After the release of his second EP of 2017, Great Guy DX, I felt the time was right to know Jowin better. For those whom don’t Jowin is a musical artist and creative in every sense of the word. After discovering him this year, I’ve learned he brings something new to R&B. His music is a blend of genres with inspirations from decades past. However the Macon Georgia native is tap into something new and fresh for listeners. I’m confident enough to say Jowin is a part of the next shift for soulful music in the very digitally connected world.
So what exactly goes on in the mind of someone like Jowin? Well enjoy our sit down interview with him to find out.
Most people may not know but you’ve been an artist for sometime. How long have you’ve been active as an artist?
Jowin: 2010 is when I became active, so 7 years now. I’ve been writing and did more casual work before then obviously. But 2010 was when I officially got serious about music.
What age were you when you decided to pursue music? Or what event(s) can you cite that inspired you to purse music? – Your origin story if you will.
J: I had been rapping, writing, and recording with friends throughout high school. By the time high school was done, enough people in school saw potential in me. Also, I loved doing it so I decided to pursue it seriously once college started.
Your new EP is titled Great Guy DX. DX can mean deluxe or director’s cut. I think what you wanted to invoke was that your giving listeners something extra? Or something extra of yourself creatively?
J: Honestly, DX just sounded really cool. But also, the title is mainly a funny reference to my love life and my social life. I’ve had women tell me “You’re a great guy but” when they want to let me know I’m not they’re type, mostly in reference to me not having an edgy image.
I’ve had many friends hit me with the “you’re too good all the time” thing too in various situations and using that as an explanation for why things don’t go certain ways for me. This project was me letting the world know that I can be the nice guy and still finish first. I can have my values and still get what I want out of life.
Your music is for a word, refreshing. It pays homage to RnB and soul of the 1990s for example. But it’s definitely your own. When do you think you began to conceptualize “Jowin’s” modern sound?
J: I made a song with Plue Starfox called Please Save Mii in 2013. That was the moment that I felt I was on to something. It tapped into every aspect of my taste. I grew up on black gospel, R&B, TLC and cheesy movie soundtracks. That song encompassed all of that. So from that point on I realized that I wanted my music to continue in that direction.
So you are a songwriter, producer, singer, rapper, director, and etc. Is it difficult to juggle these hats when creating music? Do they all mesh together to allow you that cohesive vision? By the way, you seem to have a good number of hats.
J: Once I took the time to become technically proficient at every hat, it was no longer difficult. I’ll kinda know how the lyrics for a song are gonna go before I even finish an instrumental. Rapping and singing are the same thing to me. Using my voice as an instrument, in whichever way fits the production. As far as video directing though, that part is hard because the time investment is too great and the return is too small these days. So its harder to get motivated to juggle that along with everything else.
This is unfair I know. But whom are your biggest artistic influences now or when growing up? Do you often go back to their past works for inspiration. If not whom do you look to for inspiration?
J: The Pharcyde, TLC, Brandy, Utada, Janet Jackson and K-os are my vocal/songwriting inspirations.
Production wise, my inspirations are; Teddy Riley, Darkchild, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Dilla, Stevie Wonder. I could go on for days with that part, there are too many. Even some lesser known acts like A Emcee Muzik and Bo En are huge inspirations to me.
Your music is very colorful and happy but you talk about serious matters in your soulful tunes. Love, loss, being free, these are common themes throughout the EP. Did you gravitate to these subjects as a form of catharsis?
J: Yeah definitely, it’s an interesting contrast. I think it gives hope. Acceptance in how things are but still hopeful. I always loved when some black 90s movies would play a dreamy R&B song during the end credits no matter how heavy the movie got. That contrast resonates with who I am as a person I think. Its hard to explain.
You have very subtle nods to anime and video games with your brand/imagery. In your Time music video for example. You’re rocking a Steven Universe outfit, you have a gundam leg in the closet, and a tentomon plushie in the refrigerator. I would imagine what your telling us is that these are active influences to your art?
J: I think more than anything anime is an aesthetic influence for me. Its informed how I see things visually alongside my music. My cover art, my music videos, the way I dress, all is informed by anime in some way. I’m subtle about it because I want to channel the “spirit” of anime through my aesthetic, I don’t want to directly reference anime through my aesthetic. Doing that wouldn’t be very interesting or compelling for me.
Another big message across both EPs your released in 2017 is being true to yourself. You end Great Guy DX with the song “Great”, which speaks this up in a very honest way.You sing about the fact you’re OK with moving on.
From bad relationships that accept you for you. You’re telling us that it may hurt but that’s the best (and it is). Is being thy true self the biggest message you want to be taken from your music?
J: 100%. Cliche message but it relates to every part of life.
I feel you have a lot of confidence with your place in the world of music. Can you share a little of what we can expect next?
J: I released enough work this year. I want to start performing it live. And I’ve already started getting back to producing for other things besides my own projects. That’s the shift right now.
Bonus round. What would fans like myself be surprised to know about you?
J: I was actually pursuing a Nursing degree for two years at one point but changed my mind. Kinda boring answer but its the social media era, I feel like I’ve put a lot out there already lol.
Ok, I didn’t know that about him for sure. It’s true Jowin is quite honest about what’s on his mind via social media. He’ll muse about his creative process. His musical influences and some anecdotes about his life. Oh and of course videogames if you happen to play them.
I’ll be following Jowin certainly to see what’s next. If you like what you heard of Jowin’s music and his personality you can follow him on