By Janine DeFano
JASON WALKER HAS A LOT TO BE ‘SO HAPPY’ ABOUT THESE DAYS
His latest track – a collaboration with two-time Grammy-nominated dance producer Tony Moran and gospel singer-turned-electronic dance music phenomenon (for his work with David Guetta) Chris Willis – is already in the top 20 on Billboard and is rising.
The song is a feel-good track, because, as Jason explains, “With all that’s happening in the world today, isn’t that what everyone wants?”
“The dance floor is my happy place,” he continues. “It’s where I can forget my troubles and let the music take over. For me, music is the universal truth, and when a hard beat pulses through my body, there is simply no better feeling than that. My hope is that ‘So Happy’ lifts listeners to their own place of pure joy.”
Jason Walker grew up in Pittsburgh, singing in church choirs and local R&B and blues bands. He first shined on the national spotlight with a winning performance on TV’s “It’s Showtime at the Apollo.”
Since then, he’s had seven top-ten songs, including two #1s (“Foolish Mind Games” and “Set It Free”).
“I am truly the definition of ‘So Happy,’” Walker says. “In my career, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with all the dance greats, from Junior Vasquez to Bimbo Jones, and now Tony Moran!” We spoke with him from his home in New York.
To start with, you must be so happy with how the song is doing.
This record was the biggest project that I’ve ever undertaken. So much love and attention from both Tony [Moran] and myself, and the video director Karl Giant went into it! We really poured all of ourselves into it. As far as the chart goes, I’m just grateful.
It’s risen up the charts really quickly!
It began as a #1 Breakout Record, then the Hot Shot Debut, then it was the chart’s Power Pick!
It used to be that a song would gradually climb to the top ten and then remain there for weeks. Now it seems like top songs rise quickly but then fall off the charts just as fast. Why do you think that is?
Everything moves quicker these days. Life moves quicker. It’s kind of scary! Social media has just made everything so accessible. There are aspects of that that I think are great, but at times, slow would be nice. Time to enjoy the present would be nice, instead of always focusing on what’s next.
Is that what you really want?
Honestly, I have conflicting feelings. I enjoy my rainy days with Tori Amos, but going to see Danny Tenaglia really puts me over the edge.
What are some things about NYC that make you so happy?
The diversity, the music, my friends. A functioning L train would be nice!
You’re the king of dance. Could you see yourself ever dabbling in another genre of music?
Sure, I “dabble.” I think I’m a pretty well-rounded singer. My roots are in soul, and I try to inject that into everything that I do. I released a pop album in 2010 called “Leave It All Behind” and stretched out a little, but I’ve actually been working on a soul album for the past five years.
Five years is a long time in music!
Yes, but soul’s a completely different world, especially when you are dealing with live musicians. It’s a process. But it’ll be worth it when it’s ready.
You’ve worked with so many of the dance greats from Kristine W, Junior Vasquez to now Tony Moran. Is there anyone you’ve missed that you would love to work with?
I have a list – hanging on my wall, in fact – of all the people in the dance world I would love to work with some day. Guys like TILT, Chicane, Danny Tenaglia, Louis Vega, David Morales, Bob Sinclair, Dave Aude, Rosabel, Tiesto, Kaskade, Afrojack. Oh, there are tons, and all because they are masters at their crafts. And in the pop world: T Bone Burnett.
What are you most looking forward to this summer?
Sunshine and beats.