We’re bringing our Meet The Producers feature online. First up, J. Money.
Firstly, briefly introduce yourself. What’s your name? Where are you from?
My name is John Mendez, known to the music industry as J. Money. Born and raised in San Antonio, TX.
How would you describe your style of production?
Endless. Personally I feel that every record I create can be introduced to a new listener and fit perfectly into their lives no matter when it was originally released. Seeing people gravitate towards my music and continue to listen to these songs I produced reminds me that I’m doing something a lot of people overlook. I’m leaving an everlasting impression.
What would you say are the most popular beats you’ve created?
I would say the records I’ve done with Cashius Green and Mick Jenkins would be the most popular. Those records mean so much. The creativity and timing lead to some epic moments. Songs like ‘Pleya Made’, ‘2girls1lb’ and ‘Canada Dry’ have made there way to be favourites for a lot of people.
What is your favourite song you’ve worked on and why?
‘Canada Dry’ by Mick Jenkins. I travelled to NYC for the first time last year in February. I had the chance to link up with my bro Shipes and even catch Mick at SOBs. He ended the show with ‘Canada Dry’ and that meant so much to me. Imagine a kid from San Antonio being in New York for the first time and the song he produced is being performed in front of a sold out crowd that knows all the words. It was insane.
Do you think that production software becoming more accessible to just anyone is a good or bad thing for music? Why is that?
Good. Everyone should be allowed tools that will lead them to expressing their creative side. What separates everything is work ethic. The talent will be useful but can also be worthless if the effort and determination isn’t present.
What influences you as a producer?
Life. Everything from family to current events. I get my inspiration from all directions. Books, films, music, art, poetry, etc. I do my best to channel that energy into something timeless.
How did you begin making music? Was it a particular influence or circumstance?
I started as a DJ then began working on primarily blends and remixes. I transitioned from that into production. I wanted to make my own instrumentals to take my mixes to another level. I have been apart of so many projects since I was 13 years old. I worked with DJ Butta, DJ G Brown, DJ Mick Boogie, DJ Dub Floyd, DJ Wally Sparks, The Empire, DJ Mr. Rogers and many others on numerous mixtapes throughout the years. One of my mixtapes was featured by Kanye West on his KanyeUniverseCity blog. I knew I wanted to do more than just make mixtapes so I started venturing off into music production even more. Everything started falling into place as I continued to network and shop beats around.
What draws you to creating instrumentals?
Music is another way of communicating with others and myself. It gives me the opportunity to channel my emotions and use my mind as a creative instrument.
Were you ever involved in any other musical projects besides what you are doing right now?
Nope. I’ve always been independent with my own company, Throwed Mind Entertainment.
What, for you, is the perfect beat?
It has to give you a sense of fulfilment. Something stripped down to core elements that brings a rare form of energy to your body. It’s gotta feel right.
Can you tell us about any projects coming in 2016?
‘Guides’ is the new EP. Seven songs featuring some very talented artists. Special appearance by the legendary producer Chops (@chopsmusic) who has been a wonderful mentor and friend over the years. I got a record with NYCk Caution and Joey Bada$$ that will be something special. Finishing the album ‘Orchestra Of Minds’. That will be out when it’s ready, featuring the likes of GrandeMarshall, Add-2 and more. I got many other projects I’ll be working on and much more I can’t elaborate on just yet but know I’m working.
Photo by Brandon Brown