Some music labels keep their talent close like family, and Above & Beyond's Anjunabeats is famous for working that way. Acquiring and nurturing their talent, they seem to only pick up artists who they know they can hold on to, and who will feel welcome working with them for a long time. Some artists work hard to become apart of Anjunabeats, but for others, it just comes naturally. Such is the case with one of their newest additions, Jason Ross. After producing a few tracks on other labels, he's recently remixed Parker & Hanson's "Gravity" that was released this week. The original was a production from the Philadelphia duo whose beautiful and high quality releases are few and far between, with "Gravity" as their first release as some time as featured on Anjunabeats Vol. 11. With the addition of Jason Ross's remix, the cinematic piano-driven song is transformed into true Anjuna-club form, with its trance 2.0 soaring as a favorite. We were so intrigued by the new arrival of Jason Ross's triumphant arrival that we wanted to get introduced to him through more than just his music: check out our Q&A with him below.
EARMILK: Did you grow up in a musical household?
Jason Ross: Music was always a big part of growing up in my family. My grandma was a professional singer, and would always encourage me to be creative: musically and artistically. I picked up the saxophone at a very young age and played for about 15 years. My mom would always listen to ethnic/dance-type music, and my dad was all about the classic rock, so growing up with very different genres of music had definitely played a large influence in the type of music I enjoy listening to and creating. My cousin is Bob Dylan, too, so that may have played a small role as well... Ha!
EM: What inspired you to get into the music business? Was there a moment when you went from being a fan to an artist?
JR: Surprisingly, I got into electronic music at a very young age. I was introduced to tracks like ATB’s "Till I Come" and Darude’s "Sandstorm" very early on. When I was 10 years old, my friend’s older brother showed me a loop-based production program called Dance E-Jay. I was captivated by the idea of creating music on a computer. I ended up purchasing the program, and at the age of 12, created my first “EDM” album. I got it into a few record stores, and ended up donating all proceeds to the Red Cross – Disaster and Relief Fund, since it was around the time of 9/11. From that moment on, I knew this is what I wanted to do.
EM: Who is a favorite artist of yours at the moment?
JR: Thomas Newson has really been on a roll lately. His recent productions have all been top notch for me!
EM: How did you get involved with Anjunabeats?
JR: It was actually a very natural process. I put out a track on Monster Tunes called ‘Burma’. Above & Beyond happened to come across it and ended up supporting it on their Group Therapy radio show 3 weeks in a row. Eventually, someone from their A&R got in contact with me, and- well, the rest is history!
EM: How was it working on "Gravity?" What did you look to accomplish with this remix?
JR: What an honor it was to remix such a beautiful piece of work by Parker & Hanson. Every time they put out a new track (which is quite rare these days), it becomes a favorite of mine. For the remix, I knew I wanted to give it a more club/festival type sound, but also stay true to the original. The challenge for me was blending the two styles to fit into a complete part; and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
EM: How do you challenge yourself as a producer?
JR: I never want one track to sound the same as another. Each time I produce a new track, I start with a blank canvas: no template, nothing. I used to work with different templates that I’d create, but saw that it would halt my creativity and I’d get stuck in my old ways. I always try to learn new things and utilize them in my projects, whatever it may be.
EM: Since this is one of our first experiences with your music – what are you most excited for in the coming year? What can we expect?
JR: Expect a lot more original music, as well as collaboration with a fellow Anjuna artist. I’ll be hitting some spots around the US very soon, so look out for that as well!
Parker & Hanson, Jason Ross