Jon “Jayoin” Stevens on 8-bit ELO, Tim Fite, and other favorites 

  • Lynsie Stevens
Colorado Springs emcee/producer Jon “Jayoin” Stevens, best known as co-founder of A Black Day and Madtrees, is also an inveterate crate-digger. “I’m always in search of something good,” he says. “It doesn’t have to be brand new, it just has to be good.” Stevens’ latest project is a collaboration between members of Madtrees and the Charlie Milo Trio called Karate-Man. Following are some of his favorite tracks.

“Wish I’d written that” song: “Exhausted Love” by Eyedea and Abilities. This song rips at my very soul, and covers a common ground that many artists and performers find themselves pacing. “Something provoked the whole globe to lower expectations / Damn, what’s wrong with my generation?“

“Wish I could unhear that” song: Easy ... “Barbie World.” If I could create a time machine to go back and stop this song from ever being conceived, we may not have the current state of the world.
Essential Saturday night song: “Same Cloth” by Top Floor. This is my “turn up” song. Top floor is a hip-hop group out of Atlanta that follows in the fine tradition of Goodie Mob and Outkast, and not so much the newer mumble style. “Same Cloth” reminds me that some are just cut out for their work.

Essential Sunday morning song: “Can You Stand the Rain” by New Edition. This timeless joint is relaxing, written and performed to perfection, and suitable for impromptu dance moves inspired by the Temptations. Goes well with coffee.

First record I bought with my own money: Licensed to Ill by The Beastie Boys. I got it at a garage sale. Technically I didn’t pay for it, I went up to the lady with two dollars, and she said, “Take it.” Apparently her son had bought it, and she didn’t approve of the message. It changed my life forever. Rude lyrics and 808 knocks that made going to Brooklyn a real life Lord of the Rings adventure for a young kid from Colorado.

Current favorite song to cover: “Kinky Reggae” by Bob Marley & The Wailers. Nobody is cooler than Bob. When you have to cover a song, go big.

Artist more people should know about: Tim Fite! His music is really something everyone must hear at least once in his or her lifetime. With folk-like tendencies, and lyrics ranging from heartbreaking to hilariously poignant, Tim Fite’s music is an adventure to enjoy. He is dope if you like emcees, and equally as good if you prefer a Dylan-like artist. All around he has been breaking the mold. I’ll scream his name from the mountaintops whenever someone asks who they should check out.

Guilty pleasure: My guilty pleasure has to be 8-bit versions of my favorite songs. There is a YouTube channel called “8-bit Universe,” where you can find almost any song redone in 8-bit. My personal favorites are the versions of the Game of Thrones theme song, and “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra.


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