Walk into the most thumping nightclubs and sweaty, wall-shaking basements from Lisbon to Los Angeles to Lima and you’ll understand why JSTJR’s global sound has earned him official releases on dance music’s top labels including Mad Decent, Fool’s Gold, SMOG, and most recently Insomniac/Interscope Records.
Hailed as the U.S. ambassador of Buraka Som Sistema’s zouk bass movement in America, the New England native has forged a love for regional sounds from around the world with his inherent tendencies for hip hop and experimental electronic production. His unique, hybrid and inclusive approach to dance music has earned him nods from an elite group of producers including Skrillex, A-Trak, and Diplo – the last of whom JSTJR worked with directly as a credited artist on the Major Lazer’s album Peace Is The Mission.
His latest project Never Squad Down, featuring the talents of Uniiqu3 & Ma-Less, is currently making waves across the country as JSTJR and his branded club night, "Plugged In" pop off in cities like LA, Austin, and Miami. Enamored by JSTJR’s booty shakin’ beats, we asked him to enlighten us with his favorite tunes for seshin’ out.
“Tone Twilight Zone” by Cornelius
I’d recommend listening to any and all Cornelius songs, but this one is especially cool. Super chill and the stereo field is out of this world. I remember I got a 5.1 surround sound system when I was like 14 or 15 and I set it up in my room (randomly placed of course) and sat in the middle of my room, eyes closed, letting the sounds wash over me. I wasn’t smoking weed JUST yet, but would always feel high af listening to cornelius anyway.
“16th Stage” by Osborne
My best friend and I would spend pretty much any weekend in high school getting high and driving around through the woods (in New Hampshire) and we’d take turn burning mix CDs to listen to on these drives. This is one that went missing for a while. He and I couldn’t remember the track and tried to for the longest time. A couple years ago one of us re-found it and we were so stoked. I don’t know what it is about this track I love so much, but it just never stops grooving. It’s hypnotic and funky and organic and…OK, I’m stoned.
“Tide Pool” by e*vax
e*vax is a project from one of the guys from Ratatat before they were a thing. It’s glitchy and video-gamey, but also has a cool, soft e-piano melody. I love the whole e*vax album - lots of bowls were packed and lots of college papers written to this music.
“Righteous Way to Go” by 9th Wonder
Yooooooooo - OK, so another thing me and my friends did while stoned was freestyle rap. All the time. We’re actually pretty damn good. Anyway, one of our favorite instrumental artists is 9th Wonder. We knew all the words to every one of his beats and would laugh our asses off incorporating them into our own raps. It’s really hard to pick my favorite 9th Wonder beat, but this one we’d always be like “CHOSE THE RIGHTEOUS WAY TO GO” to start a freestyle verse and laugh at each other for rapping it every damn time.
“Building a Ladder” by Hiatus Kaiyote
This is actually the track that starts off Drake’s new tune “Free Smoke.” One of my favorites from Hiatus Kaiyote, it’s full of emotion and she and the band are just so fuckin good! I get chills pretty much any time I hear this one. It’s the perfect blend of jazz, blues, classical, pop, funk, rhythm and blues.. just magic. Light a joint with your significant other and light some candles, cuddle up on the couch, and listen to this whole albu
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