Meet JNATHYN: (‘I treat my originals like conceptual projects and less like actual “songs”). A music producer from Northern California, whose originals in my opinion would go very well with either a great movie or an adventures game. One of his earlier remixes has gained well over 10M views on TJMC. JNATHYN is still developing his own style and when I asked him how he would describe his music, he answered: ‘Hmmm I’m not entirely sure to be honest hahaha. Some days I’ll write funk tracks and others I’ll write these intense edm tracks and others I’ll write orchestra ballads. Mostly it’s been described as glitch hop or electro pop’. Curious? Me Too!
My kind of Music, with JNATHYN.
I Thought it Was a LONG SHOT, But Just LIKE THIS…LIMITLESS
Remember Akara‘s shortlist mentioned in Lope & Kantola‘s Spotlight? JNATHYN was on it. Just when I thought nobody was going to respond to my requests and I happily found Lope & Kantola willing to participate, I received a message from JNATHYN very, very early in the morning. Click the pics 😉
With the way it’s spelled, I hit another name that was hard to forget – smart move! When I asked JNATHYN if there was a reason behind the spelling, he said that next to it being his old MySpace username and his brother putting a ‘Y’in his name – which he thought was cool – people often misspelled his name. I do know how annoying that can be…
It’s gotten to the point he is now thinking about going by a new name, since he’s developed kind of a love-hate relationship with it. I just said I wouldn’t do it, since his name is really standing out, even for people like me… 😉
So after sending my requests, it took a couple of days before I received a reply. Understandable, because of the time difference but even more so, because of the current situation in California, with all the fires going on. I was pleasantly surprised though, already expecting my wish-list to stay just that…
To be honest, I only knew JNATHYN from a couple of his remixes – discovered on TJMC – and wasn’t yet familiar with his originals before working on this article. I discovered he has been around in music for quite some time already and his list of remixes is one to be proud of. Going through his complete list including his originals, I was surprised by the variation in styles. It was one of the things I was most curious about.
If you’re taking the time to listen to all his music, I am pretty sure you’re in for a surprise. It appeared to me, I should just stop expecting a certain sound and let it happen. He certainly wasn’t exaggerating when describing his music. There should be something for everyone, guess he’s
When a remix catches my attention, most of the time I don’t even know the original. Of course there are some that – except for having lived under a rock for your whole life – everybody recognizes. And since we’re in the exact right month while writing this and this was one of the first ending up on my playlist, I can’t keep this from you. Also, you just have to love that video…
I think the most special is the one I mentioned in the intro: The first ever uploaded song on TJMC was: Rixton – ‘Me And My Broken Heart’ (JNATHYN Remix). Again I can only say, I love it when a story comes together. Working my way backwards through the whole TJMC list just 2 weeks earlier, I ended at the beginning. I had already seen JNATHYN’s Instagram post on the 5th of July this year, regarding reaching the 10M views. At the time of writing it’s getting close to 11M though. Amazing really.
Moving to some of his more recent remixes, here’s one of them I added to my playlist earlier. Not being a particular fan of Harry Styles, but hearing JNATHYN’s remix made me do a happy dance. It was uploaded on TJMC the 4th of April this year, the same day it was released. Pretty hard not to love from my point of view…
When I mentioned I liked the remix better than the original – which often happens after looking up the original mix – JNATHYN commented: ‘Yeah! The Harry styles one and this current one I’m working on by this guy named Jakob Ogawa are both the same story where I feel like the vocals were so good and had so much potential to be on a track that had more life to it. In those instances the tracks almost right themselves because in my mind, it’s obvious to me how I think the track needs to go. Plus it gives me a chance to grow and figure out how to produce in genres in a way that I enjoy and that translates to me’.
JNATHYN’s originals you can also find on Spotify and if you wish to have it all in one place, just find him on SoundCloud. When I do my ‘preparation’ for a Spotlight feature, I always aim to go through everything the artist has to offer. That means switching between platforms. I just want to make sure I am not missing something, though I am the first to admit it happens. JNATHYN’s latest released original;
While talking, the first thing I found out, was that JNATHYN is actually half Irish, small world eh? Not that I was born here, but after living here for 5 years now, it certainly feels like I am part Irish too. It’s always nice when you find some common ground with someone you’ve just ‘met’. We talked about the Covid thing and what this meant for him. The California fires were also mentioned and all in all, I think JNATHYN has had quite a time and not all of it easy.
He still sounded very positive and that always leaves a good impression on me. I am all for choosing to search for silver linings in life. It might be easier said than done, but the other option is to get overwhelmed and nobody needs that negativity in their life.
JNATHYN seems very eager to keep growing and developing himself in his music. The way I see it now, he has so many options open. He is thinking about moving to another country altogether, which could bring even more inspiration. He’s definitely stretching his limits, breathing life into every opportunity that comes his way.
It’s time to make way for the interview, but before I do that I want to give a Big Thank You to JNATHYN! It’s been very nice meeting and talking to you. I am wishing you all the blessings and inspiration along your way and am very curious where it will lead you. I will keep following you and update any news on the Spotlight page!
Let’s start with the obvious: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself: who are you, where are you from, what is it you do in music and do you play any instruments / or sing?
‘Hello! My name is JNATHYN (pronounced Jonathan). I’m a music producer from Northern California. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 6, and producing music since I was 12-13 years old. I also play a tiny bit of piano, bass, drums, and I will sing on my tracks but not very well haha’.
So you’ve started to make music some time ago already. What was your first project, remix and/ or original? And can you tell us about how you got started?
‘Hmm, that’s a hard one. I originally started by playing heavy metal in my room with my brother. I used to make melodies on the guitar but did nothing with them, until one day after school he introduced me to Daft Punk. Then it was Justice, then the whole Ed Banger crew. That’s when I got a laptop and an FL studio demo. Then we got into music scores a lot.
Around then, I found out Tron was being scored by Daft Punk so that’s where I started at least. My first tracks I ever released were “tribute” tracks to the movie and the band. Truly it was me just producing bad edm tracks and saying it was a “Leaked Daft Punk track”. Before that it was mostly me trying to recreate my favorite tracks all the time’.
Rixton – ‘Me And My Broken Heart’ (JNATHYN Remix) – The very first song uploaded on TJMC, with well over 10 million views. What can you tell us about this remix and how does it even feel to have over 10M views?
‘It’s funny because I still remember the day I wrote it. I was in the truck with my family and the song came on and my first thought was, “this could be better”. I spent weeks trying to find an acapella. This was before acapella extracting websites existed so I had to email almost everyone who made a remix for it begging for the acapella. Then I got it, and I wrote the entire remix in a couple of days. It was mostly just to change the chord progression and drums. Once I did that I was happy. uploaded it, and moved onto the next one.
I still have such a hard time wrapping my head around 10 million views. It’s an insane number I NEVER thought a remix of mine would do. But i’m so grateful TJMC picked it. I’m forever grateful for him’.
We’ve talked a bit about your originals and how they sound somewhat experimental. I totally feel that some of them could be great movie soundtracks or even used in the gaming world, but that’s just me… Where do you get your inspiration from, who are your biggest influences?
‘Yeah! I would say about 5-6 years ago I was working with these companies who sold music to media production companies for commercials, movie spots, and games sometimes. I also have had the chance to make some tracks with friends who are super good at producing in that video game scape as well so I think the combo really bleeds into my productions.
I get inspired by almost everything but listening to other people’s music to be honest haha. When I’m working on something, I only listen to my stuff. I listen to the WIP, or tracks that I previously wrote that I want to recreate a moment from. I think showering and driving are the biggest things for me. My mind starts going crazy with ideas when I’m distracted and playing the song in the background forcing me to hear things I wouldn’t normally hear if I’m 100% focused on just the track’.
You also mentioned you’re still a bit struggling to find your identity. Do you have a general idea about how you would like to sound, or are you trying different approaches to figure out what fits you best?
‘Right, I’m still struggling with it. Which is why it takes me so long to pump out original content. I want to create an identity that I can be proud of, but also something I can dive into 100% and have it be “me” without any hesitation.
I think for most of my musical career I would cling onto certain albums that really inspired me and I would want to create my stuff in the same way. But I think that created a really huge gap in finding out who I am as an artist and what I’m capable of discovering for myself.
Lately I’ve been finding more peace and trust in my writing process simply by just following my instincts rather than thinking “is this cool?” or “is this what so & so would do?”. I know that I enjoy the idea of having a song go through phases and experimenting with tempo changes and key changes so I think I’ll see how far I can take that. I also want to experiment with more genres as well’.
We’ve also talked about your remixes and how they differ from your originals in sound. Am I understanding you correctly, that you’re trying to translate different genres to what you think they could or should sound like? Can you explain a little how that works for you?
‘Yeah! So for me I’ll remix a track for only two reasons. The first is because I think the original is lacking in some way. (mostly groove and energy wise). Or because I think that song can exist in another way entirely.
When I remix a track for the first reason, the track will write themselves. Everything flows because in my mind it’s already laid out because of what I heard in my head. It’s like putting a puzzle together but every piece you pick up is the right one you need.
The second reason is where I can be experimental with my genres. I love the idea of “translating” a genre to fit the needs for the song. Which means I’ll introduce elements that exist only in edm that don’t exist in other genre’s and then I’ll also do it vice versa.
I like to think of it as a dance. Or even more like a chef who is making a bowl of soup. When I want to make a jazz section lead into an edm drop, I’ll mix in some edm drums and sound effects and synths to start to set the tone but still keep you in the jazz realm per se. I’ll do this with whole sections as well (i.e. June – A Little Messed up JNATHYN REMIX / JNATHYN – Blue)’
2020 has been weird and even pretty tough so far, not only because of Covid, but for you also because of the fires. Do you feel you still were able to express yourself enough in your music so far and what would you still like to achieve before the end of this year?
‘Hmm, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve always turned to music as an escape but more so as a “passion for production” type of escape and never really as an expressive escape. I think because of quarantine and Covid now as our reality, it’s forced me to find a new love for production. But I haven’t really ever written about how I feel or things like that. I just don’t know how. Maybe that’s why I struggle with things too, I never write about how I feel about things.
That’s something I would like to get good at before this year ends. I’ve always thought that I can say what I want to say just through my productions, but maybe I can find a way to translate how I feel into words in a way that I can personally enjoy. I mean hey, there’s a reason everyone sings on all of their own stuff now’.
Is there anything else you would like to add / or share with the readers / your fans?
‘Thank you all who have been hanging in there with me. I will release more. I hate the fact that I only release a handful of stuff per year now. I want to be more active and I want to ultimately be an artist that I can be proud to be. Again thank you to everyone who shares and listens to my music. I love you all ❤ 🙂 ‘
Again, Thank You JNATHYN!
I hope more people will start looking for your music and follow you as well. Let’s hope this helps a little 😉
And just because we need some more fun for the weekend:
And while you’re at it, you might as well