J Boog was up soon on stage at the “Knitting Factory”, Reno, on Friday night and although he was tired at this nearly 10:20pm interview, he still gave it his best and was a deep thinker, an intelligent man.
J Boog headlined "The Sunshine Girl Tour" and was put on in Reno, NV by Amplified Entertainment.
I noticed in the green room, J Boog [short for Boogie] had an aura of someone who was not giving up the fight of allergies or a possible cold. He was there to perform, and gracious to interview although it was apparent he was not feeling well or very tired.
After settling in making his hot tea and honey, relaxation was occurring.
Jenn and J Boog sat on the brown comfy sofa in the green room and people from other bands in the line up for “The Sunshine Girl Tour” began to play pool behind us. The rattling balls slid sharply into the pockets and were somewhat of a distraction to overcome.
As we were at a concert in the green room interviewing, noise was no longer a distraction, rather an expectation.
Jenn: “Hi, how are you feeling?”
J Boog: “Tired.”
He started to laugh, and so did I. A genuine laugh, and honest one.
J Boog: “Honestly, I’m tired.”
He had a soft voice and seemed rather shy at first. Sitting in the corner of the couch, and holding a pillow in front of him gave away to possible shyness yet, he was determined to be cozy. And cozy and relaxed he was, or perhaps, “tired”.
Jenn: “This tour started two weeks ago, so you are having different artists in different cities performing in the line up with you throughout this tour. Is it cool to meet different people?”
J Boog: “You know, most of the people we take on the tour, we know them already. We’ve had a relationship for a long time. It’s all cool, it’s just like one big family.”
J Boog, having grown up in Compton CA was used to surviving on the streets, and he chose music as his outlet. His relaxed, honest attitude had me deeply engaged with what he had to say next. The tour was not all about “J Boog”, in his perspective, rather this family unit of musicians. Pure revelation in the necessity to form music “families”.
Jenn: “How old were you when you got motivated to be a music artist?”
J Boog: “I really don’t know, you know, it kinda just…I kinda fell into it. It wasn’t something I wanted to do right off the bat, but we fell into it when we went down to Hawaii and started recording for the first time.”
Jenn: “Hawaii is where you first recorded?”
J Boog: “Like professionally. You know a lot of the other stuff we did was like mixed tapes or something we just liked to do. We had no idea it would escalate into what it is today. For real, it’s true.”
“J Boog's music career became serious in 2005, when a couple of brothers from his neighborhood brought him to one of J's favorite artists, George "Fiji" Veikoso". The two began working together immediately and J ended up moving to Hawaii in 2006 to continue developing his craft. After releasing his debut album "Hear Me Roar" in 2007, he joined the musical family Wash House Music Inc, an independent record label based in Hawaii and San Francisco.” [http://www.reverbnation.com/jboogmusic]
Jenn: “Wow. So how does it feel? [Being where he is today]”
J Boog: “It feels great. You know, it’s been a long, long road.”
Jenn: “What is one of the main things you feel that you had to overcome to be where you are today? Is it day to day things?”
J Boog: “I guess you could say that. I mean, we’ve been touring for a couple years now, and we are just kinda got into this rhythm, or it’s just same thing everyday I guess, I don’t know. Huge obstacles we had to get over had to be the first time we stepped into the music scene. We dealt with faulty contracts we had to get past that bullsh** before we could really be free. And when we could do what we really wanted to do.”
Jenn: “Did you ever find yourself in the situation where you felt you had to record what they wanted you to record? Or was this something different?”
J Boog: “No, not so much, it’s just that we didn’t see eye-to-eye on things. But where I’m at now, you know, everything is lovely. We’ve been friends for a long time and we could pretty much do what we want to do. And I feel there’s no more weight on my shoulders; everything’s gelling together and I think everything we learned, was on the road. Touring, and then meeting up with different bands.”
J Boog’s humbleness was forthcoming and his mellow attitude to just roll with it was infectious. His learning experiences were important to ask, as it was understood that it could help future bands/musicians to avoid common and not so common pitfalls by learning about what J Boog has to say.
Jenn: “What types of things did you learn that you wouldn’t repeat again?”
J Boog: “Touring. How we toured before we didn’t know what to really look out for, but, going on tour, “Revolution” I’ve seen “Soldier” do their thing, and we picked up a lot of game from them on how the road really works. You know?”
J Boog: “A lot of people think it’s so easy and it’s nothing close to that.”
Jenn: “I agree. It’s tough out there, and understanding the “rules” of the road, the tour, is important to success.”
J Boog: “Right, right.”
Jenn: “Now, I could look this up on Facebook, on your site, on the internet, but right here, right now, what would you personally describe your music style as?”
J Boog: “I don’t know.”
Jenn: “Is it like an eclectic mix of different…”
J Boog: “Yeah! And the root of it is all Reggae. I mean, you know, to some people it probably won’t be the traditional Reggae, but it’s something speaks to a lot of lovers and conscious music, you know. And just having a good time, period.”
Jenn: “What would you say is your real breakthrough song?”
J Boog: “’Let’s do it Again’”. Yeah, that’s when we went down to Jamaica and recorded with Wash House [Music Inc.] and Gramps [Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage] and Don Corleone. One of the main producer’s and studios out in Jamaica.”
Jenn: “That must have been an awesome inspiring experience.”
J Boog: “Big time. We are huge fans of all of them, and just being in the studio as them was pretty nerve-racking.”
Jenn: “I bet.”
J Boog: “Yeah, pretty intimidating too. But, we got it done and everything worked out.”
Jenn: “So how do you get to the point of where you feel intimidation, or you know, normal human feelings, to overcoming those feelings and just nailing it. Because that’s what you are doing; you just hit it and you hit it hard and you do an amazing job.”
J Boog: “There’s no like, turning back for us, this is all we have. So I mean, any chance we get to be on the feature or do the rhythm we make sure to give it our all. And we try to be the best at it. Even whoever is on the track, you know, we try to make sure we come out on top throughout anything. If it works out, it works out. If it doesn’t we go back to the drawing board.”
Jenn: “If you could choose one song that represents you as a person, which one would it be?”
J Boog: “I’d say 'Give Thanks'. 'Backyard Boogie' album, and that’s track number one. And it’s pretty much talking about if it wasn’t for music, what we would be doing which is probably hustling on the street, or locked up. You know what I’m saying, the music is what saved us. And made us take a different view of life. It wasn’t easy, but we overcame came that, so 'Give Thanks' is what it’s about.”
“Growing up in the rough streets of Compton, the strong sense of tradition and culture that J Boog absorbed from his family was instrumental in his path to stay off the street.” [http://www.reverbnation.com/jboogmusic]
Jenn: “To switch gears here, and be in the now, how do you feel about your set coming up?”
J Boog: “I feel pretty cool about it. This stupid pot [of hot water for tea] keeps shutting off.” He laughs.
Jenn: “Do you always drink tea and honey before your performance?”
J Boog: “I try to. My favorite tea is Ginger.”
Jenn: “I like Ginger Beer.” Laughs.
J Boog: “I like Ginger Beer too, I know what you’re talking about.”
Jenn: “So the next step is Salt Lake City, Utah [Sat. night]…”
J Boog: “Salt Lake at “The Complex” then Colorado…it’s only a month run. Our last show is “Cali Roots” next Friday [May 23, 2014].
Jenn: “Is there anything you’d like to say to people out there like a message that you want to get across?”
J Boog: “I just want to say thanks to the support of our fans throughout these years.”
Jenn: “Right on, absolutely. I’ll pass it along.”
The interview was a wrap, a success in that his honesty, his lack of bravado, and his devotion to giving thanks for where he’s at today were great meaningful topics that warmed my soul. Like the cup of tea he drank, he was warm, earthy, and delicious to talk to.
When he went on stage to perform, I sat in the photo pit to see if any fatigue affected his performance. It was truly an inspiration. His songs are heartfelt with love, poetry, and a decisive influence of brotherhood.
He came up like he was sent from God above, and sang, danced, and grooved to his heart’s delight. Not one song was lacking in its rhythm, the roots of Reggae are inside of J Boog. And it was a great time to see that although he claimed to be tired, he was on fire full force thumping the reggae jams.
I give the performance 5 stars. The albums, well, there aren’t enough stars for me to give it above five; I have listened to it in my car, at home, and will continue to do so. “Give Thanks” is my favorite song on the CD “Backyard Boogie”. It is very difficult to choose.
To discover more about J Boog's music visit one or more of these sites:
Youtube: http://youtu.be/fW8a7tLoI6s [Give Thanks]