Interview With K’Jon



“My mission statement is to put out feel good music and to uplift the R&B lovers”

K’Jon’s meditative “On The Ocean” is quelling the inner turmoil of an R&B nation dealing with a dire economy, health care issues and a new Black president. Hailing from Detroit, a city of tall musical merit going through severe political and economic ignominy he wrote his hit song came from a place of peaceful resilience in the face of his own personal challenges. Oddly enough the song’s soothing qualities almost conceal the rolling rhythm underneath that has snared the feet of ballroom dancers around the country. The so-called urban adult contemporary music slot never had this much life in a song and exceeded its usual watery expectations with a sound politically analogous to Lionel Richie’s crossovers. Earlier stints as an independent artist and songwriter produced the Latin tinted “Miami” on the 2 Fast 2 Furious soundtrack and got him gigs opening for the likes of Ludacris, Ginuwine, Ne-Yo and T-Pain. Interest in his artistry reached a nadir this week with the release of his first album I Get Around and K’Jon spoke with Kickmag about his journey into a fulltime music career and why “On The Ocean” means so much to him.

How did you get started with music?

I’ve been recording all my life you know so it was a hobby I pretty much held down a 9 to 5 but a point in time I got laid off and I turned to music fulltime as a professional career so you know as soon as I did that I got called up to New York and I jumped on the Too Fast To Furious soundtrack and things were not as promising but I came back to Detroit worked independently and here it is now. I was pushing On The Ocean for a couple of years and Universal Republic signed me they thought the record had an even greater potential.

Where did “ On The Ocean” come from?

I wrote that while I was dying as an artist I had a production situation but as an artist it wasn’t moving fast enough for me so I was assigned to write for different people and my frustrations came out in that record you know I was away from my hometown I was away from my daughter and my frustrations I used the ocean as a metaphor it was something that I could see happening but it wasn’t but I was just gonna keep on working and being persistent until things turned around for me.

How did it become a tune for the steppers?

Actually when I was working independently I would service everyone radio, DJs, it became a ballroom song first and the ballroom community embraced it and then it lead to the steppers embracing it so pretty much just sharing the music and actually visiting Chicago several times and that’s how it became a stepper’s song.

Is your album self-produced?

It’s ninety percent self-produced myself and my partner Proteus we call ourselves the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen there are other producers but we produce ninety-percent.

Who do you listen to?

I have a wide range I’m listening to the new Maino, I’m listening to the Maxwell CD, Jazmine Sullivan, Keri Hilson I got John Mayer in my CD and I’m also listening to Charlie Wilson and Ginuwine.

What is your mission statement as an artist?

My mission statement is to put out feel good music and to uplift the R&B lovers making music they can feel good about and get them through life that’s my mission I just want to make positive inspirational music.

What do you think about the distribution of music on the net?

I’m kind of in the middle I think it’s a great tool but I think overall I think we need to adapt as far as compensation for artists because it’s a great tool to get your music out there but at the same time I think artists the titles that you gain definitely not from the website but from people who take advantage of them there just needs to be a more constructive system that can ensure that artists are compensated that’s gonna take a lot of brainstorming and someone very clever to come up with something that’ll appease everyone.

Is there anyone you want to work with?

Everyone but to start off I want to work with some of the R&B premier divas I love Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. , Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Keyshia Cole but also Jazmine Sullivan I would like to do a duet and put something out there and also produce and write for them as well I think that’s a start.

What is going to give K’Jon longevity?

Listening to your fanbase and being true to them and yourself the Ocean paved the way for me so I’m listening to my audience and if they want more of that so I’m actually listening to them I think that’s going to give me longevity because as long as your fanbase is happy you’re gonna be here for a long time. And R&B when it comes to their fanbase they are very loyal and so I’m looking forward to it and hopefully I am blessed with longevity.

Is there anything you want to add?

I want to tell the fans thank you for the support and make sure that they know that the album comes out August 4th it’s entitled I Get Around.