J-LINE’s music combines electropop beats and personal, self-written lyrics that explore all aspects of his musical personality.
By joining forces with two powerhouse producers, Noisecatle iii (Daya, Dawn, Jojo) and Electropoint, his music sets him in a category all his own. Hailed as a “piece of pop perfection”, J-LINE’s sound explores the highs and lows of love and experiments with various musical genres and styles.
We caught up with J-LINE to discuss his new album, the latest single and its music video, and plenty more. Read our chat below!
T.H.E – Hey J-LINE! Welcome to T.H.E – Music Essentials! How has 2019 kicked off for you?
J-LINE – 2019 has been pretty great so far. I never do resolutions-I don’t think they actually work. So, I’m just trying to stay focused, be less hard on myself and keep pushing forward to do what I love.I just released my new album, Episode 2, which took me about 2 years to complete. It’s a labor of love and I’m super proud of it.
T.H.E – Let’s talk about your musical background. What influenced you to take up music as a career choice, and which artists influenced you when you started off?
J-LINE – When I was 12, I first discovered that being a recording artist was an actual job – something you could do for a living. For some reason, that aspect of being an artist, rather than being on Broadway or just being a dancer or actor – was what felt really right to me. And at a young age, I loved pop music and artists that could put on huge shows to complement their music – Prince, Janet, Michael, even Britney. They all showed me what was possible and how electrifying music could be.
T.H.E – Tell us about your new single – Dance Until We Die. How did that come about?
J-LINE – I wanted to create a song with a bit of a tribal feel that also experimented with synths and vocal pitches, so my amazing producer Electropoint and I started messing around in the studio and once he came up with that intro, the song really started to take shape. The intro grabs your attention, starts off with a lot of energy, but then quickly fades away to reveal the base heavy, slower verse. The lyrics are mostly me having fun with words and syncopation and the idea of dancing for the rest of your life. Dance until we die doesn’t mean something negative because, for me, I want to dance until I die…whenever that day may be. Hopefully 60 years from now!
T.H.E – The visual features you as a “task rabbit” type employee who, when left alone to clean an apartment, instead makes the room his own private dance club. What is the message behind this?
J-LINE – I’ve had a lot of jobs – waiter, fitness instructor, extra on movie sets. Anything I could do to pay the bills when I moved to NYC. During most of those jobs, I would fantasize about being anywhere else and this video allowed me to live out that fantasy. What if, instead of this being an apartment I’m cleaning for the afternoon, it was a club where I could let loose and really be myself? So, I wrote the treatment for the video, had my good friend Vincent Cota direct it, and we shot it pretty quickly, in only a few hours.
T.H.E – This single is from your new album – Episode 2. What can you tell us about the sounds on the album?
J-LINE – I like experimenting with what “pop” music can sound like and what the future of pop could be. So you’ll hear some electronic sounds, a lot of synths, tribal beats, some more hip hop leaning tracks and some shiny dance pop tracks as well. I’m always looking for something, whether it’s a lyric or a sound, that excites me and this album was all about taking risks and following my instincts
T.H.E – Whom did you work with on this album, and how did you choose them?
J-LINE – I’ve worked with Electropoint for about 5 years now and there’s honestly nothing he can’t do. Not only is he a great producer, but he’s a classically trained musician. I can have an idea for a song and he’ll pick up any instrument in the studio and just start playing it. It’s amazing. I love working with him and couldn’t imagine doing a project without him. Noisecastle iii and I met a few years ago. I loved his approach to producing and how he hears music, so I just reached out to him to see if he would want to work together and it wound up being a great experience. And the two of us never worked in the same room, it was all through email. But I love what we created.
T.H.E – Social media has brought artists and fans a lot closer. How do you manage to keep in touch with them?
J-LINE – I check my socials-especially Instagram-every day and love that it allows me to see exactly who my music is reaching and why. So when I post, I ask for their input and what they think about a certain song or visual and they definitely let me know:). I love that. It allows me to feel connected to people all over the world, which is an amazing feeling.
T.H.E – Outside of this, you also are an activist, with your anti-bullying campaign. Why did you decide to start this, and what does it mean to you?
J-LINE – I was bullied for a good part of my tweens and teens and I know it affected the adult I became. I tend to be shy, a little wary of new people and I think it’s because of what I experienced as a kid. I wanted to take control of that experience and rather than let it define me, use it to inspire other kids. Let them know they’re not alone and I’ve been there. Even though they may feel life is at it’s darkest right now, there is a light and a reason why they’re here. If you focus on what your talents are and how you can make an impact in the world, I think that will help them as it did me.
T.H.E – Lastly, what are your plans for 2019?
J-LINE – Too many to list! Ha. I have an EP coming out this summer with a new single scheduled for March. Defintely more touring this summer: festivals, Pride events and such. But most of all, I just want to keep creating and feel fulfilled as an artist. When you see an idea come to life, there’s no better feeling. 2019 is about creating as much music and joy as I can.
T.H.E – Thanks J-LINE!