EPR Spotlight – ELEVENER
Real Name: Jason Jeong
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Profession: Assistant stage manager at EPR
Hobbies: Making music, video games and sideshows
Affiliations: 40oz Cult, Basshead Delegation
“Live your life for yourself and enjoy what you love doing because at the end of the night you are responsible for your happiness.”—Jason J aka Elevener
Elevener’s musical journey started back 2011 as a home grown kid from San Francisco with a residency for WOMP. For the last couple years, since his 2013 hiatus, you can catch him locally at EPR San Francisco and has played various shows by National Entity, Cloud 10, Plur Alliance and underground parties. But instead of me breaking down Elevener, let’s hear from the man himself.
So Jason, how did it all started for you? Your influences?
For me it all began back when I was a kid growing up in the Bay Area (circa 2004-2005) listening to all the really good music coming out of Energy 92.7FM and Wild 94.9. My mom likes to credit herself and the music she listened to back before I was born with a lot of where I get my musical tastes from ( late 90s techno, freestyle and trance ). But quite honestly it
began musically for me in 2004 – 05’ when I really began to love and understand the impact music and EDM had on myself and my emotions. I was listening to really deep house and disco house along with trance ( ex: old Kaskade, Black Fras, Freemasons, ATB, Adam K & Soha ) to name a few. I get my influences all from the tracks that I used to hear on Energy 92.7FM because for me those were the tracks that I would listen to when I was down or chilling out with friends after school etc.
You took some time away from the music and scene in 2013, can you share your reasons? Were you ever compelled not to come back? What was it that brought you back?
I left the scene for some personal reasons in 2013. I also did it to save my mental health a bit. Years of partying and spinning in the local scene can take its toll on you if you don’t either pace yourself or take periodical breaks. I felt lost with my music and direction as a person so that break was something to set my mind straight. It was more of a journey to figure out who I was as a person, who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. I then had to devise a plan to go higher and farther when I returned because I realized no absence is forever. There might have been times where I was compelled to totally leave music altogether – but then I realized how much music in general played apart in my life as a whole. For me personally, when my friends welcomed the idea of me producing and performing again – that’s when I realized that I had to come back. Nothing was ever going to stop me from making music and playing that music because for now at least, I feel like I have just begun with my music’s mission. My music’s mission is to tell a story in every beat, to make you feel a certain way after you listen to it. Ultimately I just want to bring people together to feel the beat instead of drive people apart.
Let’s talk about your production, any new projects, collaboration or EP releases? Is there a sound or artist that inspires your creativity?
Well, in terms of production I am always working on something new. Some new idea or thought pops into my head daily whether I am at work, or just driving around hanging out. For instance, I have a track named “Finland” that I created while watching an episode of Spongebob Squarepants. The sample fits what style of dubstep I wanted to make. Ultimately it will be released for free within the coming months as part of a free EP that I am doing for my supporters. I figure once I finally break the barrier mark that I set for myself in terms of fan base; I’ll give a little reward (the EP) as a freebie as a way to say thank you to those who have supported me and my dream to make music. Right now my sound is mainly influenced by Canada and the UK (the artists coming out of those countries). I draw a lot of inspiration from Caspa and Rusko, the Circus Records crew, and Downlink – the OG’s of this thing called dubstep haha. I perceive sound visually, so that means that if I can hear a certain sound in a track – I can view the basswave that was created using that sound. A bit complicated but in short; people mainly hear the music and it makes them feel it; I hear it and i can visually see a certain sound that most people can’t.
Being influenced by Kaskade and the likes in your earlier days, you have some pretty clean progressive house tracks, ever thought of venturing back toward that sound?
I once made a remix for a friend who went by Nerd Funk; and it was my first crack at a progressive house track. I really liked it and wished we could have released it on time – but times were different back then. I feel like at some point I will return to making progressive house and other genres of EDM that aren’t bass oriented but really time will tell.
Since your introduction into the scene back in 2011 (and exposure to the music prior then), how do you view the scene today?
Well to be completely honest, I know for a damn fact that the scene has changed. Maybe it’s my own jaded views as being a raver first – and then an artist / DJ actually involved in running the shows. The scene has its ups and downs, respectfully – so I see it constantly changing in negative and in positive lights. It’s all in perspective really, because those who love the scene – don’t see why people dislike it; and vice versa those who dislike won’t want to hear about ‘why it’s so great’. Since I have been on both sides of the fence on this everlasting debate; I can love it some days and absolutely hate it on other days. I love that the fresh new energy of people who are first discovering EDM and the scene are keeping it alive – but at the same time I dislike the petty nonsense that is constantly perpetuating in the scene.
Do you think the bubble will burst on festivals due to drug mishaps?
I honestly do think that the bubble will burst on festivals – but not right now, and not due to drug mishaps. Drug mishaps are a blatant reminder of how you should always look out for yourself – and know what you are doing to your body. It’s a shame really that many festival goers forget to exercise the use of correct judgement when it comes to using substances. You can’t stop everyone from taking drugs, someone will always think of an idea to have a good time – but educating people more about how to control themselves is a major key to curbing the number of drug related injuries at these festivals.
What is next for Elevener, and how are you going to keep the momentum up and stay relevant?
Well right now, I have an upcoming release with a label out in Canada that I cannot really elaborate on too much – but after that expect a free new EP featuring some friends of mine who have collaborated with me on music. I have a ton of shows lined up all over California coming soon, and I should be on the road to Nevada soon for a couple of shows. Until I can achieve the end goal of getting on a major tour or playing a massive festival – I’ll keep on grinding and doing what make the most sense – making and playing awesome music.
Last but not least, your quote, “Live your life for yourself and enjoy what you love doing because at the end of the night you are responsible for your happiness.” Expand on that, how did you come up with it?
I realized that my own happiness was important in the end of any situation. It doesn’t matter if I was unhappy during a certain process of anything – as long as I’m happy with the final product or happy at the end of the day that’s all that should matter. I went from playing to an empty front room / underground cellar to rocking massive stages and packed sold out night clubs. I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t fun or a part of growing to be successful in this scene. I’ve gone through ups and downs in my life – and I’ve kept the outlook and goal pretty simple: Be Happy and enjoy your life because you only have one chance to live it. I’d rather be losing sleep and making money doing something that I love more than anything in the world; rather than having a regulated sleep schedule and adjusting to a normal 9 to 5 job making shit money. I ultimately want people to be happy and live life – because everyone deserves a chance to do that in their lifetime.