Jack Splash is a renaissance man. His production credits include the likes of Alicia Keys, Missy Elliott, and Jamie Foxx. His new Plantlife album Time Traveller brings him back to the role of front man, creating one of the most genre-blurring releases weâ€™ve seen in a while. Tracks swing between breezy anthems such as â€œSun Shines Through Your Loveâ€ to the horny punk-funk track, â€œTake It Off.â€ So what goes on behind the scenes, inside the mind of the man who is looking to create music you can vibe to, and look good doing it? Let the Time Travelling beginâ€¦
â€œhip-hop broke all of those barriers down and helped create the world that people like Martin Luther King and John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix always dreamt aboutâ€
Format: You give quite a shout out the first self-titled track off Time Traveller. What are you trying to say?
Jack Splash: Music itself is the real time traveler. Everybody usually wants to be remembered when they are gone, but for me, I realized that as a musician, the best way for me to leave my mark is through my music. I want to say everything that I want to say and do everything that I want to do musically while Iâ€™m here, so that after Iâ€™m gone, my words and vibes will live on forever. As strange as it may sound, John Lennon and Eazy E (from NWA) are both two huge influences on me and neither one of them are even alive anymore. Every day they influence me though because they gave their music 100% and itâ€™s so real that I can even feel it years after theyâ€™re gone. Their vibes are travelling through time. I think I just wanted to give some love to some of those types of artists who put 100 percent love into their music.
Format: You grew up listening to hip-hop, how has this affected your music? How has it affected you?
Jack Splash: I think hip-hop influences me as a human being. Iâ€™ve always been the type of person to ask questions and challenge authority. The biggest thing I learned from hip-hop is that anything is possible. Although society has always tried to put limitations on what people and culture can do, hip-hop broke all of those barriers down and helped create the world that people like Martin Luther King and John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix always dreamt about. Where I grew up in LA, seeing every ethnicity and culture wasnâ€™t even strange. It was normal to see everything all mixed up and beautiful. I think that culturally, hip-hop played a major part in that. The main way it affects my music is by never being wack or being on some bullshit. In hip-hop you gotta have style and need to be original, otherwise you arenâ€™t really hip-hop.
Format: Other than hip-hop, what influences your music?
Jack Splash: Everything influences my music. Life influences my music. Definitely girls influence my music. Going to clubs and getting drunk influences my music because sometimes Iâ€™ll just feel the music in an entirely different way. Politics influences my music because conservative people always bother me with their preaching and bullshit and total hypocrisy. I always feel like I need to speak out against the bullshit because not enough musicians do. For some reason they are too scared. Politics can also positively influence me like when I first heard about Barack Obama. I think he inspired me to be proud of being a dreamer again. He speaks for my generation and he speaks for the kids who want a better world and are willing to do the work to make it a better world. He made me want to write prettier songs again.
“I honestly love the world just as it is right now. I know that things are really messed up in a lot of places in the world, but the human heart is so amazing and beautiful.”
Format: You’ve worked on ton of albums including Alicia Keysâ€™ As I Am John Legend’s Once Again, Estelle’s Shine and we will be seeing your work in upcoming works with Missy Elliott and Cee-Lo. Where would you say you have left your strongest mark and why?
Jack Splash: Thatâ€™s a tough question. I donâ€™t really like to quantify my work that way. I honestly try to make the most incredible music with every artist I work with. Thatâ€™s why I turn down a lot of work because I donâ€™t want to just be working for the check. Iâ€™ve been making good money doing exactly what I love so I want to keep it that way. Almost every song Iâ€™ve produced for the artists I worked with have their very magical moments to me.
Me and Cee-Lo are like twins because weâ€™re both bugged the fuck out and want to keep taking people higher. Alicia is just the ultimate singer songwriter and sheâ€™s so fun to work with. Sheâ€™s real similar to me as far as us both being as much into hip-hop as we are other types of music. She was playing me some Janis Joplin songs before we wrote some of our songs. Same thing with Estelle, Solange, Raheem DeVaughn, John Legend and a lot of the other artists Iâ€™ve been working with. Every single one of them have magical moments that I wouldnâ€™t trade for anything. The most important thing to me is that I have fun making the music, because at the end of the day thatâ€™s what it is really about.
Format: Which of these collaborative albums have affected Plantlife’s music the most?
Jack Splash: I would have to say my answer is the same as the last question. Iâ€™m really a cultural sponge, so when I get around other fly people I always like to soak in their vibes and learn about their style, technique, etc. I can honestly say that Iâ€™ve learned a lot from every artist Iâ€™ve worked with. Alicia and I work in a very similar fashion as far as being excited to be in the studio and wanting to make as many songs as possible. Me and Cee-Lo like to hit the clubs first and party a little before we record songs. Either way, the magic has to be there for the music to turn out right.
Format: If you could time travel, where would you go and what would you do?
Jack Splash: Iâ€™m not sure if I would even really want to physically time travel. Although Iâ€™d love to go check out what was poppinâ€™ in America in the 60s and 70s, it might actually freak me out once I got there. As far as the future, I already feel like Iâ€™m livinâ€™ the future, so Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™d really wanna see what the actual future looks like. That would kind of ruin the surprise wouldnâ€™t it? I like surprises. I honestly love the world just as it is right now. I know that things are really messed up in a lot of places in the world, but the human heart is so amazing and beautiful and to be able to witness things like Bono helping relieve massive African debt, and Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates invest their hard earned money into building schools for disadvantaged children, and Barack Obama bringing love and positivity and change back to the forefront of American consciousness, and Cee-Lo showing the world that you can be exactly what you wanna be and be as free as you wanna be. Honestly, Iâ€™m happy right where Iâ€™m at.
“Thatâ€™s why I turn down a lot of work because I donâ€™t want to just be working for the check. Iâ€™ve been making good money doing exactly what I love so I want to keep it that way.”
Format: You have a video coming out for “Sumthin About Her.” Any sneak peeks you can share with us? How did you come up with the concept for the video?
Jack Splash: The one hint I will give you is that the video subliminally deals with love and escapism. I think the video is going to be very ill, but I want it to be surprise.
Format: There is a lot of genre bending going on in the music scene today, whatâ€™s your take on why that is?
Jack Splash: Music just reflects people. The people finally revolted against the bullshit constraints that the industry was trying to put on us. I donâ€™t know one person that Iâ€™ve ever met that only likes one type of music. I think artists are just finally taking control of their own destinies and the industry is finally seeing that that is what the people want so they are letting the artists do it more and more. Ainâ€™t nobody fresh like me though [laughs].
Format: What are you listening to these days?
Jack Splash: I listen to all types of stuff. It really depends on what mood Iâ€™m in. I like Santogoldâ€™s music and I also like Kanye Westâ€™s last album. I love a lot of the electronic and house music Iâ€™ve been hearing which is super funky, but I donâ€™t know all of the names of the groups. Sometimes Iâ€™ll also listen to some real soft acoustic stuff like America or the Eagles, I swear. It really depends on what mood Iâ€™m in. I always keep my Rick James DVD in my car though, just in case I feel like bringing out my inner Super Freak!
Format: What can we expect next from Plantlife?
Jack Splash: After this Time Traveller album that is out, Iâ€™ll be putting out my first major label record on J Records (Clive Davisâ€™ label). I signed with them after I did my work with Alicia Keys cause they really dug what I was doing and wanted to let me be as creative and wild as I want to be. Iâ€™m almost done with that new record and itâ€™s definitely on some new and improved shit. This Time Traveller album is like the appetizer so people gotta go get that and soak it in so they are ready for this next one. Also, weâ€™ll be touring America and Europe near the end of the year and our love show is really somethin different. If people dig the album, then they definitely gotta check out the live show cause the shows can get pretty wild!