jon locke 3(Photo By Star Music Media)

PR company Star Music Media (Destiny Loyd) is kicking off their new year by putting the world onto a well rounded R&B talent by the name of Jon Locke. Locke is holding it down for the Windy City and has definitely made the most of his past decade in the industry. He produces, plays instruments, has an educational background on the business side of things, has record label work experience, and so much more. Currently, he is gearing up to release some new tunes and preparing to get back on the road. Before he begins his 2015 takeover however, he took a moment to chat with The Illixer and give us a glimpse into how he operates. Check it out after the break.

The Illixer: What was it that drove you to choose to pursue a career in music?

Jon Locke: I remember when I was little my pops would take me into the studio while his band recorded and I could see how much fun they were having and the feeling they got from it. But then I would see how people reacted to music in general and how it brought out so many different emotions and I said I want to make people feel like that.

TI: Who were some of your musical influences growing up?

JL: Some of my influences were: Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, and Babyface.

TI: How do you feel your education in Music & Media Management gives you an advantage over others in the industry?

JL: I come into every situation business minded first. I pick up on how people are talking or negotiating quickly and it allows me to look at my music from a marketing side. Like how can this song get promoted to the public, or how can we create interest off this song.

TI: The R&B genre has a bad rep these days for lacking true singers as well as music with substance. What are your thoughts on the current state of R&B?

JL: I like some of the new sound out here now. I rock with Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and August Alsina. But I think right now R&B has really blended with Rap too well. But I believe there is a new wave of artists that are putting that true foundation of R&B back into the music. I’m interested to see where it goes in the next couple of years.

TI: You have worked with quite a few names throughout the course of your career. But who would your dream collaboration be with and why?

JL: My true collab would be to sit and write and produce with Babyface and J.D. and B.Cox. The reason I picked these producers is because they make music with feeling and soul. I can feel the mood in the production and to be able to be a part of that would be excellent.

TI: What are some things you took away from your experience at Holy Spirit Records that you have been able to apply to your own career?

JL: The main thing I learned from HSR was to be up front with everyone in the process. I saw situations where things could’ve been resolved smoother and the respect line would’ve been kept if people were just one hundred with each other. So you may not like my decision or what I said but at the end of the day you’ll say I was always up front with respect to the situation.

TI: Share a little bit about your brand Locke Music Group.

JL: LMG I eventually seeing it being a label, publishing, and management company. I would like to take different aspects of past labels like Motown and how they groomed and developed their artists. I want LMG to be a throwback label when it comes to A&R but with the capacity to compete in today’s business model.

TI: Your bio mentions the phrase ‘culture of soul’ as it pertains to your music. Can you elaborate on what that means?

JL: The phrase is saying that I’m not trying to be like any other artist out here. I’m not going to piggy back somebody else sound. So in that case, I’m bringing a new art of sound but still with that quality soul feeling.

TI: Describe your debut EP First Thoughts.

JL: First Thoughts are songs that I wrote when I was involved with different women. It’s a very inviting, provocative project (purposely). I wanted to set a mood that I was experiencing during this time.

TI: What are some upcoming endeavors that you have that people should be on the lookout for?

JL: I will be releasing a new EP in April, no exact date as of now. I’m planning on going back on tour again this Spring and releasing a new single in the first quarter.

**My Two Cents: I thoroughly enjoyed this interview. Jon Locke is a well spoken artist with valid insight on the music game. He also has a very solid grasp on his role in the industry as well as his brand. That is pretty impressive. I checked out a couple of his tracks via his website as I prepped for the Q&A too. He’s got a really nice voice. It’s very smooth and perfect for the style he embraces. So I’m digging what he brings to the table. “Can’t Let It Go” is the single that had the best impact on me. If readers like the interview, they can listen to a few of Locke’s tunes for themselves by clicking on the link provided at the start of the post. -MinM