Updated: Apr 25, 2020
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.