JK – Artist Interview
Written by Matt Zin on September 25, 2020
Hello JK welcome to the studio. I am looking forward to this interview but before we get started could you tell our listeners where you are from?
Sure! That’s always been a hard question to answer because I’m a military brat (my mother was in the Air Force, so we moved around every 3-5 years). Originally I’m from Mountain View, CA.
I had a chance to listen to your fabulous music, first thing that came to mind was Michael Jackson, then I read your bio and low and behold, you have in your bio that he is one of your influences. How does that make you feel? Do you have other influences you would like to share with us?
Thank you! That’s quite the compliment. It feels good on one end to bring that kind of artist to mind. He’s a legend. Timeless, you know? My other influences are Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo, Stevie Wonder, and Andy Grammer.
We like to ask a few strange questions in our interviews, here’s one, you ready? So you are at a park, these guys are playing some heavy metal music just jamming on their air guitars and all of a sudden their radio explodes. No more heavy metal music, now is your time to push your music on them. Jump right in there and tell them all about your music. Let them listen on your phone and convince them they need to buy your music and why.
Hm, I have to say that is interesting. Honestly, given the circumstances, I wouldn’t approach those guys. In my experience, I know people have various interests and styles of music. My style of music is more Pop/R&B. I want to have people who are genuinely going to like my music, and there’s very little of rock influence in my music, so I wouldn’t go to someone who loves heavy metal because there’s more of a chance they’ll say no. If it was Maroon 5 or even Linkin Park, I probably would say something, but if it’s heavy metal, no. I’m also not the type of person to try and convince someone to do something. I wouldn’t want someone to try to convince me to do or buy something I don’t want, so I wouldn’t do that to someone else.
It might not be the most sales-savvy answer, but that’s my real answer.
You have a new album, #MakeADifference, coming out in October of this year, you must be super excited. What’s in the name title?
Yes, #MakeADifference is my first studio album. I’ve realized in my musical experience that if you really want to make an impact with music, you have to write your own. I’ve always wanted to write my own and produce my own music. I called it #MakeADifference to make it easy to find, first off, and secondly because that’s really my goal with my musical career. Everyone loves music, it helps shape your outlook on life, it helps make better days, better people, better situations, a better world. And it starts within our own communities, so that’s where I want to target first. If my music makes a difference in one person’s life, and someone else sees the difference and wants to be better themselves, I’ve already made a difference in that community, and those people will make their communities better. Ultimately, we want to make this world a better place. Music (all of the arts, really) are pivotal to that. The arts give our world character, and character is everything.
What is your most favorite song on the album and why?
My favorite song on the album…mmm….probably “Next To Me”. I like it because it’s something I always battled with growing up – knowing you’re good for a girl.
I really like the song, “Miss Perfect.” Can you go into some details on what that song is all about?
“Miss Perfect” is about meeting the fantasy girl. Every guy goes through this at some point in his life, and I’ve learned that in those moments you really have moments to make a difference, or she’ll walk past and you’ll never see her again. I’ve missed out on so many of those until I finally got it right.
What’s the first song off the album and why?
The first song is called “On My Own”. It was a song I wrote after the worst breakup of my life. Getting my feelings down and creating this song helped me cope and get over it, and so I included it to help someone else who might be going through something similar.
Take me through a day in the studio with JK. What would I see and do? How long would the day be?
The day goes from about noon (I don’t do mornings if I can help it) to about 3 a.m. the next day. I also help writers create books, musicians learn the art of performing, create songs, record, I do mixing & mastering, and more with my wife and our company. So on any given day you’ll see me edit a book, market another, create a website, record a song, create a beat for a song, teach a student, feed my kids, interview with a radio station, and more. On other days you’ll see me perform with the band or fill in with another band. My life really is busy!
Growing up, was music a big part of your life? How has it changed your life today?
Music helped create this person that you see today. Growing up I listened to a lot of older music, which is where my love of disco and funk come from. I’m a 90s kid, so my radio station played a LOT of different music on the same station (which is why 90s kids always say “I like a little bit of everything”), so I grew to love N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, No Doubt, Christina Aguilera, Brittney Spears, Usher, 98 Degrees, and more. Then, through high school, I discovered Linkin Park, Maroon 5, and Kanye West (before he went nuts). They really helped me find confidence in myself and grow to understand that life isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. Some people are going to be absolutely evil to you and you have to have the self-respect to stick up for yourself. Tough to get that anywhere as a little skinny kid trying to fit in.
So I really do have a wide interest in music. I like things with a message, and not all music today has any. At least, not any good ones. Nowadays, I’m a big Bruno Mars and Andy Grammer fan. Justin Timberlake is still doing his thing too.
You are on stage and all of a sudden you forget your lyrics, what do you do?
This happens more than you know. Sometimes I’ll repeat the first verse, sometimes I’ll throw in a run, do a dance, or say the default “watermelon”.
Do you play any instruments?
No I don’t. I’m learning piano, but I’m nowhere NEAR good enough to play in front of people.
Where would you like to see yourself in the music business in five years?
I’d like to be on tour doing my original music, have at least 3-5 albums out, and really be helping make a difference with my music in the communities I touch.
We are coming to a close of this interview and we would love for you to tell our listeners where they can find your music? If you have any special shout-outs, please feel free to do them now.
Absolutely! My music is available everywhere (Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, etc.) Just look up JK Θ. I also have a special on my website (www.jktheta.com) going on. If you buy my Extended EP, On My Own, on my site, you’ll get the new album FREE when it releases in October, AND you get a t-shirt free (shipping and everything). I’ll include the link below.
I’d really like to thank my family first and foremost. My wife has been a rock throughout this process. I’ve gone from excited to completely discouraged and wondering if I’ll ever make a difference with my music, and she’s helped me through it all. She really is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Shout out to Al Owen, who helped me produce my EP and gave me extra confidence in my voice. My producers, Nawlege and nDroid at Clear Track Studios. The entire staff at Clear Track Studios. They really are amazing here in Clearwater, FL. Jeff Stoddard for laying down some killer bass tracks on “Some Love”, and being a great guy in general. One of the most humble people you’ll meet. A special shoutout to my mom, who has always supported and been proud of me. My father for helping me harness my musical talents and inspiring me to THINK for myself. My boi Jevity! He and I started dreaming about doing music in college, and now he’s a DJ in Chicago and I’m an artist. And everyone who has listened to my music, bought an album or EP or any merch, you all are helping me create reality from a dream. Without everyone, I couldn’t do this. It really is a full effort, takes a team. And to my band members who are helping me create this tour. You guys really are great, and I can’t wait to go out there and perform live for millions of people!
I wish I could include everyone, but I know you only have so much space.