Fresh Face Fridays | An Exclusive Interview with JayCeeOh
Some of you So Cal clubgoers may know JayCeeOh as the resident DJ at your favorite Los Angeles hot spots, while the rest of you – and maybe even your moms, may recognize him from the VH1 hit TV show “Master of the Mix” – a DJ competition he won in 2013. While all that may be relevant and fun, there is so much more to this multifaceted DJ/producer who is steadily on the rise. Only The Beat sat down with JayCeeOh for an exclusive interview to talk about future endeavors, highly anticipated collaborations and Smirnoff Vodka. Get to know the real JayCeeOh here as he spearheads his way into the industry with his pristine eclectic presence.
Jake Osher, aka JayCeeOh, is an LA based DJ/producer with urban roots and electronic charisma. Having been born in Los Angeles, predominantly raised in Pittsburgh then spending the bulk of his early adulthood in Boston and New York City before moving back to Hollywood, Jake comes armed with inherent diversity as he represents two coasts – both he credits for developing him into the versatile artist he is today.
“What I’m really happy about is how I moved around so much in my life – that I was able to grab the best elements of each coast and each city that I’ve been in and incorporated all that into my music and style and how I approach things.”– JayCeeOh
Brought up in a family with a variation of artists, creativity was not only planted in Jake’s genes, it was strongly encouraged in his household. Inspired by a video shown to him in junior high school of a hip-hop battle featuring the X-Ecutioners, Jake’s newfound love for underground hip hop immediately prompted him and his childhood friend to take their parents’ old record players and try their hands at scratching and recreating the sounds they heard in their favorite songs. It was then that Jake discovered his unwavering passion for mixing and making beats. He devoted his free time in between school, graffiti and skateboarding to teaching himself how to DJ.
In high school, Jake really focused on honing his craft, determined to master the art of mixing. Here, he began to meet and work with many underground hip hop artists in the Pittsburgh area, one in particular bein his former schoolmate Cameron Thomaz, aka Wiz Khalifa, whom he performed with on several occasions in their early careers.
Jake made the move to Boston to attend college in pursuit of a Media Arts degree. After winning a DJ competition as a freshman, Jake joined the university radio station. It wasn’t long before JayCeeOh became a household name on the airwaves. While being a member of the radio station, Jake played an active role as a DJ and on-air personality. He even served as an artist liaison of sorts for the station, where he brought the hip hop scene to life and made connections with notable players in the hip hop game. By the end of his schooling, Jake had worked with every single hip hop artist in the Boston area before “reaching his ceilings” and deciding to take on New York City.
“I was done being the underground hip hop battle guy. I’ve got to start new, I can’t be some background guy. I wanted to do my own thing and make my own way, so I moved to New York City”
While living in NYC, Jake learned the hard way that underground rap records didn’t necessarily prove to be successful in the clubs, so he devoted his time to studying all the different genres of electronic music. He became a student of everything from house and dubstep to top 40 tracks while continuing to perfect his technical skills. Here he was able to branch out, expanding his horizons and repertoire to become an adaptable DJ that could play anywhere. Though NYC wasn’t his first exposure to the club scene, Jake notes his experiences as a DJ in the big city as his most developmental in terms of becoming a true artist.
“The city really kicked my ass, but my years there are where I developed my sound to where I am now”
When I asked the now Los Angeles-based Jake how he would describe his sound now that he’s come full circle, he jokingly says, “well, immediately it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly what JayCeeOh is because I do so many different things… I’m like a chameleon with music.” Jake’s live sets clearly demonstrate his extensive musical collection. Although he may not identify with any one, or even two genres fully, Jake has made it clear that he is a true artist who carefully squeezes all of the best qualities out of his influences, bringing them together to produce and an all-too-unique concoction of music. Jake has enabled himself to fit in with any genre in the industry, allowing for future collaborations to be as wide-ranging as humanly imaginable.
Jake acknowledges artists like Diplo and A-Trak as some of his biggest electronic music influences. He has performed alongside both and admires each for their artistry. Diplo’s ability to expand beyond EDM and make records with artists from other genres, while always staying relevant to the scene is something Jake envisions for himself in the future, “In the long run, I want to be a widely recognized artist. I see myself going in that same direction but by paving my own way.” The technical and live performance part of DJing is something Jake takes great pride in. He looks up to A-Trak for his impeccable ability to scratch and mix live, something Jake has spent years mastering and is confident is one of his biggest qualities that separates him from other artists in the industry.
“I keep it real. Everything I do I stand by.”
In 2014, you can expect an artillery of original tracks to be unleashed from JayCeeOh. A series of solo projects and top-secret collaborations featuring artists from all musical spectrums are currently in the works and Jake is as anxious as ever to release them all for the world to hear. He will also be performing with 2 Chainz and Pusha T on select dates of their tour in between embarking on his own tour through North America.
Don’t be surprised if you see Jake plastered across a Smirnoff Vodka ad at your local liquor store. He is the official face of Smirnoff Vodka for the fiscal year of 2014 and can be found doing his thing behind the decks at their biggest annual parties rocking his Sol Republic gear (yet another brand he is an ambassador for).
You won’t want to miss JayCeeOh when he stops at a city near you:
2/14 Studio Paris- Chicago
2/15 Clear Fork
2/18 Fox Theater – Oakland ( performing w/ 2 Chainz)
2/20 The Observatory -Santa Ana (performing w/ 2 Chainz)
2/22 The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino- Las Vegas (performing w/ 2 Chainz)
2/22 1OAK – Las Vegas
2/26 The Mint- Scottsdale
3/1 Queens Republic – Vancouver
3/7 Sparefoot showcase (SXSW)- Austin
3/13 Sol Republic showcase- Austin
3/15 Liquid Pool- Las Vegas
3/21 Hotel Nightclub- Kansas City
3/22 EDGE Nightclub- Reno
3/30 Official WMC event
4/11 Emerson Theater – Hollywood
4/16 Empire Music Festival – Guatemala
4/18- Hooligans – Jacksonville
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