Hi Jaz, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’m good, can’t complain, really appreciate the opportunity.
Can you talk to us more about your upcoming single “Race Me”?
Yeah, ‘Race Me’ is the first single off my upcoming project. It’s a cool take on how things were when I was up in college at The University at Buffalo. For instance, sometimes the weekends were crazy, the late night links, the house parties. It was cool time.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Actually yea, I remember being at this big house party like three years ago, one of my friends threw it. He threw one each year while at college. There was this one girl who I had been talking to here and there, just had met her a few weeks before that. Anyway, we both were with our own group of friends, gang tings, the regular shenanigans. There was a point where I was plotting to pull up on her and to see wassup, but it was dark as hell in there and the smoke in the air made it hard to see inside. I’d see her for a good 10 seconds each time i tried to get to her side of the party, then she’d disappear. Somehow, I managed to finally find her, pull up an make a little small talk even though I hate small talk. And mind you it’s pitch black in there, music blasting not the best time to have a convo but after the let out (party finished), we found each other again and ended up linking, staying up all night just chopping it up. She ended up being one of the coolest girls I know today.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yeah I’ll probably drop some type of visual, I haven’t really intended on it at first just because I had other plans for the other music I’ll be dropping soon, but after playing the record for a few people everyone wanted to see it come to life, visually, so I think there’ll be a visual in the works soon enough.
How was the recording and writing process?
After I finished making the beat I knew I wanted to create something with a certain kind of energy to it, something that reminded me of spring and summer. At first I hummed a few melodies to feel it out, and the words almost wrote themselves while I sat on the couch. I recorded the hook and then I recorded a few freestyles for the verses that I didn’t like too much but once I found a melody I really liked, I stood up next to the mic in my living room with the beat playing on a loop in logic through my headphones, and just started writing and singing as I went along until Ii was done. Then I recorded the verses and kept the whole song on a loop when i was done. I didn’t officially finish the song though until I went to my good friend’s crib (Gamal) whose also my in-house engineer and producer, in Brooklyn to re-record it and do all the ad libs and harmonies ( which I love doing). Looking back, it’s crazy, for a while that summer I had writers block and that shit hit me hard because I really wanted to create new content, but a few things were pulling me back from doing that, distractions I guess, but once it came to writing ‘Race Me’ everything just fit together like a puzzle.
What role does NYC play in your music?
NYC plays a big role in the music I make. I’m usually on a train writing songs most of the time when I’m traveling from point A to point B. It’s actually kind of soothing. Growing up in the city you get put on to a lot, especially the lingo. It’s hard not to include that in the music, you know someone’s from the city just (based) off the lingo (that) they use and how they talk. When you listen to my music, you’ll quickly see that I usually try to give you a sense of location, and the majority of the time I’ll be eluding to somewhere in the city. The city is a part of me as an artist and as a person in general, so my music is definitely heavily influenced by it.
What is it about the 90s that you find so fascinating?
Ahh man the 90’s. I always used to say I wish I could have been a teenager in the 90’s. I feel like I belonged in that era. Everything about the 90’s was cool to me, the fashion, the music, the TV shows, the commercials, just the energy itself that the 90’s produced was something you just had to take the time to appreciate. Music in the 90’s though and television in the 90’s to me just had way more substance, it was way more potent and fun compared to now.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
This single definitely means you’ll see a cohesive project from me very soon. NOISE, Gamal and I are currently in the midst of wrapping it up, finalizing the tracks deciding what’ll make it and what won’t, that kind of thing. I can’t wait to finally put it out, it’s been some time since I’ve released music so I’m definitely anxious.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
As far as a release date, nothing is set in stone yet but I’d like to say I’m gearing towards somewhere in between my two favorite seasons, Spring and Summer.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yeah, I definitely want to hit the road, tour and meet people (fans) from different cities and countries that genuinely connect with me through my music. It’s definitely one of the things I’ve been eager to do. One of my friends just came back from touring not to long ago and he loved that shit. For me, it’s something I’ve been dreaming about doing for years now so I’m looking forward to being able to finally experience it.
What else is happening next in Jaz Vernon’s world?
That’s a good question, right now I’m just focused on getting this project out, working on a few visuals worth watching and some live shows worth attending and even some merch worth wearing. I’m looking forward to having more time for features too, this project had me in a bit of a hiatus honestly. I’m just trying to seize every opportunity to do everything I can, any chance I get, that”ll help me push the envelope and help me elevate as an artist and as a person.