Local emcee/producer Jayoin’s sound advice 

  • Greggory Dikes Photography

A Black Day, Mad Trees and Karate-Man emcee/producer Jon “Jayoin” Stevens is a longtime veteran of the Colorado Springs hip-hop scene (as well as being an actual veteran). Look for new music soon from Mad-Trees, the trio of Jayoin, Eric “Earsiq” Radke, and DJ Gravity.

The first CDs I ever bought with my own money: I bought Michael Jackson’s Bad and Weird Al’s Even Worse. I then spent the days alternating the two in heavy rotation. There was magic in the satire, and I felt like I had collected two Infinity stones. Both kind of fall into the cringe zone these days, But Weird Al’s still the G.O.A.T. in my book.

Essential Saturday night music: RTJ. Run the Jewels. El-P and Killer Mike will punch the life into any dull Saturday, and it’s the best motivational music to help get you in gear, or just wild out where you are.

Essential Sunday morning music: Fela Kuti. I was introduced to Fela’s music via Amerigo Gazaway, a world-renowned producer who mashed up the music of Fela with the a capellas of De la Soul on an album called Fela Soul. I was so enamored by the music that I had to dig deeper. I’m glad I did dig, because Fela has magic about his music that connects the music of Africa with the people of the world. Full of horns and funky bass lines, each song is full of rich sound and social messages.

“Wish I’d written that” song: Atmosphere’s “Trying to Find a Balance.” I feel like I’ve lived through it. “They love the taste of blood. I don’t know what that means but I know that I mean it. Maybe they’re as evil as they seem, or maybe I only look out the window when it’s scenic?” An artist can make you feel like they are talking directly to you. Atmosphere does that; I’m trying to do that.

Guilty pleasure: My guilty pleasure as of late is listening to lo-fi, video-game-inspired music. Look up Lofi Nintendo on YouTube and chill out major. Some elder millennial gold for sure. My favorite mix is called “Perfect Day Legend of Zelda Music Chill Mix 1.”

Song I wish I could unhear: Eric Clapton’s version of “I Shot the Sheriff.” The entire thing makes no sense to me. Unlike his other [cover] hit, “Cocaine,” which made total sense coming from Clapton. His version of “Sheriff” is much like the covers done by Pat Boone, in my opinion, and lacks believability.

My latest online discovery: My recent great internet find is the music of Game of Thrones actor Jacob Anderson, who has a music career under the name Raleigh Ritchie. He is really onto something and extremely talented. He has blended together soulful lyrics with real feeling, and a modern sound that demands to be heard. He really is out of control. His song “Time in a Tree” is worth the listen. Big up to the U.K.


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