If you like yourself a bit of blues-soul, you’d be silly to bypass the new JMSN album. Whatever Makes U Happy sees Christian Berishaj steer away from his electronic beginnings to something more organic and open, and it certainly works. We caught up with him for a quickie (Q&A, that is) to find out more. It’s fair to say he’s not much of a talker but, hey, you’ll get what you’re given…
So: a new album in just 12 months. How the hell do you manage it?
I don’t do anything else. I wish it could be faster but it takes a while to make sure it’s right and get it into production!
“Whatever Makes U Happy” – what does make JMSN happy at the moment, and is that different to Christian?
Creating music. JMSN and Christian are the same person. Maybe that will change later but right now that’s what it is.
We love the record. It’s a slightly different direction – less electronica, more raw blues-soul. Where did that idea come from?
It’s just what I felt. I always follow what I feel. This is what came out of me.
You’ve mentioned in the past about using music for therapy. Was it the same here?
That’s always the case. Music is what makes me happy. I can’t live without it.
With all this prolific output, where do your side-projects like Pearl stand?
Pearl is tracks or songs that I don’t plan on using for JMSN but want to give to whoever will listen. I don’t believe in wasting music because it all means something to someone. So I try to make it all work somehow.
We know this interview isn’t about that, but we’ve got to stop and say how bloody brilliant A Sign is. And very personal too. How did sound and words come together on that one?
Thank you, appreciate that! That’s a good question. I feel like it came like all other songs come. They’re sent from above and I just have to take them and present them the best I can. The words were flowing from a lot of experiences coming to a head.
What are you hoping people take away from this new record, then?
I hope they can take away from it whatever they need from it. Hopefully it speaks to them like it speaks to me!
Are we going to see you head further down this sonic road, or is there another new direction planned for next year?
I don’t know yet. I’m still flushing that out. I do know that it will not be limited to that though. I will follow the inspiration where ever it takes me.
What else are you listening to at the moment?
A lot of James Ingram. He’s killing it.
Finally, the question we ask everyone: favourite Beyonce song?
Me Myself and I.