Genre: Other

JGTraveler’s MNotez Interview:

  • MNotez: How long have you been a musician? What age did you begin?
    • JGTraveler: I’ve been a musician since the age of 11.
  • MNotez: What motivated you to start playing music?
    • JGTraveler: Back then, I was looking for something to get into. Mainly it was my peers in summer camp that were taking up a musical instrumental. To fit in, I wanted to learn how to play one as well. But my late grandmother was my main inspiration. She played the piano when I was little and played for me sometimes. When I first started, and with no formal training, she saw I had an aptitude for it. I could play some songs heard off the radio or TV without knowing the notes I was playing. As a gift, she gave me her antique piano and requested that my parents invest in getting me a piano teacher. When I got older, nearing my 20s, I returned that favor of her playing for me back then. To this day, most of my motivation was attributed to her pushing me in the right direction musically.
  • MNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you play?
    • JGTraveler: My music influences mostly come from J-Pop/Anime artists like Hironobu Kageyama (DBZ), Yasuo Uragami (Gundam), and Tsuneo Imahori (Trigun). But most of my influences, like in my sci-fi & video game music related works, come from Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross), Kentaro Kobayashi (Virtual-On Cybertroopers) and Noriyuki Iwadare (Grandia). In the other genres, such as rock, my influences are Linkin Park, Phil Collins, and Huey Lewis & the News to name the top ones that mold the music I compose.

      Pop, R&B, Hip/Hop and Rap influential artists include Tears for Fears, Prince, Seal, MC Hammer, Will Smith, Boys II Men, Beastie Boys, The Temptations, and Tay Zonday. Yet these latter influences only mold the lyrics I write. I tend to find myself singing songs about world events and people affected by the latter (crime, poverty, war, etc…).

      I also compose Classical music but mostly for composing movie or show “caliber” songs. Influences here are Steve Jablonsky (Transformers), John Williams (Star Wars et. all), and Murray Gold (Doctor Who). Then there’s the Electronica genre. Top artists I listen to for inspirations are Tiesto, Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, Daft Punk, and Akira Kiteshi.

      Lastly, in the jazz genre, my influences are Brian Culbertson, Fattburger, Yellowjackets, Special EFX, Hiroshi Kubota, Keiko Matsui, Paul Hardcastle, and Russ freeman & the Rippingtons.
  • MNotez: You don’t have a specified genre… if you could consider your music in a genre, or influenced by certain genre’s what would it or they be?
    • JGTraveler: If I have to consider a genre I’d fit in, Pop is what I would chose. This is because that the sounds or “feel” that I use are from Pop songs dating back to the 80s through mid 90s. I grew up listening to this music so my style mimics the songs that came out during that time. When I was in high school, I got into Anime and listened to J-Pop primarily. I still do today but draw influences mainly from both eastern and western style pop music.
  • MNotez: You have songs from all different genre’s and different influences, any genre you haven’t worked with yet that you’d be interested in trying out?
    • JGTraveler: World music. I’m basically limited to the sounds within FL Studio, Linux Multimedia Studio, and Reason. They may have all I need but the inspiration for World music (or any genre for that matter) to just “hit” me doesn’t come often. If it does, it’s mixed with another genre. I.E: I have a song called Passion Underground (Along with its remix in as another). The song is a Trance beat mixed with Latin and Eastern sounds. The melody is played by Pan Flute, which is mostly used in eastern music. In the beginning, the bongos and congas, primarily used in Latin music, are heard. So, to compose a song with no elements stringing from another genre it doesn’t work out to well yet my style combines many in one song. But as far as the World music genre is concerned, I haven’t composed much in it but would like to.
  • MNotez: If you could play with any other musician or band… who would it be? (past or present)
    • JGTraveler: Prince. There’s so many ways he expresses himself through his music in his lyrics and on his instrument(s) I can learn from, vice versa, and/or in possible collaborations.
  • MNotez: You’re open to collaboration, what type of collaboration are you looking for? Any specific music or skills you’d like to collaborate with your own?
    • JGTraveler: Lyrical collaborations. I make the beat and lyrics but the other collaborators can make up more verses. Or… They provide the beat while I and others do the lyrics! As for the genre, I prefer R&B and Electronica but any of the styles I’m accustomed and draw influences from will do just fine also!
  • MNotez: What do you consider your best skills to be as a musician? Anything that sets you apart from others to make you as unique as you are?
    • JGTraveler: My ability to 1) Compose a song containing multiple genre elements along with 2) Lyrics with stories people can relate to or “feel”. The latter tends to take people into another place in time, space, and/or dimension (most often related to my sci-fi and video game music). That’s what I also feel is contained within the uniqueness of my music.
  • MNotez: What’s the Cincinnati, OH music scene like for you?
    • JGTraveler: Slow actually. I can only pass out business cards to locals, hoping they would at least listen to my music if not buy it. That’s why most of my promotions are concentrated to the internet. I get more success there. I know there are people that could help me get things going here in Cincy. My business cards just haven’t found those people yet.
  • MNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
    • JGTraveler: I would like my music to help me support myself and the funds generated from it carry over to any other hobby I’m doing. The message I have is for all of those who are aspiring musicians, entertainers, filmmakers, etc… Negativity can be a crazy beast that can crush any musician’s dream, regardless of how popular and/or skillful you are. I’ve been the target of it and still am. Just ignore it all and stay focused on your dream. That’s the only way to defeat this monster.
  • MNotez: Out of all your songs… do you have a favorite? What is it? And why?
    • JGTraveler: Tough decision… Really! Yet lyric wise, this decision is a little easier to make. So, I’ll have to say that Didactic Traveler is my favorite out of all of my songs. Mainly because it’s talking about a journey everyone takes on the road through life in the passage of time, whether you’re good or evil. So in this song, I’m telling the story of a traveler who’s reflecting on the changes he’s been through in life, looking toward better times ahead. Along the way, he sees similar and different changes in other people’s lives, some affecting him directly or indirectly around the world.

      When you look up the word, “Didactic” it means 1) designed or intended to teach 2) making moral observations. In the song, the Didactic Traveler is doing both. He is teaching people about the world around him through his moral observations. Yet he leaves his listeners with a call-to-action… Join him in this journey and learn more like he has. This song hints towards a “spiritual” type of journey in this regard.

      Why this song is my favorite is because of the journey I’ve taken in my life. The Didactic Traveler is me speaking from experience; the listener sees the world from my point of view. More importantly, I see myself relating to this song more than any others I have composed over the years.
  • MNotez: How do you believe the internet helps the music industry or you as a musician?
    • JGTraveler: YouTube, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and so many more sites help anyone and everyone dreams become a reality. It has done so for Tay Zonday and Keenan Cahill. The internet has done quite the same for me also. I feel that I’ve reached a greater audience on the internet than if I was a full-time entertainer/musician/or what have you locally.
  • MNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music?
    • JGTraveler: I am also a video producer on YouTube (Under JGTraveler and 2kReturner). My music integrated in almost every video I do. Even if it is someone else’s (instrumental, sample, or derivative), my creativity shines through my work, making every scene I make right for any song I select for my videos, original or not! I have music available on iTunes, CDFreedom, Amazon, and Soundclick, check it out!

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