CMJ Preview: Jah C & Jaison Spain- More Than Just Underground…
by Keya Maeesha
New York City may be one of the best places in the world to find music. Why? Because it represents the perfect mixing bowl of genres, cultures, personalities, and overall styles of music. Deep hidden within the hustle and bustle of the city, there is a scene that many of us call “the underground”. This particular scene caters to those who are tired of what is normally referred to as pop culture music. In many instances, what you might find in the underground is far better than what you hear on the radio. If you dig deep enough, you might find something that you may like that peaks your interest. So what have I found? Oh, just an awesome duo who happen to be friends since childhood and decided to make some awesome music. Who am I talking about you ask? Jah C and Jaison Spain.
Making music together since 2001, and both residents of NYC (Jah C in Brooklyn and Spain in Harlem), these two are accustomed to stepping outside of the norm and making a name of themselves. Borne Clarence “Jah C” Fruster and Jaison Spain, these creative forces joined together to create magic. You may recognize these two from the group Jah C & The Antidote. If you’ve ever attended a hip hop show at one of Brooklyn’s most popular show venues, Southpaw, I’m sure you’ve seen these two rocking the stage and moving crowds. Music is what they live and breathe. They recently released their first official album together, Conception, that not only was highly anticipated, but received awesome reviews from those whomever took the chance to listen. Under Jah C & The Antidote, they have released a few small projects while keeping their fans and supporters anxious for their full live album release which is tentatively scheduled for Winter 2011. Their style of music is unique in that it doesn’t hit any one particular genre. “We are a good mix of alternative hip hop and soul” describes Spain when speaking of working with his friend.
And while some artists focus directly on their music only, these two gentlemen find the time to help others perfect their crafts. Fruster, the former Marketing and Events Coordinator for The Fader, currently serves as the Show Booker and Manager at Southpaw. Recognize him now? He’s the guy you see running around making sure artists and fans are enjoying the shows that are put on at Southpaw and that artists are comfortable during their performances. He does everything from production manager to closing out the venue at night. Spain works with young aspiring artists by serving as the Director of Landis Assembly Hall, and works as a mentor and coach for their basketball and lacrosse teams. The tattooed instructor is a favorite amongst his students and connects with them by encouraging them to aspire for something greater than themselves.
I’m not sure how much more I can say about these two other than they are ones to watch out for. Between their love for music, supportive nature to fellow artists, mentors to young kids, and creative flow, Jah C and Jaison Spain are definitely an artists’ artist. Jah C describes working with his best friend as this: “We love this culture. We support and put on the show. That’s what we represent- Having a good time and still remaining business minded. That’s what we’re all about.” Dope, right? These guys have my support 100%.
Jah C & Jaison Spain will be performing their CMJ Showcase at Southpaw on October 20, 2011. Make sure you don’t miss it.