AKA Jason Saldana
AGE : 22
BIRTHPLACE: Logan Square Chicago
Q: When did you know you were creative?
A: Since I was 10 years old and I got my first guitar for Christmas. I was self taught and started learning every Beatles song I could.
Q: What does being an artist mean to you?
A: That’s an interesting question. I don’t actively go out of my way try to be an artist. I consider myself a creator. Whether it’s music, photography, or even graphic design, It just kind of comes out. It’s all rooted in the foundation of passion. I do it because I love it. Obviously you’ve got to be excellent at everything you do, but to me being an artist revolves around constantly creating. Staying occupied creating things. I don’t create because I have to, I create because I want to. It’s amazing to bring something into existence.
Q: What inspires your music?
A: There are several factors that inspire my music. Initially it would be my own personal experiences, however as far as the stylistic influences, I actively aim to have an ever-changing variety of music to listen to. Underrated things, obscure things, things people don’t hear on the radio; old and foreign music. My music heavily merges Latino influences with elements of the genres I grew up listening to such as rock, indie-alternative, “rock en espanol”, reggaeton, cumbia, and emo pop punk.
Q: How would you describe your sound?
A: Evolving. Every song is different. I like mixing elements of the things that shaped me growing up, and fusing them together with my own interpolation of them.
Q: Is it harder or easier to express one’s creative self in 2019? Why?
A: Both. It’s easier because of the platforms, however people are highly opinionated. Everyone thinks they’re right.
Which place in the universe do you feel reflects your music the most?
A: Here. My home in Logan Square. A place I am not from cannot accurately reflect me, because it is not what created me. My surroundings directly impact my experiences which directly impact my music. The corner store, where I’d buy Swiss Rolls for 25 cents, or the taqueria across the street where I’d go on Sunday mornings as a kid, or simply having water fights in the front lawn in the summer, and having to go inside before sunset because of the neighborhood gangs. All these memories fuel my creativity and nostalgia.
Q: Are there any current or past musicians or artists that motivate you?
A: I listen to a plethora of artists. I grew up obsessed with The Beatles, which later shifted towards my infatuation with Green Day, and eventually opened the doors for me to explore more pop fueled rock. As a pre-teen, I loved The Jonas Brothers. In high school I began to dabble more with classical music, jazz, and singer-songwriters like Ed Sheeran, Bon Iver, and Damien Rice. My introduction into hip hop and rap wouldn’t come until I was 17, and I’d become completely in love with it. I enjoyed that because at an older age, I was able to fully digest and appreciate all the musical/lyrical elements of the genre and better incorporate it into my own sound. Then, with the coming of Latin trap in 2017… The rest is history.
Q: Would you rather spend a day in the studio with Drake or Michael Jackson?
A: Well, Michael Jackson was the king. He was on top of the game, (arguably created the damn game, in the 70s & 80s) and continued shaping it for decades after. Today, Drake is one of the biggest artists in the game currently. I’d probably say Michael Jackson simply for his experience and legacy.
Q: What is your favorite thing about music?
A: That it is the literal one thing in my life I don’t have to try super hard to be great at. It’s been my best friend and companion since I was 10 years old. My outlet. I learn from music, and it learns from me. We create together and channel some of the deepest feelings and thoughts. It is literally a funnel for me to channel my thoughts directly from my mind to someone else’s.
Q: Do you have a favorite project you have completed?
A: Every project I make is my favorite. Someone once told me that we should never say, “This is my best work to date”. Every project should be considered your best. You should put the same amount of faith and energy into everything you make. So my favorite project is every project I make.
Q: How do you want people to interpret your songs?
A: I want them to make them theirs. I want them to take the songs and give them their own meaning. Make them theirs.
Q: What 3 works of art would you use to describe your sound?
A: The front of a Loteria Card, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: II. Allegretto, and Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh.
Q: What are some of your future goals and aspirations?
A: To help people feel less alone, more loved, and healed through my music. I want to travel the world, and I want to have a lot of pets.
Q: Would you say that art/music has had an impact on you?
A: It has kept me alive.
Q: Tell us a something that you do not portray in your music that still means alot to you.
A: The importance of being innovative as an entrepreneur and philanthropist.