J. Breckenridge is a very passionate singer, songwriter and recording artist. J. recently released his new single “Home is Where the Art is”, and will be debuting his first ever album titled Monotony. He is a Southern California native, and upon graduation from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, he traveled further east to New York City to pursue his dreams. J is extremely talented when it comes to the music and the art that he makes, and loves to tell his own stories. YEM spoke with J. all about his new music and the process of making it.
Young Entertainment Mag: What was your first introduction to music?
J: Well, I kick myself every day for not taking my parents advice and sticking with piano lessons! However, where I DID take a note or two from the parentals, was in the home. My first moments with music was jamming out to the soulful sounds of the Commodores, Anita Baker, Stevie Wonder, and Whitney all the way to the soothing swells of Kenny G, all of which would float around the house on a regular basis.
YEM: What do you hope that your audience can take away from your song “Home is Where the Art Is”? Is there a certain emotion you hope that it evokes in everyone?
J: I hope they feel at home with “Home is Where the Art Is.” To know one is not alone in this world is a beautiful thing. I hope my listeners have an “amen “ moment with this song. The feeling of being torn between your birth home and your chosen home is one that I think is very universal. No matter what emotion arises for folks, I hope they know that there are others out there feeling the same feels. This struggle is real, and the song doesn’t leave you with a resolution, but a question. I hope what lingers from this music meditation is a sense of one’s own story. From past to present, a revisitation of choices made, and an inspiration to explore what’s next on the journey.
YEM: What is the process of making a song such as “Home is Where the Art Is” like?
J: With this song specifically it was a willingness to get ugly. To face the things tugging at my psyche head on and jot it all down. At this moment in life it was the beginning of the pandemic and I’d yet to decide to make the temporary move back home. It was just me and my pup Teddy in my one bedroom Harlem apartment and the silence of my solitude got so loud I had to do something about it. The visceral, cloudy tug of war that possesses this tune was the same swirling cloud of emotions that consumed my mind at the time. The process for this song was pretty poetic. It all kind of flowed from me and was the eventual incentive I needed to head back to home. The home of my roots.
YEM: The music video for your song “Home is Where the Art Is” was just released, what was something you learned from filming the music video to your song?
J: I learned of the monetary realties an elaborate plot line can bring to a budget, lol. Seriously though, I learned a lot about some technical aspects of film making through this process. We used VFX and some other high tech elements that I’ve never come across before. All this contributed to a kick-butt, magical piece of film. There’s some really beautiful, intimate moments that I’m excited to share.
YEM: What were some of the challenges you encountered while making the music video?
J: Well, we shot on location on both coasts (East and West). Not only did I have to get a couple haircuts (a continuity cut!) to make sure both shoots looked like the same day, but It was also a challenge to clock minute details in our first half of shoot (LA) so I could replicate those acting beats in our second half of shoot (NYC). We play with a lot of mirrored imagery so…we shall see if I was able to pull it off, lol!
YEM: Who are some of your musical influences?
J: Oh man. My list goes from Mariah, Whitney, Brian McKnight, and Luther Vandross, to Michael Jackson, Michael Bublé, John Legend and Queen B. So many influences for so many different reasons. I’m sure I could list a ton more!
YEM: Your debut album Monotony will be released next month, how do you feel about having a whole body of your music out there for people to hear?
J: Nervous but elated. Sweaty but secure. Ultimately…excited! My sound is pretty unique I feel, especially considering my theatrical history, but I think it’ll sit well with a lot of listeners out there. I’m confident my fans, friends and family will have an incredible time with Monotony, and I’m hopeful that I can reach some new souls with this sound as well. Regardless, this was a passionate pipe dream of mine turned to reality; and juvenile Joshy is jumping for joy right now for sure!
YEM: What would be some advice you have for others who are also hoping to put out music?
J: Commit FULLY to making the dream happen! There will be bumps, bruises and bank account bothers along the way, but there will also be the beautiful beats you birth into the world. Stick with it! To have a music child, a creature you’ve created out there in the world makes the journey all worth it! Just make sure to have fun along the way!
YEM: Who or what is the biggest inspiration for you to make music?
J: My mom. My biggest believer and constant encourager. But another lady in my life (in all our lives) made it actually possible; I hate her with a passion, but lady Rona created the time and path to strut down this music making road.