know success immediately, So I never really got to get me tight if you know what I mean, So as far as me really feeling good about my life on my own, That's what I'm doing so y'know the expressions on this album is just everything.
Djinn: So basically like you put down the development of your character and thoughts on that!
Jon B: Yea man, everything I'm doing now and everything I'm thinking about so and so. Its all been put down.
Djinn: How long would you say you actually spent recording the album start to finish?
Jon B: I'd say start to finish we spent probably about 3 years making it, 'know it was a matter of recording song after song after song like having a whole school of songs and going through them and saying these are the best ones and I feel like I came it with probably like 3 albums for this 1 album.
Djinn: Mainly vocals first or beats?
Jon B: I usually do the background vocals first on the hook and then fly all those up and then ill do my leads and build from there.
Djinn: Interesting. So what DAW do you use?
Jon B: Logic Audio.
(Djinn & Jon B lock hand and click like yea y'know. The Lolz Continue...)
Djinn: Now I first heard your new Single "Lately" back in November and it immediately blew me away, especially it being that I was watching the video for it the same time. The track is different to your standard Jon B sound. But still consistent. How did the track come about?
Jon B: Glad you like man, It was Through My Homie Brainz who is basically presidential campaign.He's a sick producer man, they came with the raw track, I love the track and then Tank went to the studio and wrote the record for me, he came up with the concept of lately and that whole thing, so it was good. It was like it was listening to someone……
(Jon B stops for a second while trying on a watch to go with the outfit for the photo shoot)
Say I don't know if that's even gonna work with that, Nah Nah Nah that ain't gonna work with that. Cool, Thank You. Where was i? Yea? I just felt like tank was just speaking from my heart, y'know what I mean, he just took the words right out of my mouth and, Lately? What better way to hit the fans than "have you thought about me lately"?? It's like it fits more than one purpose, its like, you could be asking your ex that, you could be asking your fans that.
Djinn: Well yea, it's a nice track man. The beat, lyrics and the overall sound just makes it hard not to bob your head when you listen to it, while the lyrics just make you pay attention.
Jon B: Thank You. Thank you man.
Djinn: Now you also had a Desi remix of the single of 'Lately' featured, what's your personal opinion on that remix?
Jon B: I love that remix man, that's like, I just see like, just total exotic places when I hear that record, y'know, I see exotic women I see beautiful shades of difference on that record, just amazing. Amazing video concepts come into mind when I hear that record.
Djinn: Hmmm? So you gonna shoot a exclusive for the remix?
Jon B: The karma sutra 2.
(Everybody in the room laughs)
Djinn: The Asian market is huge in the UK. How did the concept of doing something for the Asian scene come about?
Jon B: That was actually something that was inspired by the producers around here just feeling the album, like the local DJ's having the fly idea to put the remix on it, because I do have an `Asian fan base, so it like it putting that whole style of music mixing the Punjabi style with it and….
Djinn: No rules?
Jon B: Yea man. Just going for it and just making it really diverse now.
Djinn: Now what happened to the JonBeyond website?
Jon B: What happened was basically we have a little bit of a discrepancy with it being a fan based web site, like a fan started the website and then it turned into a the official website.The only reason it was the official website is because I didn't really have a deal, it was like setup for months and months by a fan and then we felt like we do need to have a little bit more control as it is my website there was just a little bit ......we didn't really have any real control over what was going on and stuff like that and she was saying like if you wanna have control then you'd have to pay for it every month so it was more of a financial issue really because right now were just off at a start and anybody who wants to make money off of me at this point, I'm like just getting my start, y'know what I mean, So with all due respect to jenny from Jonbeyond.com its just like it does cost to keep websites up so I mean I feel we needed to go back to the essence of where we started which was just for the love, but were actually getting into it ourselves, now its https://www.jonbworld.com/
Djinn: That the main site fans visit yea?
Jon B: Yea
Djinn: What's the deal with Vibe Zelect?
Jon B: Vibe Zelect is my label .
Djinn: Your Record Label?
Jon B: That's actually my production company label thing I don't have a label deal per say but I definitely have artist who I'm working with and a lot of production you can be looking forward to hearing.
Djinn: Now your previous albums of which 'Cool Relax' & 'Pleasures You Like' had an almost tropical element about them, where do you see the new album going musically?
Jon B: I think its really diverse, like I've got the like you said everything from the hip-hop R&b records to the Caribbean esk sound and definitely have the slow down track like the love making records, you got the 2 step type joint the one more dance which which is kinda reminiscent to step in the name of love or happy people so yea i'ts kinda bouncing around man, I mean I've tried to keep a a nice flow to the album and I've tried to keep it consistent but still ad new element like Lately was a totally new element it just hit my from left field, I was like nice. I could fabulous on there like if I just heard the track, but I was just drawn to the track. the moment i heard it.
Djinn: Now as I know, you would love to collaborate with Alicia Keys?
Jon B: Yea. Defo.
Djinn: Have you approached any other artist for collabo's or have you been approached?
Jon B: Been talking to Craig David about doing something together for his next his next project.. Been speaking to Ja Rule about his next project. Been working with Lil Zhane, we just did a smash record together, I produce for him track called, "what I need" I think its his first single on his new album coming out,he's on an independent label. Really excited about that record coming out cus I know its gonna light it up again. Then also working with Kim Sommers this really talented vocalist . American girl working with Gladis Knight and besides that were trying to get the tour together.
Djinn: Plans for tour? with?
Jon B: I would really like to tour with someone like Jamiroquai or someone like that, His album is dropping soon I think it would look good for us to get on the road and do the tour together as I have yet to be established in Europe. I'm like the perfect opening act so people will come to the show to see R&B as well as Funk Soul so I could bring a new element and he could bring a new element as people don't know my live situation, I sit and play the Rhodes I'm doin my thing as a musician and and Jamiroquai just bounces it out because he'll do the dancing and the singing,. so I think it would be a hot look man.
Djinn: You met 2Pac on the set of his video shoot for "How Do You Want It. Since then you collaborated on the much loved single "Are You Still Down". Now, once again we have you both back on "Part2" What's the thinking behind this and how did did it come about?
Jon B: We wanted to do a tribute basically like a throwback joint to go back to what that was.. "Are you still down" was probably THE most special record that I've ever been involved in as the impression was left solid. He was like the coolest cat I ever met in the business inspirational , the whole thing of him dying 2 weeks later, that left a tattoo on my mind, so I got Pac written on my mind forever. so its like you never can forget that he was murdered it was like he dies of natural cause I gonna ride for him to the death so I'm like rest in peace all my respect for what he did for my career. Just by that whim of him wanting to work with me because I'm sure he didn't know what kinda effect it would have had. I mean he knew about his death and also predicted my life with so many other things. So I wanna respect pack by remembering again "PART2" with johnny jay who was his good friend so we did that together.
Djinn: well it is a great great track.
Jon B: Thank you Djinn, Thanks.
Djinn: You've been performing in the UK as well right?
Jon B: Yea, I also got a little thing going on at Propoganda tonight so ill see you there? We can continue where we left off.
Djinn: Of Course
Djinn: Last but not least, any messages for the Djinn Music and Jon B followers alike?
Jon B: Just go get the album if you wanna know who I am and who I've become. This is me over 35 years old now a grown man growing sexy vibes and that's what I'm trying to put out, that love music. I ain't trying to be the next main entertainer superstar guy I just wanna make music and have people enjoy the albums.
Well There You Have It! Jon B, Humble and gifted, his musical concept surpasses all expectation, as underrated as he Is, he has millions of fans around the world and this fan base is growing at the speed of light. being one of the strongest influences to his motivation, Jon B remains one of the only remaining artists who Djinn respects to the fullest. he is humble and gifted. Recorded with multi platinum artists. Been in the game for years and will life is bringing the credit Jon B truly deserves.
Turns out 19 years later, they finally put their heads together and collaborated on a single now available on all major music platforms. Jon B ft Donell Jones.
Check it out here- https://youtu.be/IWbhZGzZvdM