In 2015, becoming a music producer is easier than ever– all it takes is a laptop, some pirated software and a few good ideas (some blog coverage is helpful) and just about anybody can blow up overnight like some of the acts we saw take off in 2014. The internet has given us the ability to instantaneously distribute music for free and as a result, many artists are able to create a fan-base without ever having to set foot inside a club or sell tickets or deal with promoters.
This is not the case for Jayceeoh. At 32 years old, the man has spent the better part of two decades with his head down, grinding his way up the DJ circuit and paying dues to earn his success. Originally an underground battle DJ, his name has become a permanent fixture in the West Coast club scene where he’s hosted residencies at literally every premiere bottle service club in LA and routinely performed alongside artists like A-Trak and Hardwell in Las Vegas. He’s put out dozens of mixtapes and more recently, he’s begun putting an emphasis on his own music production rather than focusing purely on DJing. When he hit us up with his track
I rolled up to his place in the Hollywood hills late on a Sunday afternoon; his house is secluded by a series of tiny backroads and has a breath-taking view of the city:
Moving back to LA is the best move… ever.
It was another sunny, beautiful, temperate LA winter day so sat down on the balcony overlooking Hollywood:
My trajectory since I’ve been here has just been so much better. I moved back in 2011 and kind of took over the LA club scene, I started playing all the top bottle service spots in LA… literally everywhere in Hollywood… from Greystone, Supperclub, Lure etc. I was producing a bit but I was mainly focused on DJing.
What kind of music were you playing?
I was all across the board but [catering] more to a club crowd with the mentality of “this is hot, this is going to make a good party.” My tastes have changed but I’m always at least 50% hip hop driven and everything else [just fits in]. Then I saw [VH1] was doing “Master of The Mix”… I saw the previous seasons and thought “I could crush that competition” so I just went out to audition for it and ended up getting on the show and winning the whole thing! And that’s how I live in a house like this right now *laughs*
Most of the stuff that’s happened since then has been because of me and my management team grinding the fuck out because as soon as I knew I won I thought “alright, I’ve accomplished everything I can accomplish as a regular DJ, now I need to focus on production and become an artist to step things up even further.”
That’s quite a progression
A lot of people would be happy winning the TV show and a quarter million dollars but I was like “fuck that, how do I quadruple this next year?” So basically at that point I linked up with my dude B Sides (who attended college with me in Boston at Emerson) and he’s like the mad scientist, he knows everything. A plugin comes out and he’ll sit at home on a Saturday night and study that shit for 5 hours *laughs* and I don’t always have time to get that nuclear with stuff like that but with my ear and how I construct and pace things, he and I are the perfect team. So B Sides is my right hand man and even on other tracks where I collaborate with other people, he helps me [realize] my ideas [to their full potential]. It’s a really good partnership and he’s one of the lead instructors at Icon Collective so having him as part of my team is incredibly valuable. Shout out to B-Sides!
How many gigs a week are you doing these days? Your name is everywhere!
Dude, just this year… I don’t know what date it is.
It’s the 25th.
It’s the 25th and I’ve been home for three days. You know? Since new years I’ve played in Reno, the Dominican Republic (on two different trips) Tahoe Santo Domingo, San Fransisco… I don’t even know what else, I’m delirious! I literally just got home yesterday. I just go… if I have the opportunity to do something, Im going to do it. I’m a fucking machine, that’s who I am. A lot of my friends throughout my career, DJs and producers, they’ve told me my work ethic is beyond normal. That’s how I achieve shit, I just never give up. Even on Master of the Mix, a lot of people would ask me “how are you so focused and calm right now? We’re on TV being filmed” and I told them “yo, I’m here to fucking knock this shit out and win this thing. I’m just going to be me. I know what I want to do and what I want to project and I’m just going to do this shit.”
That’s one of the things that stands out about you, you’ve consistently persisted and are always achieving greater and greater things. How do you respond to adversity? Obviously the path to success is never perfectly smooth, what do you do when you’re faced with a challenge and something kicks back at you?
I always analyze things like crazy. I’m like fuckin’ Seinfeld; the littlest things will set me off and to my fault, I take things personally sometimes that I shouldn’t… but it’s because I care so much about what I’m doing. The reason I’m as good a DJ as I am is because I’m so fucking competitive. I grew up with two brothers and everything is a competition. I’ll make everything a competition! But you know, a friendly one. I feel like competition breeds the best results.
Who are your biggest influences?
I draw from a lot of different influences but in terms of where I’m going, there are two main people. I guess It’s almost obvious but A-Trak, with his turntablist background and how he uses real turntables at his shows and how he releases everything from hip hop to electronic shit… he’s someone I’ve always looked up to. And then at the same time, I’m a huge fan of what Diplo has done in regards to how he has no boundaries, works with 8 million people and just makes the hottest shit in any genre. That’s how I like to approach my production, I don’t have one sound; I have house records, I got twerk records, I got RnB records, I don’t care. if it’s flavor and it’s dope, I want to try and make it.
Do you play any instruments?
Not traditionally, I noodle around on stuff but I’m mainly a turntablist. What I can do on a turntable is actually pretty crazy. I truthfully want to incorporate it more into an electronic show but I want to work out a way so that it will translate to the crowd. Right now there are so many distractions that [the crowd] doesn’t know what’s going on up there! I want to create a stage show where I have a crazy camera situation so people can actually see what I’m doing live, I think it would connect more with the crowd. I’m lucky, one of my best friends, Eric Ginnetty, is a production manger—he’s toured with Zedd, Bloody Beetroots, Justice, Dogblood for Skrillex.. and he’s literally my best friend from college (we had a radio show together) so we’re always talking about ideas and as I grow and get bigger budgets, we’re going to do some awesome, creative, off-the-wall shit to set my stage show apart from other people.
Tell us about this “No Clearance EP”
Basically, I have a bunch of tracks that are fucking awesome but they have a bunch of samples I can’t clear so instead of releasing single, single single single like I’ve been doing, I feel like releasing them as an EP feels more like a body of work that will help people view me as more of an artist. It helps people absorb more than just one thing. And it’s going to be a free thing… that’s part of the whole no clearance thing. Right now I just want to put out music to build buzz so the shows and fanbase can grow. I’m releasing it on my Super 7 Records imprint that I established so I can do branded releases just like this… while building brand awareness. I’ve only released one song officially on it but its basically an outlet for whenever I have a track I want to get out… I have distribution set up, I have a label.
Any shows or collars coming up we should know about?
Definitely. EDC Mexico is a huge one. It’s my first EDC ever so I’m hoping that will break me into the festival circuit more. In terms of collaborations, I’ve got a couple tracks with the Bloody Beetroots, Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo is focusing more on doing a more-DJ-Production centric thing instead of Bloody Beetroots live and we’ve got a track… one, maybe two for sure that are gonna be on an EP on Dim Mak and that’s going to be awesome. Me and Bassnectar have been throwing some things back and forth so at some point… and I really can’t put a date on it… but at some point you’ll probably hear a Jayceeoh – Bassnectar original. Redman… we already have a single that should be out this Spring that’s a fucking really awesome 100BPM twerk record and after that I sent him a bunch of beats and fuckin’… he want’s to do a whole EP with me. So now there’s going to be a Jayceeoh – Redman EP in the works, he was here last night. I got a record with OJ da Juiceman that’s pretty fucking crazy with DJ Woogie that’s going to come out some time in the spring. I also have another EP in the works due out on SMOG Records which is probably going to come out at the end of February. So… there are like 20 or 30 records that are pretty much good to go.
And you’ve only been home 3 days!
Every free second, I’m working on shit and perfecting shit. And I’m collaborating with awesome people so when I’m busy they’re working and when they’re busy I”m working, you know? I’ve got a long way to go but I’m hoping this year I really make the jump to the next level of this whole scene.
Humble, motivated, experienced. These are the qualities that become most apparent when talking face-to-face with Jayceeoh. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my own experiences in the music industry, it’s that you get out of it what you put in to it and eventually, those who work hardest will rise to the top. Its impossible to deny the hustle Jayceeoh has put in to his career and its definitely paying off.
We’re pleased to premiere the two unreleased tracks from the No Clearance EP, I’m The King (with SubZero) and ’98 Lakers, both of which lend themselves to Jayceeoh’s hype, club performance style that keeps him constantly booked (and I’m still playing his and B-sides’ remix of ‘Still In This Bitch’ on the daily). The entire EP is available as a free download so be sure to snag a copy for your own enjoyment (and while you’re at it, check out the Super 7 series… perhaps Volume 5? Do yourself the favor).
If you were sleeping on Jayceeoh its time to wake the **** up! Turntablism is alive and well. Oh, and…