Take Me Away #28

I had the opportunity to connect with Jackie Peters who is known as J*Labs when she is making music or playing live. I asked her for an interview because featuring artist’s and their thoughts is one of my favorite ways to get to know someone besides their music. She is also known from her former tag team project by the name of Black 22’s which has played a great deal of notable festivals. Jackie Peters was incredibly cool, professional and genuinely nice when it came to communicating. The following is an idea of what kind of a person she is behind her varied style of music. So, let’s get to it.

jlabs2

 

Gabriel Barrio-

What style of music would you most identify yourself with?

J*Labs-

I’m a multi-genre artist. I guess I’d consider myself a “party rocker” sort of DJ, I love getting the dance-floor hyped! Production-wise I’m always exploring and blending. My new thing is called TRUNK – more on that later!

GB-

What got you into music and how did that translate into what you are doing today?

J*Labs-

I’ve always been into music. My mother made sure I was exposed from a young age and it was something that I actively pursued during my youth. Little known fact: I was in a band with John Mayer in middle school! We didn’t last long though.  My main instruments have been guitar and piano but I’ve also picked up and dabbled with bass, saxophone, flute and violin. I also used to like jamming out on hand drums. Other than the middle-school band I never really had much of a desire to be in a band, I mostly played music for my own enjoyment, or just jammed with friends. I was super-blessed to have gotten into DJ-ing before I even knew how much I wanted to do it and how awesome it could be! A bunch of friends encouraged me to give it a shot and it was instant for me, I didn’t want to do anything else. That was about four and a half years ago, then producing was the next logical step from there. I’ve been working really hard over the past couple of years honing my production skills and I’m really stoked that it’s starting to pay off! Having that background in music has really helped!

GB-

What is the current scene like in your region?

J*Labs-

I live in LA, well, Santa Monica (west si-eeeed!!!) – what I love about it here is that everyone is here from somewhere else to do something… And most of it creative, to act, to sing, to direct, to do visual art, to compose, all of that creative energy floating around can be electrifying! It’s almost like the new “melting pot” for electronic music. People come here from different places and scenes with different influences, and then they start influencing each other. It’s also very fickle, and spread out, so it’s hard to really capture enough attention to move people in your direction… But if you do… Like they used to say about New York… If you can make it here…

GB-

Is there a specific gig or region of the country that you particularly enjoy to play over others?

J*Labs-

I’m a festival DJ at heart, I really enjoy festival culture, and the musical, social and environmental movements that are happening there. My favorite all-time festival to play is Shambhala in BC, Canada! I also had the pleasure of playing my first Vancouver show recently, and I have to say, so far western Canadian audiences are my favorite! They cheer when you do something cool, like all the time, and they also have a genuine appreciation for all different styles of music and the art of DJing. I’ve seen the same audience go off just as hard for an old school funk and soul and hip-hop played on 45s as they do for some really big dubstep or DnB.

GB-

How has gender played a role in the music industry for you personally?

J*Labs-

For me personally it hasn’t really, I think if we’re going to be truly equal then it has to start from within each of us. Sure, sometimes I get the comment “you’re my favorite female DJ!” and I’ll usually be thinking “cool, but WTF?” I just want be your favorite DJ, and I don’t see what being female has to do with it. I do think that maybe women are more empathic, which maybe gives us a better feel for the crowd, a deeper connection than most male DJs may experience. But then, I have no idea what it feels like to be any other DJ other than J*Labs, male or female .

GB-

Have you had outright sexist attitudes towards you and your music from either promoters, artists or even fans?

J*Labs-

No, not that I’m aware of!

GB-

Do you feel like there are barriers that are not mentioned about women making music in this genre?

J*Labs-

I feel like there are if you allow them to be there, if that’s what you expect then that’s probably what’s going to happen. I don’t go into anything assuming there are going to be barriers like that and I don’t experience any. I think if you’re bringing it, and you’re on your game then who’s going to not let you do something because you have tits? Doesn’t make sense!

GB-

What is your opinion of the music industry?

J*Labs-

That’s kind of a big question. I guess I don’t really have much of one? It is what it is, and I’m just stoked to be making music  I think it’s great that there are channels out there to bring music to people’s ears and for artists to make money doing their art. It may not be perfect, but nothing is.

GB-

What is your opinion on Paris Hilton getting paid better than DJ’s that have spent years perfecting their craft?

J*Labs-

Can’t say I have one! I prefer to spend my time thinking about other stuff.

GB-

Do you feel that festivals are ruining electronic music or that electronic music is ruining festivals?

J*Labs-

Neither! I think festivals are amazing and when you get outside of the giant mainstream bro-fests there are some really killer festivals out there that are really helping to build and inspire the community and push everything to the next level!

GB-

Have you heard of Dorito’s flavored Mountain Dew and what is your opinion on the state of snack foods?

J*Labs-

If I spent my time thinking about shit like that I wouldn’t get any music made! I eat healthy!

GB-

What music are you listening to currently? What is the most embarrassing music you have in your collection?

J*Labs-

Honestly, because I’m usually working on music I don’t always have as much time to listen as I’d like to. But I do in the car! I’ve had the Pharrell song “Lost Queen” on repeat in my car all day today, I’m thinking I will make a remix of it… On the party music vibe I’ve been gettin’ down to Tropkillaz, Party Favor, Spenda C, SkiiTour, Choppa Dunks, Mat The Alien, Stylust Beats and Jimi Needles to name a few. A lot of the time I just put on 93.5 K-Day which is this amazing local hip-hop station in LA that we’re super lucky to have or 89.9 KCRW, our local independent radio station.

GB-

If you had to listen to one genre of music for the rest of your life what would it be?

J*Labs-

Reggae.

GB-

What would be your ideal gig/set?

J*Labs-

That’s a tough one! Headline slot at sold-out Red Rocks, 2-hour set… Maybe that, for now…

GB-

Any upcoming projects?

J*Labs-

My debut EP entitled #TRUNK! is coming out on Street Ritual in early 2015, I’m really pumped about it!!! I had an amazing crew of people here in LA with a super sweet music video that will be dropping with it, which I’m currently in the process of editing.

GB-

What project of yours are you most proud of?

J*Labs-

See above! This EP is the result of 1,000s of hours in the studio, playing around with different genres, honing my skills and really dialing in my craft… I really feel like that comes through in the music. It’s a blend of my favorite sounds, favorite beats, favorite grooves and flavors from many of the individual genres I’ve played and produced. I call it TRUNK because it’s primarily Twerk + Trap + Funk + Krunk… “TRUNK”

GB-

What is your opinion on paying for streaming music? What about piracy?

J*Labs-

In terms of paying for streaming music, sure, I guess, if the market will support it and it’s a way to monetize on some work that you’ve created and people are willing to pay then great. Personally, I don’t think that’s where the money’s at right now, but that’s an unsubstantiated opinion… As for piracy, personally, the way I feel is, if you want my music and can’t afford to pay for it then I’d rather you download it for free and get to hear it and play it. I don’t really think selling tracks for $.99 or even $2.99 a piece is going to be getting most people rich… The money is in licensing and to some extent in touring. I’d rather see my music get out there to as many people as possible!

GB-

Do you feel a sort of pressure when you perform or create music? Is there something that keeps you up at night?

J*Labs-

I don’t feel pressure when I perform, in fact most times quite the opposite. It’s such a pure and special experience where I’m 100% in the moment. It’s been like that for me from day one. I was feeling some pressure around creating music, as I was learning how and knowing I wasn’t there yet and how much more work I had to do to get there, there were some inner battles for sure. But now I’m just stoked! And that experience really taught me so much about myself, and music, and what I really want!

GB-

Do you feel a social obligation to your fans? Or do you make music simply because it is your passion?

J*Labs-

I absolutely feel an obligation. Always. To the dance floor when I’m performing live, and to the people whose ears my music enters. Basically, I feel awesome when I feel like I’ve made everyone else feel awesome, so that’s the motivation and that’s the goal! If I can inspire someone, make them move, make them forget about whatever is troubling them and just really be in the moment, then I’m happy.

GB-

Anything else you would like to tell the readers out there? Any shout outs or thanks you would like to give?

J*Labs-

So many shout-outs and thanks that I would like to give, the list would go on and on and on! For real! So many people have helped me and encouraged me in so many ways I’m completely blown away about it all! I really feel a strong pull and desire to pay it forward, and also having that support just motivates me even more to work even harder and produce better and better music and play better and better sets!

I guess the main message I want to leave people with is this: if you don’t like your life, change it… if there’s something you want to do, do it… put the energy out there, follow your heart, do what you love, and work hard at it, all day erryday!

———————————-

J*Labs has an incredible story and a great background. With a lifetime of musical appreciation and a middle school band with a pop music icon, she has been able to carve out an incredibly unique identity. It is apparent that she is a true musician and music lover that doesn’t get caught up in worrying about the small stuff or spending any time with letting politics of industry affect who she is or her music. She has a refreshing outlook on the industry and the politics that can sometimes surround it. Most importantly she has a passion for her music that is apparent in her answers, her thought process and of course her music. I want to thank J*Labs again for her time and with this I would like to share a couple of her tracks which are also available to download for free!

jlabs1

This track is an hour long mix of J*Labs doing what she loves, which is making great music that provides boundless energy.

We got to hear J*Labs talk about Trunk, now we can take a listen to some of it. The track is titled “Put Em Up Now”. It’s entirely different than anything else I can find at the moment and because of that I am head over heels in love with it.

So now that everyone is familiar with J*Labs, her musical background, her anecdotes and her music I insist that you check her out her social media links below.

FACEBOOK  –  TWITTER  –  SOUNDCLOUD

Article by: Gabriel Barrio

Join Gabriel on his personal Blog.

Follow Gabriel on Twitter.

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