Jack Splash is a time traveller. He was there when it all began, and he made the whole planet rock with Afrika Bam. He had Melle Mel's back when he was by the edge, and he used to wear them big suits with Talking Heads. And as God is his witness, or his name ain't Jack, he told AC/DC to come back in black.
"Most of the stuff that I've always loved and have really been inspired by, even though musically and artistically it sounds way different, at the end of the day the energy behind it all is the same," says Jack Splash, the mastermind behind Plantlife. "We're just an extension of that energy. That's where that theory of Time Traveller came from."
On Time Traveller, set for release on Decon Records, Plantlife mixes a little bit of hip-hop, funk, rock and R&B into something new, bold, and daring. As the group's resident genius, Jack Splash makes future soul that defies categorization.
"I wouldn't call it a hip-hop project, but it's the energy of hip-hop that gives birth to the energy of what I do," says Jack Splash. "It's no-holds-barred. There are no limits."
When Plantlife first debuted in 2004 with The Return of Jack Splash, he seemed more myth than man. The album cover was a plain lime green and white sleeve with embossed lettering. The sounds were wild and exotic - you couldn't quite place them. "In the original release, there were no pictures [of me]. I just wanted it to be about the music, and people would both get it and dig it or they wouldn't," he remembers.
Yet despite being released on two small indie labels - Counterflow Recordings in the U.S. and Gut Records in the UK - The Return of Jack Splash made a serious impact, winning album of the year at Gilles Peterson's BBC Radio 1 Awards.
In the wake of The Return of Jack Splash, Jack Splash has become a highly sought-after producer. He produced songs for Raheem DeVaughn's Love behind the Melody, John Legend's Once Again and Alicia Keys' As I Am. In 2008, you can find his handiwork on highly anticipated albums from Estelle, Missy Elliot, Solange Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson and others. And look out for the Heart Attack, his much-publicized pairing with Cee-Lo of Goodie Mob/Gnarls Barkley fame.
"I've stuck to my guns," says Jack Splash. "When I'm working with these other people, I'm trying to have as much fun and be as creative and do the illest shit, like I do with Plantlife."
With Time Traveller, Plantlife has officially ushered in a new era in genre-blurring music. It sways between breezy, sun-dappled anthems such as "Sun Shines through Your Love" and horny punk-funk such as "Take It Off." Throughout Time Traveller, Jack Splash gives you everything he has. As one of its songs states, he is "Freee!" He's unashamed to share his freakiest thoughts and craziest dreams.
"When I look around and there's mad different types of people at the shows - punk rock kids, hip-hop dudes, hot-ass girls - all different types of vibes, it's just, like, cool. I don't mind being the place where all these funky people can congregate."