I remember seeing a video of Portishead playing Live with an orchestra in the late 90’s. The beat dropped. Followed by an angelic voice and subtle scratching from a turntable. I had never heard anything like it. This was the moment that changed my life.
I grew up heavily influenced by what my family was listening to. Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and the Gipsy Kings from my parents. Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Tom Waits, and Rage Against The Machine from my siblings. I was hooked on hip hop since ’93 when I heard Tupac’s Keep Ya Head Up, Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle, and Dr. Dre’s The Chronic.
It all seemed to come together with Portishead. The tempo of a slow Neil Young song, the edge of Rage Against The Machine and Led Zeppelin, and the hard hip-hop beat of a tupac instrumental slowed down 50%. PLUS an orchestra!
Having no idea what I was doing, I started researching how cheaply I could get a set of turntables. Saved my pennies and purchased a really shitty set. Returned them, saved more and bought some better ones so that I could learn how to scratch. A couple years later, bought an SP-303 sampler. Then, got a copy of Reason 2.0 from a friend, Daimon, and a copy of Cool Edit Pro. Taught myself how to use the programs. No musical training whatsoever. Kept experimenting, started writing lyrics when my friend Hanz introduced me to underground hip hop such as Sole and Atmosphere. It suddenly seemed possible that I could one day make something from the music I was creating. Ditched sports in college to focus on music. Eventually ditched my undeclared/Psychology degree after 2.5 years to go to school for music. Took a huge risk, and a certified shit-ton of loans out, packed my shit up (including about 1,500 vinyl records) and moved to FL to go to Full Sail University for Recording Arts and Music Business. Graduated. Drove back to NH, then across the country to CA to live with my brother, Austin, in Sacramento. 2 months later, visited my friend Dan in LA, first time ever being there. Amazing time. Back in Sacramento, found an apartment with no pics on craigslist, sold my car for $2,600 to get the money for the deposit, got a U-Haul and moved to LA. That was in early 2009.
For more information, please visit Jameson’s website: jrsfdbk.com
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Think Outside the Lines Podcast
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