DD: How are these wonderful songs put together? A lot of sampling? Hello by the wayyyy
IN: Wassup!? For me, this question is really about the way our minds perceive and structure music. I’ve been experimenting with samples for 20 years now, and so the way songs come together for me first has been a process of working on my perception of sounds. For example, music can be experienced by sitting and listening to a record in a small room. This is the common way we experience music today, but this is a modern experience of music. Conversely, take for instance when you sit in a park and listen to the ambient sound of birds and traffic and wind. There is music in the perpetual knock of raindrops, in the sound of traffic ridden busy streets, and there are even other songs contained in songs you hear. The way they come together is through re-interpretation. It’s how an actor brings a character to life. I’ve been working on my perception for a long time.
DD: That sounds like where I’d like to go! I wanna be on your wavelength. What got you interested in producing?
IN: I am witnessing you on your journey and it’s a path you are carving. Respect my brother.
To be honest, the thing that got me most interested in producing I think was my connection to the natural world. I have always been very interested in other animals. I think life has always been sacred for me. Life contains beings in different pieces of body technology that are all connected to one giant soul whether you are a frog, or a tree, or a human. This idea that we are all permutations of oneness inside a macrocosm we call the universe, inspires me to work within the microcosm in my art and show how one piece of music contains all sorts of permutations. My view is that it makes my existence a conduit for the creator. The greeks called it the muse. This is the essence of hip hop and I am proud to be a part of this vibrant culture. I produce because it acts as a way to explore the depth of my spirituality. The interest in producing music stemmed from a need to explore myself.
DD: What kind of mindset/drive do you wish to have as an artist?
IN: I let it come naturally. All I want to do is work and to be honest, it is all I do. My mindset is a constant negotiation. Emotionally, art is something humans use to express our being, but it comes from a deep understanding that our being is one with the natural pattern that all beings grow in. Western science calls this pattern the fibonacci sequence in the microcosm of smaller beings and life that we observe, and labels this same expansion the big bang in the macrocosm. The metaphor of inception is a common theme that connects us all in this reality. Indigenous culture understands this inherently through daily negotiation and observation of the land, without needing the clumsy numbers of western science to understand the concept. Therefore this pattern, which exists in the very root of our existence, expands outward in the same fashion as an extension of our selves. Whether we band together and call it “culture” or a “gang” depends on the power of relationship in whatever manmade existence we are building for ourselves at the time. Presently we are under capitalism. The system cannot overwrite nature though. Art will win.
DD: Yes it will. What’s something you refuse to lose as an artist?
IN: Not sure I can even answer this one. Art is about loss and change to me, because art is a metaphor for the process of life which ends always with a change of state. Everything is created forever and remixed, but every being dies and turns into something else. This fact is self evident in everyday life but, because art exists as an extension of ourselves, what is commonly misunderstood about art is that human expression reflects this natural life cycle. There is no permanence. For example, one of my favorite things about hip hop culture is that this self evident change of state is expressed through the creation of slang within the rigid rules of English. Extending outward from English for example, are words which keep the language ‘brollic’ while also reflecting what is eternal about the natural world. It’s our duty as humans to continue this process of expressive change in order to keep mankind civilized and in sync with the natural system that governs us, and steers us away from virtual reality systems that are manmade such as capitalism. The artist and digital theorist Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew wrote, “The acts of creation and expression through metaphor and metonymy extend outward, as they do for everyone, to define and modulate all other facts of creation and expression.” So if metaphor is the essence of the communication of nature’s pattern then it resounds in quotes such as Ernst Fischer’s “In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it.” Further, artists have tried for eons to explain this concept which is why the oft quoted Marc Chagall said, “When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God-made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art.” I like to think of my art, which I express through sound and music primarily, as a way for me to extend beyond a natural existence and color the world in a positive way that connects me with the same spirit that creates all. With that experience of creation, I feel that I am blessed with a better understanding of my place as a being amongst many others in this reality while simultaneously losing myself and letting the great spirit of creation work through me. As an artist I am trying to lose myself to find myself.
– Jimi Jaxon