L.A. based singer-songwriter JMSN (pronounced like his favourite whiskey “Jameson”) is taking the music industry by storm. His R&B, electronic and jazz fused beats garnered praise from the likes of Chris Brown and Usher — who referred to him as “his favourite new act”. We caught up with JMSN in London to talk about his youth, working with Kendrick Lamar and his aspirations for the future.

You have changed your stage name multiple times — Snowhite, Christian TV and now you go by the moniker JMSN. What made you change it?

Growing up and evolving in all aspects of my career.

Besides different stage names you have also experimented with several music genres. How would you describe your sound?

It’s just me. I’m a make-up of all of my influences. It shows in the music. There’s no limits.

You grew up in Detroit, which is known as one of the most disadvantaged districts in the USA. What was your experience growing up there?

Well, when you’re younger and don’t know any better, it just seems normal.

Christianity played a big part in your childhood — do you feel religion influenced your work?

Yeah, spirituality is embodied in everything I do. It plays a large role in how I see things, including my music.

What kind of music did you grow up with?

Everything. I gravitated towards Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, then moved on to Fugees, Dru Hill, Usher then to Beck, Radiohead, Fiona Apple and just a wide spectrum.

What kind of music do you listen to now?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Motown and Teddy Pendergrass-esque stuff.

Next to producing all of your own music, you even directed some of your music videos. Why do you think it is important for you to be involved in every part of the process?

Just to make sure you get what you want, because that is the most important thing. You don’t want things to get lost in translation.

What made you start your own record label White Room Records?

Just wanted to have a place where I could help other artists make music with my resources, insight and music ability.

You collaborated with acclaimed rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and Joey Fatts. How was it to work with these guys? Would you ever consider dropping a rap track yourself?

I’m definitely not gonna rap hahaha. They’re good people and hard workers!

What are your goals for the future? Any artists you wish to collaborate with?

Just keep growing and getting better at every aspect of life. I hope I can collaborate with Stevie Wonder. Maybe he could shred some harmonica on a track. That would be a dream.

 

Words by Sara Blanken

Images by Alexis Chabala

Styling by Ami Keita

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