Jon Black Shares His Musical Evolution

Jon Black Shares His Musical Evolution

Name: Jon Black

Label: Orkestra Entertainment

Years in the Business: Three

What big-name artists have you worked with?

I have opened up for hip-hop legends such as The Wu-Tang Clan and Bun B.

What new style can we expect to hear on your recent mixtape, I Am Jon Black?

I don’t have a style that is easily identifiable for people that enjoy mainstream rap. My influences come from all over the world — funk music, soul music, gangster rap, conscious rap, nerdcore, horrorcore, alternative rock, progressive rock, electro, house, blues, you name it — I listen to it.

You produced your single, “Nonsense.” What prompted you to learn the production side of the industry? Nobody made beats so that’s what really prompted my musical evolution. When I first started making beats, it was because we had a group back home in San Diego and we did it for fun, freestyling and making up stupid-ass songs like “Cash Tonight.” I ended up downloading FL Studio when it was still Fruity Loops back in like 2001-2002 and just tinkered around with it. Eventually, I started getting a better understanding of timing, rhythm, melody, and it just fell into place. I started out making organic beats, and then I just gravitated to making sampled beats, now I try to find a good balance of both to keep things fresh.

How has performing at SXSW helped your career?

It solidified my seriousness amongst some of my peers even if they won’t admit it. There are four levels of playing in Austin, [Texas], for SXSW; there’s playing in Austin during SXSW, playing by SixthStreet, playing on Sixth Street. and then there’s playing the actual conference. I wanted to be that guy, and I did. It was a great feeling and I saw a lot of people start taking notice after that.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Dj Quik, RZA, Ice Cube, E-40, Tech N9ne, Biggie, Tupac, Mac Dre, Isaac Hayes, Outkast, Barry White, Frankie Vallie, The Beach Boys, King Crimson, Portishead, Snoop, The Outsidaz, Mos Def, Howlin Wolf, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, I-Roy, Barrington Levy, Suga Free, Brotha Lynch Hung

What’s Next?

I’m currently finishing up the mix on my [un]titled album, look for that in March of 2012, as well as a beat CD with my partner Sherm Sticc from Eklipes Productions, which will probably be dropping around the same time.

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