A family man and all around good soul are two things you could associate with the innovative crusader for dope music, Jon Rogers. Not only is Jon a magnificent beatsmith, Jon is a good friend. I've known Jon since the late 90's but didn't reconnect with him until about 2010 or so, and since then we have shared music back and forth and linked up on several occasions. A continuous head nod is the norm when sitting in on a Jon Rogers session, leaving you craving more of the ear candy that's spewing from the monitors. It seems like everyone now makes beats that tend to aim to please the masses, and not to sound cliché but that "Raw" sound is real and Mr. Roger's has plenty of it. My lady and I took a trip out to Ohio in the spring and I had the honor of being graced by the man himself... check the vibes!
•For those who don't know you, where are you originally from and where do you reside now? How would you describe your relationship with both?
I grew up on the north end of Rochester, New York. I moved to Columbus Ohio in '05, where I currently reside. I love Rochester still, some of my closest friends are there. I started making music while I was in high school with my friends. So in that respect, that time period of life still influences me today. When I moved to Columbus, is when I started developing my own sound. I got deeper into digging and taking my craft seriously, spending a lot more time with it trying to find my grounds as a solo artist. BOTH cities are special to me, and I value what both have taught me in life, and music.
•What or who plays a major role in your creative drive?
Creative drive is elusive But I'm always looking for it, usually in day to day life events. Like a song, a photo, a movie. Interactions with people, friends, family. I'm into reading as well. Its good to see people have fun, move around, dance to the music, so the thought of that is important as well. The desire to develop new techniques, and formulas is constant. Even when I'm not at the machines.
•Who are some of your musical influences?
As far as pursuing music and having the desire to create, my first influences were my parents. My pops is a jazz musician, and my mom played the organ when I was young. When I first got into it, I had many influences, you know. These days I try to stray away from influence as much as possible. I rarely ever listen to music other than what I sample, and then create after the fact. I try to be my own main influence.
•Describe your process without giving away any secrets...
I cut vinyl still for the most part, but I'll use anything to get a sound. I like to process outboard before it hits the DAW for arranging. I just approach it like a freestyle, basically. I don't listen to the full record at first, I usually just grab the first thing I like and get to work. I don't save samples, I just run them in. I'll make 1 to 5 beats in a sitting, most times from the same handful of records. A lot of the time I do the joint, and record the 2 track without saving the session. I don't overthink what I'm doing, I just push though, and put my groove together. I usually stick with the first take when I do something, and so I rarely spend more than 15 minutes creating a joint.
•If you had another opportunity to produce a full album for someone, who would it be and why?
There's so many talented artists out there, it's not easy to pick ONE. But I guess, If I had the chance to work with anybody at this time, it would have to be Q-Tip. I just think that him and I share a similar aesthetic on many levels. I think it would be amazing to work with Tip, no doubt.
•Share your thoughts on beats or anything music related...
Music is a universal language that we all can relate to, and feel in some way. Music is a reflection of the mind and spirit. Its something that brings about emotion in people, and physical reaction as well.
Indeed, peace to those friends and fans who support what I do. s/o to my wife and kids, and the rest of my family all over the world. Also, my bros Moka Only, Solar C. Uncooked Goods. Peace to Hassaan Mackey, Ghetto Kung Fu.
And s/o to you Kev, I really appreciate you taking the time to come all the way to Ohio to shoot these photos, and hang with me.
•Film or digital? Both?
The same theory applies to the audio realm as well, And I feel both formats have their own unique contribution to the end result we seek.
An exclusive special treat from Jon Rogers... Stereotypes.