Interview with Titus Jones

I recently had an opportunity to have a quick chat with upcoming mashup giant, Titus Jones.

 

What can you tell me about your musical background and interests?

My musical background and interest? Well, I’ve always loved music. My Dad’s family was very musical. Growing up, my aunt played the piano, and my¬†grandparents¬†sang, and everyone was just really musically inclined (whether they knew it or not). I taught myself to play piano by ear, and started writing music in high school. It was also in high school that I downloaded a copy of Cool Edit Pro, and began editing the intros and outros to the music in my iTunes for fun. It wasn’t long after that I was approached by my high school’s dance team to make them a cheer mix. I had been hearing mashups on satellite radio (Smells Like Booty, and others from that time period), and so I made them a few mashups. They were awful. But the dance team loved them, so I made more. I haven’t really had any classical musical training. I tried to join the choir in college, but dropped out because I couldn’t read the sheet music. Haha! Music has always been more about the overall feeling and waveforms on a screen to me, rather than notes on a page. Sure, I put notes on a page when I write music, but when I’m listening to a song, I’m “seeing”, not just hearing it. Everything I’ve learned about mashups has been through trial and error, advice from fellow DJs, and just taking a risk because the music “felt” right.

You can see our posting of the album cultureSHOCK
by Titus Jones here on MashupCiti

So putting together this mashup album, what was some of the inspiration, goals and ideas you had in creating this?
Wow umm… Well, I had just graduated college and moved to Nashville in September of 2010. I was searching for a job, but in the mean time I had all of this sudden free time on my hands. In 2009 I only released 2 mashups (A Circus Of Heartbreakin’ Divas and Good Girls Burn Miami), but I released 3 the first month of living in Nashville. I just had so much more free time to sit and make mashups. It was then that I realized how much energy I could concentrate into making mashups, and the idea of making a mashup ALBUM just evolved naturally.
When I started out with the idea of the album, I knew right away I wanted it to be all brand new material. I didn’t want it to be a collection of my older stuff. I wanted a fresh set of tunes. This was all in early October of 2010. I also was certain that it would need to be full of Titus Jones style mashups (multi-song dancable pop mashups, with a tinge of 80’s flare haha!). So I started working on it every spare moment I had. About half of the album came so easy, then I hit a road block. I took a break for about a month, and then my mashup writer’s block subsided, and I was able to finish the second half of the album. I also wanted to collaborate with a few people. Some of the collaborations never panned out, but I did get to work the amazing Leslie Hall (www.lesliehall.com) on “How We Go Out (The Stomp! Remix)” as well as New York Outlaw (http://www.youtube.com/user/NewYorkOutlawz) on “Don’t Stop Believin’ In This Love On Earth”. I think the main goal I had for making this album was to make something people would fall in love with, and dance to while doing so.

 

Nice! Leslie Hall FTW!

What’s next for Titus Jones? And, if you had to choose, Pirates or Ninjas?

As far as what’s next for me? Your guess is as good as mine. I’ll be playing my first gig at Club Bootie on March 26th, at DNA Lounge in San Francisco. I’ve played a few smaller gigs in the past, so it will be exciting to see people having a good time, dancing to stuff that I created on such a large scale. I’ll definitely keep making mashups, as it’s something I simply love to do. And I’d like to start playing more gigs. I’m not really sure where mashups could take me, but I’m so passionate about music, and music production – I think that producing original music is something I’d love to see myself doing in the future. I love writing music, and the entire musical creation and production process, so working directly with an artist would be a dream come true.
I’m fairly new to the mashup scene, as I’ve only been making mashups for a few years. Some of my older stuff goes back to 2006, but my sound has definitely evolved and changed in such a short time. But that is to be expected, because I was just learning as I went. I had no clue about song key and different time signatures and things like that when I started out. I just threw some tracks into a sound editor and hoped they sounded decent together! So I can definitely say I’ve learned and grown as a producer a LOT these past few years, and I can only hope I continue to learn and continue to grow in the years to come.
And if I had to choose, I’d say ninjas. They’ll sneak up on ya. *looks over shoulder*
Find more on Titus Jones at: