Dedicated to the craft, German artist JATA has been professionally linked to music nearly half his life. Starting his former years as a hip-hop dj and thereafter developing his sound through further education in Jazz, JATA has swerved his attention to the forefront with his solo career. Having already treated us to “The Curse” and “Drowning In Your Arms,” it is evident of JATA’s presiding use of the smooth fusion between R&B and electro-synth. No less present in the premiere of his newest track, “Startime” is a mid-tempo myriad of textured tones with echos of celestial like character; of which sort influence from Jazz musician Sun Ra. Take a listen above and look further into the artist with our conversation down below as he delves into his musical career, influences and his current tracks as of late. “Startime,” alongside the previous two tracks, will feature on his debut EP The Bells 1 which will be out July 6.
How long have you been in the music scene for?
If I include my early years as a hip-hop DJ it would be roughly half my life. But I guess I started considering a career in music in my early twenties. Which is actually quite late compared to many of my peers I got in touch with through studying jazz at university.
Where does your name come from?
It’s actually an acronym of the name that this project used to have.
You began your career as a DJ and producer, what encouraged your switch to solo frontman?
I was always working on my own stuff on the side. As this is what I enjoy doing most it was only a matter of time until I concentrated on my solo career. However, in the end I hope it circles back so I can collaborate with more amazing people in the future. Be it as a producer or a guest singer, it’s all great fun!
Was it a natural transition or were you met with obstacles?
Actually it was never a question of either/or. The greatest thing about being a “professional” musician is that you don’t have to limit yourself to only one thing. You have so many possibilities and you basically have an infinite learning curve. The more you evolve, the more you realize what there is still to learn. When I look/listen back to old stuff that I have done, I wonder why anybody supported me in the first place…
Where do your major influences and inspirations stem from?
STEVIE WONDER: Be it his songwriting, vocal phrasing or production (which still bashes 99,9% of the modern stuff out there.) Please check the bass sound on “Too High” what???. Stevie is THE man.
How about artists you’d love to collaborate with?
On the top of the list there surely is Flying Lotus, I am huge fan of his. But there are countless people that I love. I am really digging the latest releases of Royce Wood Junior. What a great singer/songwriter/producer/musician. I am also really getting interested in rap again: Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Zebra Katz, MF Doom only to mention a few. Great stuff out there at the moment.
2015 has been quite the fruitful year in terms of major music releases, any tracks you’ve had on constant replay?
I love “Perfect Ruin” by Kwabs. What a singer. I don’t really get why this song seemed to be less successful than many of his other songs. “Sober” by Childish Gambino was super nice as well. Although I’m not sure if that was in late 2014…
Main goals for the second half of 2015?
Finish my second EP and really start digging into my debut album. Until now it was more just going from track to track. The big fun starts when you start creating a bigger body of work. I still love the album format. At the moment I’m working on getting the live setup sorted out. As I don’t want to play in a “normal” live-band setup, I have to find solutions for what I have in mind. These things are set: We will play as a trio and have lots of light and deco stuff with us.