They Don't Know (Justin Jay Remix)

This month we had the chance to flex our tastemaking muscle by featuring one of the hottest exports in dance music, who has made a name at the tender age of 21 on one of the hottest labels in dance music. Of course, we are speaking of Justin Jay, and Claude VonStroke’s Dirtybird Records cohorts. Last week, the deep and tech-house sparkplug gifted us with a TMN Resident Playlist, and this weekend, we got a chance to get a little more in depth in regards to all things Justin Jay. Check out the entire transcript below.

TMN: First of all, we wanted to thank you for taking the time to be our featured ‘Resident Artist of the Month’. We’ve actually been closely following your career arc since How Goes the Dynamite, which if we’re not mistaken was almost three years ago now, which is absurd to think that you’re only what, 21 years of age now?

JJ: Yeah it’s pretty crazy, man!

TMN: It’s hard to believe how rapidly developed and mature your sound has already become in a relatively short amount of time putting out tangible releases. Especially within a niche in which many American listeners wind up not actually discovering until the usual pit-stops through ‘EDM’, or festival sized dubstep and trap. From a personal standpoint, have you had any exact moments which you feel helped shaped the scope of your music production or steered you away from more commercial sounds?

JJ: Growing up in LA was really powerful because me and my friends were exposed to artists like MSTRKRFT and Justice back in 2007. We got into it then because it sounded new and exciting. That craving for freshness is huge.

TMN: Some of us Ninjas love to geek out about artist’s studios. What programs, machines, synths or anything else are taking up the most amount of your time currently as a producer? And what does your entire studio layout look like when laying down a new Justin Jay track?

JJ: I’m super bare bones. I have a midi keyboard and a laptop, which is all I really use. Although, I recently got a few old-school drum machines, which have been super fun to work with.

TMN: Your name gets thrown around in dance media a lot in connection with being the Dirtybird camp’s ‘little brother’ if you will. Is there an actual family vibe amongst you and the rest of your Dirtybird cohorts?

JJ: 100%. It’s so real and I think it plays a big factor in why the music is so good and why the parties are so fun. That family vibe is powerful.

TMN: And touching on that note, is it easy to find inspiration when producing in the same circles as artists like Claude Von Stroke, Eats, Kill Frenzy, Justin Martin, J. Phlip, Shiba San, and the rest of those illustrious artists attached with your ‘little’ crew?

JJ: Definitely. These guys are my favorite producers and DJs. I consistently get blown away by them, and it drives me to keep on growing and learning.

TMN: How about for you personally? You’ve been playing some pretty big venues and festivals lately from Beyond Wonderland, BPM and more. Have there been any recent concerts or sets, whether from live acts or DJ’s that have made you stop recently and just say ‘wow’ or make you want to push your craft to a new level?

JJ: I saw Kink at a warehouse party in LA recently…that dude is a genius! I was at the front of the crowd dancing for 2-hours straight. Got very sweaty that night, haha.

TMN: Staying on that tip, this is always a fun question to ask. If you could go b2b for a 4-5 hour set with one DJ through the history of time, whether alive or otherwise, who would it be and why do you think you would want to play with said artist?

JJ: If there was some way I could spin with Larry Levan, that would be pretty surreal, but also super intimidating. He would obviously put me to shame, but I feel like I would learn so much both about music and the art of DJing.

TMN: From what we’ve seen at your past shows in Denver whether at Snowball Music Festival or for TheHundred’s local parties, your sets ride a balance of booty-bounce and eclectic, deeper cuts. With such a seemingly wide array of influences, has there been a record store or even a particular person in the history of time that was particularly influential to you as an artist and musician?

JJ: Car rides with my dad were pretty foundational for my music tastes as a kid. He’d play lots of epic, cheesy love songs from the 70’s and 80’s with some funk and disco tossed into the mix. That stuff is so timeless.

TMN: What is your favorite weapon of choice to close out a Justin Jay headlining set at the moment?

JJ: “Edit Channel XXX” by JV. It’s an epic white label disco edit. You can’t help but smile and dance when it comes on.

TMN: Alright, well thanks for taking the time to satiate our appetite for all the happenings in the life of Justin Jay. Let’s move onto some more entertaining and no-pressure questions. When performing, do you have an alcoholic beverage of choice now that you’re of the age, or do you like to command the DJ booth with all of your faculties?

JJ: Plastic handle vodka and Natty Light. That’s my home turf as a college student

TMN: What was your very first job?

JJ: Working the school bookstore in 8th grade.

TMN: Who is one artist you would give anything to see live (dead or alive)?

JJ: Daft Punk. My parents weren’t comfortable with me going to crazy electronic music shows back 2007. Give me a time machine please.

TMN: You can answer this one or not, because we don’t want to see you burn any friends or promoters here but… What has been your favorite venue to play in during your career as a musician? And how about just to check out a concert that you’re not playing?

JJ: I’ll always have a soft spot for good ole house parties. They bring a special kind of rowdiness out of people.

TMN: Displays of fan affection can range from cute and harmless to teetering on insane sometimes. What is the strangest form of fan affection you’ve ever received?

JJ: I’ve been getting a lot of marriage proposals, very flattering but I’m not ready for that type of commitment.[/quote

TMN: Just a few more now. If money weren’t an issue at all, what is the one dream piece of merch you’d like to see sold at a Justin Jay merchandise table?

JJ: JJ-branded fro wigs. Fro’s inspire the funkiest dance moves.

TMN: And finally, if your music could be described as an animal, what would it be and why?

JJ: A panda cub. I like pandas.

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