Interview: Jose James Checks In Before SummerStage on August 11

 

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Before hitting SummerStage this Sunday, August 11, Jose James catches up with us about his relationship to Giant Step, his growth as an artist, and what’s up next.

Giant Step: How would you say Giant Step most influenced your music and/or career?

Jose James: Wow. It’s been so great, thank you guys. The first show was at the Hiro Ballroom in NYC opening for the amazing Alice Russell. Then we started the Brownswood Sessions at Nublu with DJ Moni and Taylor McFerrin. Beautiful times! Giant Step really paved the way for what I do, connecting hip-hop, soul, jazz and DJ culture. The London connection, Gilles Peterson, all that. It’s a global movement to present quality music.

GS: We’ve been with you from the start and it’s been a pleasure to see you progress; how would you say No Beginning No End Jose has evolved from The Dreamer Jose?

JJ: Well, I’m more well traveled. That influences you tremendously. When I made The Dreamer I was still in school and had only been to a couple places outside the US – now I’ve toured in 40 countries and counting. I’m actually in Mexico right now. You meet people and see how your music is loved worldwide and that’s a powerful thing. Now I have worldwide family and a great relationship with my fans. It’s beautiful. Musically I’m more comfortable expressing all the worlds I love – soul, R&B, jazz, rock, blues, gospel, hip-hop – and you can hear that on the new album, and in the collaborations – Robert Glasper, Pino Palladino, Emily King, Hindi Zahra.

GS: And where do you see yourself going next? Any challenges/goals you’re keen on tackling?

JJ: I’d like to reconnect with electronic music. I just dropped an EP on Blue Note with remixes by FaltyDL, Oddisee, fLako, and Taylor McFerrin. I lived in London for a year and went to Plastic People, Fabric, Cargo and met great DJs and producers like Benji B, Benga and Skream, Floating Points. So I miss that and want to do more in that world. I’m working on a new album now for next year called Desire.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump

Interview: Jose James on Blue Note Signing & 5/11 NYC Show

 

In anticipation of his show at Le Poisson Rouge (NYC) tomorrow and his recent signing to Blue Note, we caught up with the heart-melting José James to get the latest on some very exciting developments. After hearing more about what Jose has to say about No Beginning, No End as well as the LPR show – we’re just about losing it with excitement!

Details for the show are below. Also, enter our contest to win tickets to tomorrow’s show.

Giant Step: Congratulations on signing with Blue Note! How does it feel?

Jose James: It feels fantastic – it’s a dream come true. Blue Note is everyone’s favorite classic jazz label and it’s exciting to bring something fresh to the legacy.

GS: What can we expect on the new album? And what excites you most about this new project?

JJ: First of all, the new album features Pino Palladino – the legend! Truly an honor to work with him. Chris “Daddy” Dave, Robert Glapser, Hindi Zahra, Richard Spaven, Emily King – it’s a stellar cast. It’s a mix of soul, R&B, gospel, jazz, and singer-songwriter. It’s truly a deeper look into who I am as an artist, outside of just jazz. I co-wrote with many of the artists above, as well as Fink and Amp Fiddler. I feel this is a definitive album for me and so far my best work. It’s been two years in the making! Sonically it’s way ahead of my other albums and I have engineers Brian Bender and Russ Elevado to thank for that.

GS: When can we hear No Beginning, No End – when does it drop?!

JJ: Well I just signed, so now we’re doing photoshoots and planning videos. Definitely will drop some new music this fall – stay tuned at josejamesmusic.com for updates! In the meantime, I’m showcasing new material in my live shows and will start touring worldwide.

GS: What can folks look forward to at this show?

JJ: I got Taylor McFerrin with me – he’s so amazing. Emily King special guest, and a fantastic band: Takuya Kuroda on trumpet, Andy Hunter trombone, Samora Pinderhughes keys, Ben Williams bass, and Nate Smith on drums. We keep it funky and real soulful!

GS: Any other special news you’re able to share with Giant Step fans?

JJ: Look out for remixes and vinyl – this is the album you’ve been waiting for.

Event Details
José James with Special Guests, plus Taylor McFerrin

Friday, May 11, 2012
Doors 7pm

(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY

Tickets: $15 advance / $20 door
Purchase tickets

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