ARTIST NAME: Jon Harris
SONG TITLE: Big
RELEASE DATE: December 14, 2018
Go into detail on why you decided to choose music as a career.
To be honest I chose to make music because it was possible. In 7th grade, I never took an instrument so I was in a general music class where I was introduced to FL Studios. I was playing with the program and made some simple beat then I realized with this program I was making music, like the professionals and it was at that point I realized being a music star was actually possible. That’s really what got me started.
I knew I needed a lot of work but I also knew I had a lot of time to get better so much like everything I try; I put everything I had into it. Now I make music because I feel there is a need for information that I have that people need to hear and sometimes the only way to get people’s ears is through music.
Brief us the feedback you are getting from fans on your music.
This is my first official record and as for the record it’s been getting mixed reviews. Some people love it others have many critiques. The critics attack every point of the record from the production to the mixing, to the lyrics; however, supporters of the song argue the opposite on the same aspects.
Discuss the relevance of social networking to music.
Social networking is always important because people can always use their background and following to help one another.
In nature, this is a mutualistic relationship where both parties benefit from their interaction.
Tell us how you record your song.
Being that “Big” is my first official release; I put a lot of thought into the record. I wanted this song to be an introduction to myself and my music, hence why I started the song literally introducing myself.
I wanted people to understand my way of thinking so they know what to expect from me in the future. For everyone who doesn’t know, the song will tell you, I generally think big. I have a tendency to over-prepare, over-plan, and overthink to ensure everything goes correctly or as well as possible.
I wanted people to understand that I’m no typical rapper although at first glance I may come off like one. My music decisions will be different, my motives can be different, and my overall personality is way different from the mainstream rap artist today.
Tell us the story behind the song.
It took very long to make from the concept to the final mix. I wanted a song that could do a lot of things in one being that it was the first song. For starters; my following will know I struggle to make commercial songs so it usually takes me longer to make.
I needed something upbeat and catchy but at the same time send a clear message as all my songs do. The best thing was to give the listener a bit about the way I am and encourage them to do things as big as possible like me. “The only way to do it is to do it big, so what’s up?”
State your musical skills.
I can write (I write other genres, not just rap), I produce hip hop and other genres, and I engineer tracks.
Ironically I can produce and use a lot of actual instrument sounds but I can’t play any instruments.
Tell us how long it takes to complete a song from the start.
It really depends, for me I struggle to make upbeat songs so those can take very long. Big was the longest taking about 2 years although they usually take a year from start to finish.
Most of my other songs with deeper messages come easier to me so it takes a couple of months from start to finish. But Big took long, “Chillin” took about a year, I have another song from my upcoming album I’m waiting on clearance which took about a year and a half.
Go into detail on how you develop your lyrics and melody.
My lyrics and style came primarily from Eminem. Since I was very young I would listen to him and I loved his style of being different. He rapped / raps like no other rapper from his choice of words to rhyme to the ideas he brings, it’s just different.
I worked on training my mind to think outside the box when writing much as he does. I’m a rapper from New York but don’t have much of a New York-style and it’s because I idolize Eminem so I have more of a continuous rhythmic flow to my delivery. I also tend to rhyme multiple syllables as much as possible.
Discuss music in full detail.
Music to me would be an expression, a way to get people to understand what you’re trying to convey. People who feel they can’t communicate through conventional conversation have a voice with their creativity.
My music has evolved through the years. I feel before I use to just wing it more and now I put a lot of thought into my music. To me, I feel I write a mixture of things people need to hear and want to hear. I try to be relatable as possible.
People go through so much in their life and don’t tell anyone, they keep those skeletons in their closets. The problem is these issues build and they feel like they can’t speak to others about it out of fear of embarrassment or the listener won’t understand.
So I make music for those people without naming names or getting too specific to hide identities so others can benefit from the story. So people who are going through the same stuff don’t feel alone in this world and it eases their nerves and makes them feel more comfortable about talking about it. Even if the struggle or situation isn’t something I am personally going through I present it as if I was; so you don’t worry about who it is. If in your eyes it is me then let it stay me, talk to me if you need to vent, if I will help. Doing this has helped so many people who write to me stating their experiences.
State your five favorite genres of music.
It’s funny that I’m a rapper but I actually wouldn’t say rap is my favorite genre. I actually wouldn’t say I focus on genre rather I focus on artist and content. With that being said the genres I listen to the most in order would be House, EDM, Hip Hop, Rap, Pop, Ballads, R&B, and Soul.
Discuss your rehearsal.
Before recording, I generally try to keep my throat clear so I don’t eat greasy foods and drink a lot of water. I’m no singer so I generally don’t do vocal warm-ups but I do get myself mentally prepared and trying to get myself into character for the mood I’m trying to convey.
For shows, I just try to calm my nerves and relax as much as possible, but performing is my favorite part of doing music so I always assume it will go well.
State your favorite musical instruments.
I don’t play any instruments but from my basic knowledge of the instruments, I would say my favorite is the piano/keyboard. They are such versatile instruments and the only instrument you can use both hands to hit different notes at the same time.
Describe the chemistry between you and your fans during a live performance.
I feel I am a good performer. I generally go out to the audience that don’t know me and gradually get their appreciation for what I do. When I say put your hands up every hand goes up, at the end when I say make noise they get as loud as they can and sometimes they give me more energy than the headliner.
Discuss your personality in full detail.
Without sounding like a complete psycho I can come off differently depending on when you see me. Most of the time I am laid back and quiet. I generally have a calm “chill” demeanor but I can be outgoing at times not to confuse the people who know me for being a loudmouth. When it comes to things that are important to me like my music I actually can be very shy and held back when trying to market my music in person.
Discuss your music career.
I’ve been working on my music since I was in high school. I made my first mixtape in 9th grade and had a few more after that. My first official mixtape was Destiny’s Calling which was released in 2012 after I graduated from Pace University and my second official mixtape was Destiny’s Calling 2 which was released in 2015. I am now starting to release music as an independent artist.
List your musical work.
Destiny’s Calling (2012) – Mixtape
Destiny’s Calling 2 (2015) – Mixtape
Big (2018) – Single
Share your memorable experiences with us.
I can’t really think of a specific point in time but really the best experience that I can think of is performing. It’s truly the best feeling when I’m on stage and the audience is reacting positively to my music in real-time.
To see that I am connecting with the people and when I tell them to get loud at the end and to hear them scream their lungs out to give the last bit of energy they have for me because I know they could stay quiet just because they don’t like me, means the world to me.
Share your press release and reviews with us.
Jon Harris is a Hip Hop recording artist from New York. He grew up in upper Westchester and started making music with no musical background or formal training.
Jon spent his high school career, college career, and the years to follow learning all aspects of the music industry until he felt he was ready. On December 14 he released his first official song titled “Big” from Living Life Our Way Entertainment.
“Big” is the first song released from his upcoming debut album, “Who Is Jon Harris” set to release in 2019. The song was made completely by Harris himself. He stated in total the song took over 2 years to make from building the concept to completing the final mix. “I went through a bunch of different options for the song. I knew whatever I decided the song had to cover a few parts being the first release and that’s what took so long.”
Jon wrote the lyrics, produced the beat, recorded the track, and engineered the song himself. The record has a series of horns and heavy bass with creates an energetic sound.
The lyrics of the record serve to introduce himself to the audience. Jon delivers a few themes he felt were important for the listeners to know. The main theme is repeated in the chorus to think “Big” and to make the most out of everything that you do. He begins this introduction song literally introducing himself along with his “what’s up” greeting.
The opening verse is used to clarify he is not the typical rapper or hip hop star and should not be mistaken as one. Jon is always known for being different and is making a point to relay this message.
The second verse focuses more on his train of thought verses – the average person who wishes for their dreams to miraculously come true as opposed to him trying his hardest to reach his goals even if failure seems more likely.
As an artist, Jon has always strived to open the listeners’ minds to a different way of thinking. This was shown in both his previous mixtapes, Destiny’s Calling and Destiny’s Calling 2. He said with the album “Who Is Jon Harris” he intends to push the envelope even further and “Big” is a great start as it sets the line for being a wisher and being a doer. In the words of Jon Harris, “the only way to do it is to do it big.”
I think big, dream big, and I plan big
To make sure everything that I do is big
I try to get the most out of this life that I live
And the only way to do it is to do it big, so what’s up
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
So my actual name is Jonathan Harris. My current stage name is “Jon Harris” but it wasn’t always. I started out with “J-Holla” for a large majority of my mixtape years and the cover of Destiny’s Calling even still says “Jholla”.
I decided to change it because “jholla” to me was used by too many people and it sounded immature to me. I wanted something that could be taken more seriously and the best nickname was something I’ve been called my whole life so I stuck with “Jon Harris”. Also if you look on my Twitter it’s officialjholla because I never felt like changing it.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
The single’s called “Big”. The idea of it is to think big as possible. I wanted the word “Big” to be more of a mantra to people rather than a phrase to be the name and theme of the song. So when people do anything in life and are questioning how it should be executed they don’t even second guess and remember to do everything big.
State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.
The song itself is a single but will be featured in some aspect on my debut album “Who Is Jon Harris”. The album will be an introduction to who I am so that’s where I got the name from. The title is the question, the album is the answer, although the album will give you a lot more than simply who I am…and I leave it at that.