In The Storm: JAQ Stops To Chat About His Music, Bass Ribbon Pines Festival, and MORE [Artist Interview]

Minneapolis-based Bass Music Artist JAQ Opens Up About His Origin, His Upcoming Shows, Working w/ Above The Line Talent Agency & Much More In Our Exclusive Artist Interview

EDM Weather Report By: Garth Jones

pictured: JAQ

Let’s Chat w/

Q1: Welcome to our storm, JAQ. For our readers and anyone who might not know, who is JAQ, what kind of music do you make, and how did your journey into music begin?

JAQ: My name is Jack and I DJ/Produce riddim and dubstep music. I started in the scene many years ago and have been a fan of all EDM music for years now. When I started going to shows I was instantly drawn to the heavier riddim and dubstep music because of my love of heavy metal and rock. I started my DJ career in Minneapolis, MN. My goal with my project was to build sets that viewers have the same feelings I had during my favorite sets. 

I feel like I could go on about who I am, how I got into the scene and what I did to get to where I am but really at my core I am just a lover of this scene, the music, the production and the people. Just a simple guy who likes loud music and good production.

pic by: @andrewdewitt20

Q2: Can you break down the JAQ moniker? Where does the name come from?

JAQ: The JAQ moniker came from, purely, my name. It highlights two sides of the same coin and when I perform I let out all the feelings I have during my everyday life.

I am a very mellow, relaxed person in my everyday life but when I am producing or performing I love to use the weirdest, heaviest and angriest music I can find to showcase a feeling or an emotion. My sets are generally built as chaotic, energetic hours that have twists and turns.

I used a slight variation of my name for my moniker to represent the difference between who I am and what I perform. They are very different in energy but at their core the style of my music and energy of performance is within me. 

I also used a slight variation of my name to give a personal feeling to my music and performances. Even if you don’t know me personally when you see one of my sets, listen to one of my tunes or when I meet new people, it makes it that you know me on a first name basis.

pic by: @isaiahmtb

Q3: Let’s talk about your music. Your recent track Born In The Darkness is a dubstep heater. What was the creative process and experience like? How did that release come to be?

JAQ: “Born In The Darkness” was a learning project for me. I was working on sound design one day while “The Dark Night Rises” was playing in the background. I thought the monologue given by Bane would be a perfect centerpiece to highlight the dark, heavy sounds I was creating. Then one thing led to the next and I had a first draft of the tune.

I have been learning to produce and as I continue to build my catalog and grow as an artist I wanted to release a project that shows where I am and what I have been doing behind the scenes. I have been working on many new tunes since releasing that track and I am very excited to be able to showcase some new tunes in my upcoming sets.

I plan to also do a rework/VIP version of “Born In The Darkness” to showcase the growth since its release sometime before the end of the year. 

Q4: You have several successful bootleg edits in your possession. What traits or characteristics do you look for in a track before starting a bootleg or edit?

JAQ: When I start working on a bootleg edit I generally just look for tunes I enjoy. I just find a tune I vibe with and try to put my own spin on it. I look for sounds and elements of the tune that would highlight sounds and elements I put in my originals. I feel that my bootleg edits are my view of how I would change a song I already love. I try to give it a my personal touch.

Q5: You have an event coming up! You’re playing the CALCIUM show with RZRKT, and Kliptic, among other opening acts. What can fans expect from this set?

JAQ: I am so excited for my upcoming show providing support for those legend. It is really an honor to be included in that show. I have so much planned for my set but the best way to describe it is heavy and chaotic… Lots of new doubles, new visual production and a few new tunes I am really excited to try out!

Q6: Bass Ribbon Pines Music Festival is closer than it is far! You are also playing at that festival (congrats). How excited are you and what do you have cooking up your sleeve for this performance?

JAQ: I am very honored and excited to be a part of such a cool event. Bass Ribbon Pines is a very unique and fun event with so much amazing talent. I am working on a lot of new tunes and edits for that set. I cannot wait to throw down at my first festival with so many friends and artists I have looked up to for years. 

Again, all I can really say in regards to that set is expect heavy and chaotic!

Q6: You’ve been working with Above The Line Talent Agency recently. How has that experience been working with Katlyn being represented by an agency as an artist?

JAQ: It has been a great experience. Kat has helped me navigate getting myself out of my home venue more. Pushing me to reach out to promoters and always pushing me to keep working to be the best artist and performer I can. She took a strong interest in my project and wants nothing more than to see me succeed!

Q7: What advice would you give someone who wants to be in your shoes as a performing artist, DJ, and producer?

JAQ: The best advice I can give someone is just start trying. When I began I had no background in music other than listening to it. But eventually just trying to start learning has spiraled into me learning something new everyday and growing more and more!

Q8: If you could headline a festival anywhere on the planet, where is it and who are you bringing with you?

JAQ: If I ever have the opportunity to play at a festival like Lost Lands or EDC [Electric Daisy Carnival] it would truly be an honor. Honestly, I would be honored to play anywhere. I just enjoy playing music and providing an experience for the viewer. Anytime I play a show I just love bringing my friends and being surrounded by the people who push me to be my best and support me in pushing my career.

pic by: Maddie Reagan

Q9: What else can we expect from you in the near future and for the rest of 2023?

JAQ: Like I said, I am working on new music all the time. I am working on finishing up some new tunes that I plan to release by the end of 2023. Always working to improve and build my sets into the best thing they can be so people can expect my sets to continue growing and evolving.

Q10: Give the folks who have helped you get to where you are today a loud and loving shoutout! 

JAQ: I have so many people I want to thank. I have so many family and friends in my circle pushing me to be the best I can and live a life I love but I specifically would love to single out a few very influential people.

For starters I would love to give a massive shout out to Jeff Stache. Jeff is my VJ and the creative mind behind all of my visuals. He is an amazingly talented artists who has an incredible ability to visualize my sounds and create images that represent what I am trying to convey with sound.

Secondly, I want to thank Freddie Gallardo. Without Freddie I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today. One day he we were talking about DJing and he jokingly asked when I was going to learn to spin sets. I gave him the same response I would give many people, “Oh I don’t know how to make music” or “I don’t know how to play on a CDJ” but his response remained the same… “have you tried?” Planting that simple concept of trying gave me the confidence to just begin learning. After playing on some friends controllers and learning a little bit about how to play I fell in love with it. Without Freddie planting that idea of “trying” in my brain I would’ve never started.

Thirdly, I would like to single out Spencer Tuttrup. I met Spencer when I started working in the scene and that man was an amazing friend from day one. He genuinely cares about everyone in his life and I am honored to call him a friend. Spencer made my first logo I ever had for a set. Taught me so much about DJing and he always pushes me to be the best human being I can be. 

But again, I am only singling out 3 people but the list of people I would like to thank is endless. All my friends and family push me to be the best artist I can be everyday!

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