First and foremost how have you been JS?
I'm doing great man, just been progressing and enjoying life.
The last time I interviewed you, you were prepping for a dual release with Wale called Something for Nothing. How was the project received and are you excited about Wale's upcoming release?
Yeah, the response was great, I've gained a lot of loyal supporters just from that project. I'm definitely excited for the homie Wale's album Ambition, I really feel like this is his time and this go around he has the right team, label and support from his fans so I wish him the best of success! 11-1-11 is gonna be a monumental day here in DC! And for music!
In our last interview, you expressed the goal of securing major placements. Recently I noticed via the social media that you produced a new Lloyd Banks track called "Turn It Up." The interesting thing about this track is that you produced and the beat and you appear on the hook. Describe the feeling associated with working with Lloyd Banks.
Man that track was actually done a month after Something About Nothing dropped in June, and the crazy thing is that track was actually for another major artist that I was in the studio with when I was in New York and we had started writing to it but they never finished it. So when the Banks opportunity came it only felt right to put it out a couple weeks before The Grand Cinema 2 drops because I wanted to see the response from everyone, and the record is doing incredibly well!
On 11/8/11, you will drop a conceptually driven instrumental album called The Grand Cinema 2: All or Nothing. I like the creative concept of utilizing popular movie themes and re-inventing them. Describe the process of selecting popular movie themes. Was it a time consuming process?
It's a very long and tedious process when making this project because I knew how many people were really inspired from the 1st Grand Cinema and it wasn't just artists, I've had film makers use my music, and all types of people around the world really showing me love and as of right now it's still doing crazy numbers. So it was pressure to maintain a sort of balance between making this album so that the average listener will enjoy it, the artists out there will enjoy it, and to shock this industry with a brand new exciting sound.
The album was originally finished in July, but it went through several phases because I had some like really incredible new sounds and breakdowns throughout the album that people have literally never heard before and I knew it would be just too much...because this album is like an escape from your reality into MY world and my world has no rules and can get a little crazy (Laughs). I had to take out certain things and create that balance as I was saying before but I'm really pushing a lot of boundaries with all the music that made the final cut. And that's what I miss the most about music...being INNOVATIVE!
How does this project differ from the first Grand Cinema instrumental album?
When you hear the very 1st song on this album you will notice a HUGE amount of growth and progression because that's where I'm at in my life. At the same time you can hear the pain, struggle and perseverance in the music. Really LISTEN to the skits that play throughout the album. The album really just reflects the sub-title of the album "All or Nothing." I've come to a point in my life where if I decide to do anything no matter how small or how big, I'm going to either give it my ALL or not do at all.
I'm still young but I'm not in high school anymore, and time doesn't wait for anyone. I didn't grow up having anything handed to me, I came from a family that has always had to struggle whether it was financially or in the environment we lived in. I feel like it's on ME now, I'm a grown man now, I want better for myself and them, and I feel like I have the potential to change that through my music and my vision. I feel like I have the potential to change the WORLD and I WILL! I'm very passionate about this and I know in my heart this is what I'm meant to do. Someone once told me that "its easy to cosign and support someone who is successful and made a difference but where was the support, love, and all the co-signs on his journey and road to success" and that's exactly how it is for me right now...but as time goes on it gets a lot easier for me to tell those who genuinely support me. Plus there is a LOT of live instrumentation on the album which was all done by myself.
People should support The Grand Cinema 2: All or Nothing because...
It is PASSION! It has a unique sound and this coming from a young producer that is taking on so many roles: Producer, artist, Multi-instrumentalist, marketing, distribution, engineering, my own photography and videography, hosting different events, being a full-time college student, and still balancing a regular life without any management or anything JUST ME...I don't even know what a normal life is anymore tho (Laughs).
Your work ethic is definitely inspirational. What motivates you to continue to put out quality product? Is your work ethic innate or a product of learned behavior?
Thanks I appreciate it, my work ethic is definitely a combination of both. I come from a family that when the time gets rough you gotta really get your grind on, nobody in this world is gonna hand anything to you...you gotta go get it if you want it! I also learned how to hustle at a young age and have an entrepreneurial mindset and this goes back to when I was in elementary school (Laughs). And being humble goes a long way!
How is college life treating you?
It's great man, I'm currently a sophomore at Howard. I don't know how I balance everything that I do but man!...honestly...I have so much fun all the time...I know a lot of people think that I'm always working or whatever but people that really know me, know how goofy I am and how much fun I have on a daily basis. And the funny thing is on a weekly basis someone will walk up to me or yell my name from across the yard "Yo, are you JS? The Best? The producer who did this or that..." and they are always surprised that I'm actually JS because they see a different side of me when I'm just out and I never really talk about being a producer or anything like that I just enjoy life to the fullest. The response that I get from people who show me love is definitely humbling. Sometimes it feels like I'm Clark Kent, and some days I'm Superman (Laughs).
What projects are you currently working on?
I'm on a five project spree right now till May. The 1st project is The Grand Cinema 2: All or Nothing which is done of course. Right now, I'm finishing up this Mos Def EP, that should drop in January. And then I have 2 album projects dropping in February and March which I can't speak on right now but I will say its sounding incredible. And the last of the five project spree is a R&B/Pop instrumental EP that is going to be released in May right before summer starts because it has that feel good vibe on the project.
How can the masses get in contact with you?
You can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. Also my official website should be up by the time The Grand Cinema 2 is up. Visit My Website when the project drops.
Any final thoughts?
Believe, Show Growth, Evolve, Change The World
We Don't Make Moves, We Make Movements!
- JS aka The Best