Mixtape Daily: Jim Jonsin
"I'm into artist development, so I like taking an artist brand new and working with them and teaching them new things and watching them grow," Jonsin told Mixtape Daily. "They're having to grow at lightning speed. With the music producers injected into this now, now they're really at hard knocks, right? Not only do you have to build this performance, but now you have to record a song. And record an amazing song that's gotta go on iTunes for sale and it reflects you and you being an artist."
Looking at his production discography, it's clear Jonsin's career is nothing short of amazing itself. The former engineer for Slip-N-Slide Records has gone on to produce tracks for artists including T.I., Kelly Rowland, Usher and Lil Wayne, winning a Grammy for 2008's "Lollipop."
Some new jacks have benefited from Jonsin's studio touch too. Wiz Khalifa's "On My Level" from his just-released debut, Rolling Papers, is a Jonsin creation. "He's got that Snoop Dogg vibe with his own twist, Jay-Z kinda," Jonsin said. "Working with Wiz, it was good. He's kind of a traditional hip-hop artist, which I love most, mixed with this edgy skater-punk spirit. He definitely blends with my character: I like that."
Jonsin also speaks highly of B.o.B. The ATL rapper/singer/songwriter's B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray was released on Jonsin's Rebel Rock label in conjunction with Atlantic Records and Grand Hustle Records. B.o.B and Jonsin have started working on the gold-selling album's follow-up.
"His last album kind of reflects who he is, but he's growing into something new," Jonsin said. "I'm waiting for what he brings us back when we go back in the studio — he's got some ideas — to kind of see the direction he's going in. We're letting him lead that.
He's really talented. The guy produces, writes, he does a lot of his own stuff. I think his album will reflect that. I think this album will have a lot of his own work on it. We're waiting on him to give us the direction.
"I think there'll be less features on this album, more him singing and rapping. Definitely less features: He wants to showcase himself more, put out more of his own ideas."
Another artist Jonsin is working with — Roc Nation's J. Cole — surely has plenty of ideas, even if he has yet to release an album. "He's that traditional hip-hop. I'm trying to give it a little Jim Jonsin, a little crossover, a little rock," Jonsin said. "Some of the stuff we did was more traditional hip-hop with just a little edge to it, some rock in it. So I think we're going to stick to that and see what happens."
Jonsin's schedule is also booked with working with 50 Cent for the first time and with Eminem on his latest Shady Records signee's forthcoming album. "That's going to be fun," Jonsin said. "We're working for Yelawolf's project. It's all about Yela. We're going to actually produce together. I get to work with Eminem producing records."
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