interview J WELLS  (April 2005) | Interview By: Justin

Dubcnn.com had the special opportunity to sit in on a studio session with J. WELLS, one of the most anticipated and talented producers to make noise on the west coast. DUBCNN spoke with him about his new "DIGITAL MASTER" album, his goals with Bonzi Records, the new west coast movement, being a protťgť of J-Ro,working with Bishop Lamont and Stylistik Jones, future productions, and more. We have the text transcript and video for you to check out. Feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to: justin@dubcnn.com

Huge thanks to J Wells for taking time out to answer the questions fans wanted to know! ( Interview was done by camcorder on April 9th 2005 )

Questions Asked By : Justin

J. Wells Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here

Watch the interview by clicking: Here

DUBCNN: We're here with J. Wells, up and coming producer on the west coast, and he's speaking with DUBCNN today. Why don't you give a brief introduction of yourself before we start off the interview.

Yo what up, this is J. Wells. West coast new movement. Shouts out to Bishop Lamont. Shouts out to Stylistik Jones. Bonzi Records. Likwit Crew.

DUBCNN: You originally come from Chicago. How was the transition to Los Angeles? Just moving and all that.

I've been out here since I was like thirteen, so I'm an L.A. cat, but Chicago is in me. I got family in Chicago, I got homies, and that's just where I'm from. You can't ever forget where you came from, so that's what the whole Chicago thing is about, but I love L.A. L.A. is in me, all my music roots started in L.A., so I'm going to rep L.A. till I die.

I think that me being from another place, and coming here, it puts me on a different twist. That's why my beats don't just sound west coast per say, you know what I mean. I kind of diversify my sound, and I think that's just being from a different place. I came up in Chicago, they used to play a lot of house music, soul music stuff like that so I just came from a different vibe. When I was growing up in Chicago, I listened to Redman and a lot of east coast music. Too Short, stuff like that, so once I mixed that with L.A., when I came out here and heard "The Chronic," and all of that, it just put a different twist on me. So those are my influences right there.

DUBCNN: Being a protťgť of J-Ro, how did he influence you and what sort of things did he teach you?

What J-Ro taught me was going through records, digging in the crates, because I initially started rapping. That was how I started making music. I was a rapper. I started making beats because nobody was giving me beats, so I was like "I'm going to make my own beats." So when I met J-Ro I was just using a keyboard. J-Ro was like, "We got to go through these records." We used to sit in the studios for hours, I mean hours at a time, just digging through records, just looking at records, just sampling them, not even making beats, just going through records.

That incorporated the true.. Basically, J-Ro is like the school of hip hop. You sit down with him, and he'll tell you about when hip hop wasn't around to the time where it came, and it just put a whole twist on the way I thought. I do beats now from a hip hop standpoint and that is sampling, and that is the art of taking something old and making something new. So that's what J-Ro taught me.

DUBCNN: Being one of the youngest member of the Likwit Crew, what were some of the interesting experiences you had?

Puff Puff Pass man! We went on that Puff Puff Pass Tour man! We did it real big man, we did some thiiings on that tour! So I learned the game right there. I was eighteen years old. I jumped on the tour bus with Tha Alkaholiks, and Kurupt and Roscoe and Daz. Tha Liks did that. Tha Liks put me in the game, so you know what I mean. That's probably the best experience right there, that's a life experience.

DUBCNN: You put out the Wolfpac record, and Still Mo Bounce compilation [prod: Crushed Grapes]. What was your motivation for that record and how did you choose which artists to appear on it?

Well, first off shouts out to the big homie Wolf, and that's first off. Wolfpac Records, those are my homies, and my family. I started out with them so its all love on that side. That record just came together. Me, Kurupt, and YA, and James Debarge, and J-Ro and everybody just was on a vibe. We was smoking, and we were just making songs. It wasn't even a thought like we making an album or Wolfpac. It was just we had all this music, and I was like lets put it out there, so I put the idea together and I brought it to J-Ro and Wolf and they just ran with it. So that's how that album came together. It was just a vibe man. It put itself together. Shout outs out to Kurupt, YA, Roscoe, the whole crew.

DUBCNN: As one of the new and upcoming producers on the west coast, you're also working with new rappers like Bishop Lamont. You guys did two dope tracks on the album. How did you hook up with him, and how was it working with him?

Jag Bomb hooked me up with Bishop Lamont. Jag Bomb, shouts out to Jag. Jag do promotions for everybody. He's a street cat, he also raps. Jag Bomb is a good cat right there. He put us together, it was just magic man. Right when I started working with him, I was like "He's a star, he's gone do it." Once Dr. Dre got behind him, it just confirmed it to the world. That's how that happened. We just got in there and made magic. Then Battlecat came in and blessed it, so that's how that went down.

DUBCNN: You contributed lyrics to almost all the songs on the "Digital Master" album, but you only performed on one track. Can we expect to hear you on the mic more anytime soon?

Yeah, see the ultimate plan is I'm going to do a rap album. So I got a couple more compilation joints that I'm going to do. And then in the making is a rap album where I'm going to have different producers featured on it. A few of my homies is going to contribute production, so look out for that. That's going to be a real smash right there. You're definitely going to see features from Bishop Lamont, Stylistik Jones, and cats like that. KB I Mean. New cats from the west coast, as well as all the G's.

DUBCNN: You were also able to work with people like DJ Quik and Battlecat on your album, and they both mixed down a couple tracks. Can we expect anymore work with them in the future, and how was it working with such legendary producers?

Quik is a legend man. He came in and blessed the project. He heard the record, the Dirty Rat record, and he just loved it man. But prior to that, Quik came through during the Wolfpac mixtape. He came through Wolfhouse, we vibed and then he heard the "Tonight" record on the radio and just loved it. You know the record I did with J-Ro and Kurupt. That was just a west coast underground classic, and Quik pulled me to the side one day in the club and he just said, "Man that's a beautiful record," and he just encouraged me. And then, when he heard the Dirty Rat record, he was like "Yo just get the studio." We went and got the big room. He came in and twisted the knobs, and just showed love.

So same thing with Battlecat. Battlecat, he heard the Bishop record. Bishop and Battlecat is good peoples. I'm good peoples with Cat, and he came through and just blessed it man. And that's one thing people got to understand on the west coast. The G's is coming through and blessing us, so we passing the love on, just like I'm going to pass it to the next person. It's all love, shouts out to DJ Quik and shouts out to Cat, them is my niggaz.

DUBCNN: You seem to really be about the west coast movement. How do you feel that you are going to contribute to it?

I mean a lot of people coming up to me saying if we don't do it, who's going to do it? So I'm going to mash till the wheels fall off. Whatever I can do to keep it moving I'mma do it because I'm twenty-two years old, if we don't do it, ain't nobody going to do it. That's the thought process I have. Roscoe, Bishop Lamont, Stylistik Jones, J. Wells. All these cats man, we going to do it, and then whats going to happen is that everything is going to connect. And then, people are going to start to see the west coast is so much broader than what a lot of people thinking, and that's a beautiful thing. There is a lot of shine out here, a lot of new talent, a lot of hot cats that about to come from the west. The west is back. You got Daz and Kurupt talking, so you know Dogg Pound back together, Snoop. That's all west coast. It's a beautiful thing man. I love the unity.

DUBCNN: What sort of equipment do you use in your production, just doing all these tracks for everyone.

I use Fruity Loops. *laughs* Nah I'm playing. That's like the new equipment for like producers. So many people I run into on the streets be like "I be using Fruity Loops." But nah, I use the MPC 3000 man; I think that's a classic. Len drum machine, I think is very well crafted. I think the Akai MPC is a great machine, and that's that. I got various different keyboards, and moogs, and records man. Records is number one man, get that old music that soul.

DUBCNN: You're also planning to produce tracks for Rakim. What's the story behind that and how does it feel being able to be able to produce for arguably the most legendary MC?

Rakim is a legend man. Respect. That's all I got to say about that. Like just listen out for it.

DUBCNN: Who else can we expect to see you doing production for in the future?

I just did some records on Petey Pablo. Look out for some stuff I did for Prodigal Sun from Sunz of Man, that's my homie, Wu Tang. Shouts out to RZA, Method, those cats. I just did a remix overseas for an Australian rapper, his singles about to blow, so I'm getting international with it too. Definitely some more stuff from Jayo. Some more stuff from everybody on the album. Method. I got a joint with Ray-J, some stuff with Roscoe. We got a lot of stuff man. I did some stuff with Knocturnal. Just look out for it, that's all I can say. Look out for that Bishop Lamont because that's going to be a fire project right there.

DUBCNN: A lot of west coast producers only produce for west coast artists, but you've produced for other regions too like Method Man and Goodie Mob. What do you think is the appeal?

I think that goes back to just how I started, just being from two different places. I remember talking to Gipp about it. He was just like, "Make both of them shine, but let people know where you from." I think that me being from a different place, and being in L.A., I just always thought different from a typical person who is from L.A. Not that it makes me different or better, it's just a different approach to a sound. So I think that's why I've been able to do different types of production. I really just think music. I don't think "I'm doing this type of record." I just think music.

When we did the Goodie Mob record, it was just a vibe man. Gipp called me, he came through because that's my homie, and he just happened to walk though with Sleepy. I had a funk loop playing, just some real hip hop shit. Sleepy just jumped right onto the mic. I mean it was like basement type shit, but we was in the studio, but the feel of it was just so real. The record just came together smooth like that. Itís just all a vibe. You work with cats from the east, west, south. At the end of the day, itís a vibe. It's people coming together and being on the same page. Street is street man, real recognize real.

DUBCNN: You had tracks featured on HBO "Sopranos" and "Six Feet Under," and also on video games. You just mentioned you did a track for "Be Cool." What other sort of things can we expect to see you expand yourself into?

Wherever it go. I'm trying to go to the top. I'm trying to be in TV, movies, all of that. So just look out for it, its coming. I don't want to put nothing out there. I got some big things in the mix. Just look for my name and look for the sounds.

DUBCNN: How satisfied are you with the success of "Digital Master"? I have to say that you are one of the most promising in the new generation of west coast producers, but sometimes the west coast gets overlooked in the general scheme of hip hop, just like on radio and on TV.

With the album man, I'm very satisfied. Its crazy man. You know itís an independent having my own label Bonzi Records. Its just crazy man. The orders are through the roof. They're offering me deals, but I'm just waiting for the right situation, and itís just growing from the ground up. It just gets bigger and bigger, its great man. Radio showing love. Itís a beautiful thing. Shouts out to DJ Hideo, he's really helping with radio and showing a whole lot of love on The Beat. And that's one thing me and him talked about was you know a lot of people are overlooking the west coast, and that's why we are about to bring a whole lot of new cats that are talented to the limelight, and itís about to grow and expand.

DUBCNN: Looking ahead into the future, what do you hope to achieve with your career, what are your ultimate goals with Bonzi records, and where do you hope to take the state of west coast hip hop?

We got different albums that about to come out. I got a new album called "Digital Smoke." I'm going to do my rap album, as well as Stylistik Jones. We got so many things; I just want to take it to the roof. We just going to keep putting out good music, let it grow on its own. My whole thing with my label is I'm trying to bring new cats as well as myself, but like Stylistik Jones, and Bishop Lamont, and different rappers, KB I Mean, that's from the west. I'm trying to bring all these cats to the limelight so that we can broaden it, and let people know that itís not just one camp over here making things pop. Itís going to be different labels. That's what the start of Bonzi records is, itís basically a whole new venture on the west, that's going to just explode in years to come.

DUBCNN: Lastly, if there is anything else you want to share with us, with the fans.

Just go cop that album. J. Wells "Digital Master," in stores now, or go to the internet and cop it because itís a classic right here. Look at that. Some classics on there. You got that Goodie Mob on there. You got that Method Man. Some real street shit. Some real street classics. "Digital Master," you need to have that in your deck everybody, so that's my last words.

DUBCNN: Alright J. Wells, we appreciate you taking the time to speak to with us.



J. Wells Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here

Watch the interview by clicking: Here


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