Jason Hodges

Canadian born Jason Hodges first arrived in the house music scene in late 1991, taking on Toronto's underground party scene he developed his
DJing skills on the decks with the likes of New York - New Jersey sounds. Hard-hitting beats with deep grooves became the signature
sound for Hodges - whether in the studio, on the dance floors; from local Toronto gigs, to the surrounding towns around Ontario and
across Canada, Hodges was growing and coming into his own.

Jason began releasing records with various Toronto labels such as JINXX RECORDS and 83 WEST getting his feet wet remixing and co-producing tracks with some of Canada's
talents. After many years of training and development, Hodges returned to the scene with a new energy and a new plan. He continued to
build his profile by remixing artists like , Kaskade on OM,Jully Black,Justin Timberlake,DJ Colette,DJ Heather,Derrick Carter,
Music For Freaks,Diz and the list goes on..

The new millenium opened the floodgates for world travel and new music projects,such as ,Border Patrol(Hodges and Chuck Daniels),
a production duo combining the sounds of Detroit and Toronto, promising a steady and bright future with the creation of Junction Style Music Toronto,Jason’s production company.

The name Jason Hodges represents the technical craft he pours into every production, with highly anticipated tracks being played
and praised by the likes of Mark Farina,Oliver Dollar, DJ Heather, Derrick Carter, Chuck Daniels, among other eminent House Music Pioneers around the world.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hello Jason and thank you for accepting our invitation to be Artist of the Weekend! How are you?

Thank you for having me, I’m doing very well thanks!

Tell us a little bit more about yourself. Where do you come from? What kind of kid were you?

Well, I’m from Canada and have lived in Toronto my whole life. I was a pretty hyper kid, always craving attention and clowning around but never really got into trouble outside the usual stuff. Growing up during the 80's I always had an interest for record players, my mom would always play music in the house and she would ask me to put on the next record, I think that’s where I got my love for djing from.

When was your first touch with music? Did you ever think you'd become a Dj?

Growing up during the 80's I always had an interest for record players. I thought they were the coolest things ever! My mom would always play music in the house and she would ask me to put the next record on. As time went on I started to get interest in other electronics such as stereo receivers and tape recorders. I would sit in my room and just record stuff off the radio because it was fun...Then I got a microphone and started to record sounds from everywhere. Then I got a double tape deck and I thought that was the best thing ever! It wasn't till grade 7 band class (I played the trumpet) when the teacher had brought in to show the class, a machine that played drum sounds out of it, he gave a demonstration, it was a "drum machine" and was made by a company called Roland. As soon as he played the sequence he made, I got goose bumps and fell in love and was hooked. The machine was a Roland 707! That’s where things sort of changed for me, that’s where I got my passion to make beats came from. Shortly after that discovered another piece of gear that was the holy grail, the EMU SP 1200, it was a 12-bit sampling drum machine that had this amazing sound figured out that a lot of the hip hop beats were coming from the SP back then, so I got one few years later in high school and will never be without. It’s where I got my signature ‘Hodges sound’ from. House Music was now in the blood and I never looked back from there!

Who was your favourite music artist back in the day who’s influenced you the most?

Back in 87-88, after injecting my blood with House Music I came across this sound that was
coming from NYC and the very first House record I bought was called Bango by Todd Terry on Fresh records...man, that record really solidified it for me. From there I was at the local record store every Thursday (new shipment day) buying records. By that point I had saved up money for turntables and a Radio Shack mixer so I would go home and get lost in the music. NY had this sound, so dope, so raw, so soulful. Then Masters At Work entered the picture - it was over!

How would you best describe your style? How has it changed throughout the years?

My style started out with more of the NY/NJ vocal sound and then got into the Chicago/Detroit sound later on. I’m from Toronto so we got a mix of everything. My style has changed as time went on, got more on the techy side but at the end of the day I like beats that has always stayed the same, tracks have to have the driving beats mixed with some dope grooves, real house!

What is your opinion about the way Djs play music? Do you think playing on vinyl is overrated? How about those who mix on the computer?

Nowadays it’s more accessible, through technology, to start off. Back in the day the only way to mix music was if u had 2 turntables and a mixer, no sync button on those. I’m not a fan of computer djs (unless they're hip hop Djs), most of them rely on the functionality of the software and forget the fundamentals of what a Dj is supposed to do. Most computer Djs have never even touched
vinyl don’t call yourself a Dj till u mastered mixing vinyl records together. Anyone can play music, but not all can Dj. Playing vinyl will never be overrated, that’s how it started, nuff said!

What makes a Dj successful? How would you describe your understanding of success?

Real DJs take crowds on a journey, you don’t just stand up there and play music, it’s not about that. It’s about the moment, thinking outside the box and the playlist you made, moods can change in a split second and u have to be ready to keep the crowd interested at all times. Being successful is being the best you can be at one thing you’re passionate about, find your skill and go with it. There are no rules, push the envelope!

How do you build up your club mix? What is your perspective for a perfect mix?

I don’t have a set playlist when I go to a gig, I just put the real dope tracks I like into a folder for the night and pick and choose as the night dictates, you have to feel out the crowd, it’s never the same thing twice. I like to grab the attention of the crowd first with some beat driven music. Once u got them dancing you can then take them on a journey

Can you name a few artists in electronic music that you admire?

Todd Terry, Kenny Dope, John Ciafone (mood 2 swing), Kerri Chandler, Joss Moog, Kenny Glasgow, Max Graef, KiNK, Chuck Daniels, Chris Simmonds, Jesse Rose, Oliver Dollar and the list goes on

What music do you listen to when you are alone? Is it mainly electronic?

I listen to hip-hop when I’m not making or playing house, mainly J Dilla stuff, he’s a huge influence to me production wise. Still to this day, nobody makes hip- hop like J Dilla!

How did hear about EILO? Would you recommend it to anybody?

I heard about EILO from my agent Chris @ Organized London.

Please tell us about your future professional plans? Any gigs or releases?

My boy Chuck Daniels (Sampled Detroit) and I formed a group called Border Patrol. We started that years ago but have taken it to the next level in the last year. We've done a bunch of original music and remixes. The last remix was for Cece Penistion feat Fast Eddie called "Get to Steppin" on Sampled Based out of Detroit and have an EP in the works that's gonna be super hot!!! Lots of remixes in the works as we speak from myself and some really cool original projects (collaborations as well) on the go with local Toronto Talent. Stay tuned!
Always on the road for gigs in and out of USA and Canada, the next massive event is the Cosmic Disco party Sampled put together for Movement in Detroit a huge official Movement after party (here)
Hodges is comin’ at ya hard this year!!

Again a huge Thank you for being part of this project and hope to hear from you soon!