Not many artist come into my mind that can do what JMSN does. From the time that an idea becomes a project, to when it is being distributed to the press and carriers. Christian Berishaj manages every aspect of his career. After being signed to a few labels and working producing music behind other artist. Christian became the rebel trapped in the shades of LA’s music industry. But being an independent artist and a rebel of major labels could pay off. We’ve seen it with Chance the Rapper and we see it now with JMSN, who decided to release his art free of censorship.
A bold move by a bolder human being, who has just too many stories to tell and too many visions in mind. His work with the ‘Blue Album’ was visionary at least. His insinuating vocals got most of us feeling a type of way and his visual work was an open invitation the incautious life of JMSN. Vaporwave vibes and sinister story lines about addiction, sex and money overtook the VHS visual version of the ‘Blue Album’. 90 minutes of car chases, transgender strippers, K Pop dancing and all types of weirdness that only he can get is on board with. The film can also be found on Youtube for your high pleasures.
Now, approaching a new album cycle and with a brand new look, JMSN approached a more serious and elegant tone with the lead single ‘Cruel Intentions’, a heartfelt story about unsustainable relationships based of games and fake intentions. We caught up with the Detroit native to find out what we can expect for 2016 and find out what really drives his ardent soul.
-Congratulations on ‘Cruel Intentions’, it is such a great track. It seemed like a very personal track. Very heartfelt and soulful. Where does this track come from? What inspired the song?
A lot of stuff happened before the blue album in my life. The album kind of stems from that. This was the first track I wrote for the new album. I thought people were looking out for me, but found out that I may have been naive. This album was a therapy for me to look at myself and take control of my own path.
-The music video for it takes an even more personal touch with a single shot of you narrating to the camera, it felt more serious and elegant. Are you leaving the Lo-fi graphics and vaporware-like videos behind for good?
Never know what will happen in the future honestly. It’s just a different time now. I have a different vision for the new music and will probably have another different one when I make new music. It’s just the flow of things.
-Through out every phase of your career, with every project we got to see a different artist. It wasn’t until you founded White Room Records that we got to see the real JMSN.Do you think that there was a reinvention process for this upcoming album?If so how meaningful is it to you as the JMSN we know now?
Of course there is always a reinvention process for every album I make. I’m constantly evolving as a human and an artist. That’s the most important thing to me. I have to be growing throughout everything I do.
-You are definitely one of the busiest solo acts in the industry. From touring, producing and recording, to planning distribution and the art direction of your work. Do you think its worth being in complete control of your art?
Yea definitely 100%. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want you to get me not someone else’s version of what they think I should be.
-I sense that the character of JMSN is much of a distinguished loner, a bohemian soul who is not afraid to point out the darkest and sinful thoughts of the underworld. Where many other R&B singers focus too much on personifying sex and drugs in narcissistic ways. JMSN really digs deeper into what human insecurities and addiction can do to a vulnerable soul. How do you think you compare to other R&B singers?
They are them and I am me. We take things in differently. Just like every person, R&B or not. We’re all very different people who digest things in millions of different ways.
-I mean we’ve seen you stalk an ex girlfriend, being chased and beaten up by the police, to even making it rain on a transgender stripper in your music videos. How do you manage to separate your personal life apart from the JMSN persona? Is JMSN in a way a representation of Christian’s personal experiences?
Of course. I want to be open to all things in the world and I never ever wanna be censored. I go with what I feel.
-I noticed that on soundcloud both your personal work and collaborations do very well. Are there any exiting collaborations in the works?
There’s a couple of things I’ve worked on but I don’t usually know if they’re coming out until they’re coming out hahaha. The way of the world.
-I think now days most artist in this industry are linked to each other and help promote each other. Either by being in the same label, or an art collectives or by their local scene. Do you think that with you being such an independent artist It might make it more difficult for you to find the exposure?
For sure, but I’m not trying to ride anyones coattails or wait for a cosign. I want people to come to me because they’re drawn to me. Not because someone told them its cool. Yea its a tougher road but it’s more fulfilling for me.
-The Blue Album imagery and vibe was very reminiscing of Detroit in the 90’s. Do you still hang out in the city? I’ve heard that there is a big underground industrial scene on the rise.
Is there? That’s so amazing. I go back every once in a while to play shows or any other creative endeavor.
-When can we expect more music from you?
I will have two albums coming out this year.
-If you could handpick three artist for Spotify to match you with, under the “Related Artist” category. Who would you pick and why?
I have no clue hahahahaha there’s artists I would like to be in company of but my music sounds nothing like hahaha.