How to Approach Music Labels: Talk with JSTJR

How to Approach Music Labels: Talk with JSTJR

“Wake up, get a coffee, climb a mountain, work on music for rest of the day.”

Once again Indian EDM fans have moments to joy! James S. Tomaszewski, Jr  a.k.a JSTJR had turned up to drop some beats for India. With a 3-city tour of India, JSTJR performed across New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore on August 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.

The New England-based artist is renowned for his experimental electronic production, best represented by imagery and emotion rather than derivative sub genres and labels. Refusing to be categorised into a single genre, JSTJR’s sets and production are versatile pieces of work. His unique, hybrid and inclusive approach to dance music in a growingly homogenous market has earned him nods from an elite group of producers including Skrillex, A-Trak, and Diplo – the last of whom he worked with directly as a credited artist on Major Lazer’s Peace Is The Mission in 2015.  Walk into the most pounding nightclubs and sweaty, wall-shaking basements from Lisbon to Los Angeles to Lima and you’ll understand the 24-year-old producer’s global sound that has earned him official releases on dance music’s top labels like those above.

Talking for his latest release, the three-track Never Squad Down EP, JSTJR joins the Insomniac Records family, including representing them at their famed festivals on their label-specific stage. “For this EP, the setting is dancefloor-club music, and I’m importing global-bass sounds into it,” explains JSTJR, sitting in a trendy café in Los Angeles, his adopted hometown of the last year and a half. “Until now, I would use a snare from a dubstep song, for instance, in this crazy baile funk or slow zouk bass track, trying to create t The EP’s three tracks represent JSTJR three ways, as he puts it, including a three-part video series. The title track is his take on house music with a bumping beat and a snarling vocal courtesy of Uniiqu3. “Break It Down” is a collage-style trap number that incorporates many aspects of JSTJR multiple musical leanings. “Shake That” is as Brazilian a rumpshaker as he can make with Orlando’s Ma-less tethering it with her vocals.he club setting inside that music.”

Here’s the whole conversation:

Bass Stud: You are signed on various music labels, Mad Decent being the latest. What is the advise for approaching any music label?
JSTJR: It is the best to have music labels approach you. Because they’re so many people who want to send their music to the labels and it kind of gets noisy for labels too. The best approach for music in general would be to original and to have something you’re very passionate about. If it’s your sound, labels will want to approach you. They will want your stuff on their label. Labels help you by being associated with them but there are very negatives along with labels too. Like you don’t own your music as much and you’ll be working with other people. So, anyone shouldn’t be really focused on what label you release on.

Bass Stud: Never Squad Down EP! What were your expectations from that EP and has it met those?
JSTJR: I was really focused on the bringing the global sounds into club music room so..I mean for me the accomplishment is just doing the music I love. It definitely met my expectations and I really loved doing that new music video. It was my first release with all the artwork and video.  It’s my first commercial level release you can say.

Bass Stud: You have been to New Delhi. How was your experience and what do you expect from Mumbai?
JSTJR: I had a great great experience in Delhi. I was taken around some awesome places, great markets and buildings. A lot of people had told me that India might be a bit slow and I shouldn’t expect much, but I had an awesome time. It reminds me of being in Los Angeles, like people responded to the music i was playing. I had a great time in Delhi and I have maybe greater expectations from Mumbai. i must say India is really receptive to all kind of club music.

Bass Stud: You always talk about getting inspiration from Skrillex, Diplo and A-trak. Tell us more about that.
JSTJR: When I was really really young, I got inspired by M.I.A’s very first album. Diplo had some work in it too. I like DJ Switch too. They came up to form Major Lazer together. They’ve kind of set the foundation of what I love about music and club music so..there influence on me was more when I was younger.

Bass Stud: So should we wait for JSTJR back in India soon?
JSTJR: Man! I hope so. I hope to come back soon and come play maybe some festivals out here when it’s season time. I’m hoping yeah, I’d love to be back.

You can find out JSTJR’s latest Never Squad Down EP here:


Follow JSTJR’s sound on Soundcloud here:

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