Jetsonmade finally arrives in the Zoom conference call after some technical difficulties. He’s apologetic, although his tone and countenance convey a sense of triumph that can be felt through his iPhone front camera. “Feeling good right now, to be honest,” he admits. ”I just made a couple beats so I’m kicking it.”
Hard work has taken the 26-year-old far, though not without challenges. Though his top 10 hits are great on the surface, the journey to them did not come easy. Having reached one of the few mountaintops for producers, the Columbia, S.C.-born talent now has a different focus: making the industry better for those who will follow him. With BoyMeetSpace Academy, created in partnership with Raptive which is now working with DJ Jazzy Jeff’s Command Central: Making Beats, he intends to share a new mindset toward collaboration.
“I’m trying to make music that I actually believe in and that I actually f**k with. [Music] that’s going to change sh*t,” Jetson said. “Currently I’m on my new sh*t. I’m working with all new artists [who are] getting 1,000 likes on Instagram. That’s just my lane. That’s what I’m striving towards. That ‘hottest’ sh*t, I’m not really focused on that.”
VIBE caught up with Jetsonmade to discuss the origins of BoyMeetSpace Academy, Jack Harlow’s artistry, acts he would like to work with, and much more.
VIBE: How’s the experience been so far with BoyMeetSpace Academy?
Jetsonmade: It’s been good, bro. A lot of positive feedback. It just feels good to help upcoming producers, because I can never move past that in my brain as far as feeling like them. I’m going to forever feel like that.
How many students are you working with?
Man, a lot. I ain’t going to lie. I don’t even want to tell you the wrong number. Good amount though, for sure.
How are the days set up?
So really it’s a course that you can partake in on your time. It’s already pre-recorded. So it’s not like a course that’s like, “Okay, we got class these days.” It’s doing it on your time, but I’ve been chatting with everybody on a weekly basis. We was just on a Zoom last week. They were asking me questions and stuff like that. Everybody’s schedule is different, so we didn’t want to have it too locked in.
You said in the past that you felt like you wasted a lot of time when you were coming up and figuring out production. How did you get yourself out of that?
I think the way I got out of that was putting goals in front of myself. Actually working towards something. A real goal, not just ‘I’m going to get me some money.’ That’s the normal goal. “I’m going to be big.” I think one of my first big goals was, “Okay, I need to go platinum.” And then I said, “How do you go platinum?” Then I kind of just broke it down from there. “So, okay, I want to go platinum. You got to sell a million records to go platinum. Who is selling records?” Then that kind of defined who I was working with because [at the time] I only want[ed] to work with people who are selling records or have the possibility to sell records. So just putting that goal in front of me is what really helped me out. That’s what pushed me forward.
BoyMeetSpace Academy also features Tay Keith, WondaGurl, and Pooh Beatz. Why’d you feel like they were the right people to help you teach this course and inspire the next generation?
They’re just people that I rock with on a personal level for real. They’re producers, super talented. So it just made sense, honestly.
I wanted to talk to you about working with Jack Harlow. After his last album, there’s been narratives about him online with people not thinking that he’s talented. Having worked directly with him, what can you say it is that makes him this undeniable star?
Bro, Jack Harlow got a vision. Anybody who say anything other than that, they’re really a hater. That’s bullsh*t. He’s a star. Musically, super talented. He got his vision, bro. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be where he at. So I think that’s what makes him a star: his vision.
Who are some artists right now that you haven’t worked with, that you would be interested in working with?
Rema. I want to work with Rema super bad. I’ve been on Rema for a couple of years now. Rema and Burna Boy. I like that Afrobeat type [music].
I feel like as a producer, and correct me if I’m wrong, you have to expand. You don’t want to chase the trends, but you also got to know “This is what’s popping right now. I could come out, make the best beat and command this space.” I feel like that’s the balance that a lot of producers strive for.
Yeah, bro. I feel like, as far as being the hottest producer, I kind of already conquered that sh*t. Me personally, just growing in my career, I don’t really want to do that, because to me, it ain’t really fun. I just seen a interview with Metro [Boomin]. He explained it perfectly. He just said like, “Bro, you’re going to be the hottest, and everybody going to call you, and they’re going to use you up and burn you out.” It ain’t really fun, because it’s too many politics and sh*t. So it’s like that’s not even my focus.
I’m trying to make music that I actually believe in and that I actually f**k with. [Music] that’s going to change sh*t. Currently I’m on my new sh*t. I’m working with all new artists [who are] getting 1,000 likes on Instagram. That’s just my lane. That’s what I’m striving towards. That ‘hottest’ sh*t, I’m not really focused on that.
So your perspective changed from wanting to work with the artists who were going to sell records to now wanting to cultivate people who are coming up?
Yeah, I mean, that’s how I had to come up. I literally had to do that. DaBaby, I gave him his first No. 1 at Urban Radio. His first hit. The same thing with Jack Harlow. So that’s literally what I had to do to become who I am now; the reason we’re even talking. So I’ll be a fool to not [work with upcoming artists].
How did your teachers describe you in school when you were younger?
I ain’t going to lie, all my teachers knew I was going to be something. I was a class clown, for sure. I was bad as hell in school, but all my teachers, after they talked to my mama—I don’t know what my mama was telling them—but they understood me for real. They knew, “Man, Taj got potential.” Literally, if I call my mama and say, “Ma, what all my teachers used to say about me?” She’ll be like, “That you had great potential.” First I had to figure out how to apply that sh*t. The teachers that I be seeing when I go home, they’re super proud of me. “Man, I knew you could do it!” People always believed in me. I ain’t going to lie to you. My friends who was my friends when I just started making beats and I sucked, they had faith in me.
That’s great because I know some people’s families don’t support them going into music because it’s not “stable.” You always had that support though?
Family-wise, kind of. My mama, when she really realized that I was f**king with the music, she put me in music sh*t. But as far as literally dropping out and making it my life, it was kind of bumpy in the beginning, because it’s like, “You ain’t finna go get no job? You finna drop out of college for real? No job?” I remember my grandmama asked me how I was going to eat. I was like “What the hell?” But once they started to see me supporting myself for real, they was all the way in with it.