Multiple Influences into One: Interview With JPS
Image from kkbox.com
Hip-Hop music has reached international regality for a few decades now, from the influence groups like Wu-Tang Clan had in their prime to the influence of Nujabes in Japanese street culture. I came across a humble producer on SoundCloud while perusing for lo-fi hip-hop beats who goes by the alias of JPS. JPS is a small-time producer from Niigata, Japan who has been making beats for around a year or so, who recently released a small EP called Spray Confliction. The EP is twelve tracks of sunny, lo-fi hip-hop beats taking samples from various old movies and music and adding them to bouncing drums. The second track, “Outride,” envelopes cheery dialogue and guitar notes with hard-hitting drums.
Despite everything that has been happening in the world today, Spray Confliction just happened to be released at the right time. Other tracks, such as “Monin” and “Front of Me,” manage to hit different positive points while expressing a unique vibration of their own. While “Outride” is glossy and lively, the track “Lazy Lad” sounds wholesome with its use of sampled piano chords and crenelating drum pads. The whole project can be listened to while studying for classes or strolling through a local park on a cloudless day. I wanted to reach out to JPS to understand the person behind these assuaging sounds.
Image from enjoyniigata.com. Image of Yahiko Shrine
JPS is currently a university student who lives in Niigata, Japan, studying for his Economics degree.
What inspired you to start making music?
JPS: When I was thirteen, I was really into Rock music and bought a guitar. For a while, I was active in a small band with some friends, but after a while, Hip-Hop music had a bigger influence on my and inspired me to produce Hip-Hop beats instead.
Would you say there is more of a Japanese influence or western influence in your art? Or do you think there is a fair combination?
JPS: I would say it is a fair combination. I am influenced by a lot of different music, art, friends, and culture to make music. It’s not like one culture really outweighs the other, I’m influenced by a lot of different things that all impact how I make my music.
Image from cramscram.bandcamp.com. Image of Cram displayed on his Bandcamp page.
What artists are you listening to right now?
JPS: I’m currently listening to this Japanese beat maker named Cram. He’s from Fukuoka, Japan, who now resides in Tokyo.
Where do you want to take your music in the future? Do you have any plans to expand upon your music journey?
JPS: After I complete my studies, I mainly want to focus on a growing career working in either Tokyo or Niigata. That has been my main focus. As far as the music goes, I don’t really have any grandiose expectations. I don’t really see much potential for Hip Hop beats in today’s age, so I would just like to see how far my music takes me. I’m really just having fun in the end.
From our brief conversation, it seems to me that JPS is a very laid-back and rational person. His music expresses that vividly. From the joyful dialogue and guitar samples to the sultry chords form different tracks, JPS shows himself to to be a thoughtful and overall positive young man who has a plan for his future, wherever it may take him.