Jim Jonsin Jumps “In the Mix” [Exclusive Interview]
Much like how it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a well-coordinated team to raise an artist to the top, with each member being absolutely essential for success. However, hip-hop in particular demands flow, strength, and believability in order to maintain an authentic flavor, and the task of making this possible rests largely on the producer's shoulders.
Jim Jonsin fits that description perfectly, having contributed incredible amounts to hip-hop (and many other genres) as a producer and songwriter for over fifteen years.You could have been living as a hermit tucked away in the woods and still heard at least one of his beats or one the products of his songwriting talents. Having worked extensively with artists like Beyoncé, Pitbull, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Omarion, and countless others, Jonsin has surely made a name for himself. As he prepares to work with a number of highly successful recording artists - with his most recent work including contributions to Booth favorite B.o.B’s upcoming album - this all-star producer has a lot to look forward to.
In this exclusive, five-question interview, Jim Jonsin takes some time to discuss with us how he’s managed to maintain such a productive career and what sounds we can expect to hear from him in the very near future.
Your production and songwriting credits go back as far as 1992. Almost 20 years later, are you happy and comfortable with where you are at in your career?
I am very happy and comfortable where I am today. But I am always looking to grow as a songwriter and producer and I’m hoping to expand and work more in all genres of music.
Have your own experiences as an emcee shaped how you craft your records as an A-list producer? If so, what do you take into consideration the most?
Definitely...especially with rap and lyrics/melodies in pop music. Being an emcee has set a foundation for me as a lyricist mostly but also rhythmically as a producer.
You're arguably best known for your 2008 hits Lollipop and Whatever You Like. Were both of those productions created for those artists or did they simply fall into place?
The Lollipop track was actually created for Danity Kane. The label was looking something with that vibe for them similar to what I did for them on Showstopper but ultimately passed. Shortly after they passed, we decided to work on the track for Lil Wayne and then Lollipop was created. Whatever You Like was created specifically for TI.
Do you adjust your production techniques to suit each individual artist? Can you give us a specific example?
I always like to meet the artist and get to know them before we work. I listen to their other music and get an idea of what direction they are going in for this project. Then I form fit the music with my own sound and style to fit them. T.I. Is a great example of that. I listened to the music that Toomp had done for him in the past and it inspired me to create the track style, etc. for Whatever You Like.
You are preparing to work with artists like Kid Cudi, Eminem, and Nelly among others, and you’re currently working with B.o.B, who’s growing more and more popular by the day. With all these projects lined-up, how do you evaluate which one is a top priority? (Fandom? Time constraints? Money?)
B.o.B is obviously a priority because he is an artist signed to my label, Rebel Rock Entertainment. But, I treat all projects as equally as important as the next one. Of course there are scheduling priorities when certain artists need to get in but mostly my manager arranges my schedule and makes sure that is all worked out.
Final Thoughts? Shout Outs? Confessions? Plugs?
Pick up the B.o.B album due out April 27th and look out for Yelawolf. Also, don’t sleep on Finatik N Zac (producers) and The Network (songwriters)!