First off, apologies for not keeping up with my Friday deadline. But don’t worry, we still got an Artist of the Week for you to enjoy on this fine Saturday! J-Man, the dude behind that infectious track “How I Want Ya” featured in the latest Netflix commercial, was kind enough to answer some questions for us. He talked about why he switched from rock drummer to a different kind of beat maker, and why you might not see him on tour anytime soon. Read on.
I remember you as the drummer from Under the Influence of Giants. What made you want to change things up and make music on your own?
I had been touring with bands for about seven years. I was ready to take a break from traveling and spend more time in the studio. I like the feeling of being able to create every day, and taking a break from the road provided that option.
How is this type of music different from what you did in rock bands?
The music that I write for myself has a stronger hip-hop beat base than either of the bands that I was in in in the past. I’ve never been musically discriminating, so hopefully that attitude helps me incorporate a nice range in style. In bands, I would collaborate with other writers so the end result would be different than when I write on my own.
You’ve had a few of your songs in commercials. How does that process work? Do you make songs specifically for each commercial?
I’m fortunate to be working with two great companies that handle the licensing of my songs. A company called Ghost Town, which has an amazing roster of talent, and a commercial house/licensing company called Morphonics that also has an impressive roster of talent. I deliver my songs, and those companies pitch them for me. I have two more ads coming out for Lexus and Samsung. Keep an eye out.
You have a few EPs and singles out now. Any plans for a full-length album?
I think I will release another EP before putting out a full length.
Do you use Netflix? What are your favorite things to watch on there?
I do use Netflix. There is an amazing documentary series on there on WWII [by] Ken Burns. I also keep my kids highly entertained with all the children’s shows they have. Netflix doubles as my babysitter.
If you could make a song for any commercial or product, what would it be and why?
I think landing an Apple spot would be a cool accomplishment. I would also like to land a Victoria’s Secret ad, for obvious reasons.
I love the remix of “How I Want Ya” with Chancellor Warhol. How did you get involved with him? Any future plans to collaborate again?
Thank you. I heard his music online and contacted his manager. He’s very good. Hopefully we will write another song soon.
Do you see taking J-MAN on the road at any point?
If there was a legitimate reason for touring and performing then I would do it. I take things on a case-by-case basis. It’s hard to travel around the world when I know that I could be at home watching The Goonies.
Where can new fans keep track of what you’re up to?