In 2004, PlantLife's The Return of Jack Splash won the prize for "Album of the Year" at Gilles Peterson's BBC Radio 1 Awards. And Jack's music continued to catch fire. After touring Europe with his 14-piece band, he met Cee-Lo Green in Miami, and the two began recording together as The Heart Attack. Catching wind of the duo's songs, Alicia Keys and John Legend tapped Jack for his production magic, which led to more recording dates with Jennifer Hudson, T-Pain, Estelle, Jamie Foxx, Missy Elliott, Jazmine Sullivan, Shakira, Raheem DeVaughn, Anthony Hamilton, Britney Spears, Clare Maguire and more. Jack's tracks began popping up everywhere. One of the songs he produced for Alicia Keys ("Teenage Love Affair") became a top 10 radio hit, and songs he produced for Estelle and Solange ("Pretty Please" and "T.O.N.Y.," respectively) blew up as singles and critical favorites.
Immediately following, a track he produced for Jennifer Hudson ("All Dressed Up In Love") was locked down as the end title for the Sex and the City movie. As if all that momentum weren't enough, Jack's collaboration with Jennifer Hudson, Missy Elliott, Fantasia and Jazmine Sullivan for Hudson's "I'm His Only Woman" garnered him a 2009 Grammy nomination. Jack also became a 2009 Grammy Award-winning producer for producing music on Jennifer Hudson's self-titled debut, which won for Best R&B Album. After all the excitement of producing electro-pop dance smashes and lush, organic soul ballads for others, Jack felt the pull to get back to his own music. So it was in a dream that he came up with the concept for Technology and Love Might Save Us All, both a short animated film and his first solo album. Distraught by the problems that plague our planet, Jack conjured a story about a confused young boy named Q and a robot with a heart of gold.
The two meet when a butterfly-shaped spaceship with massive, booming stereo speakers lands in Q's neighborhood. After a long talk, the boy asks the robot how he can help his troubled planet Earth, and the robot encourages him to "keep dancing" and to let the good vibrations do the hard work for them. As Jack explains, "I was thinking about Dilla, James Brown, Tupac and Brian Wilson, and how much they all gave the world through their art, and I wanted to make my version of Sgt. Peppers or Dark Side of The Moon for this generation...I think it's time to get weird and adventurous again" Whether it's the sweet, elastic ballad, "A Robot With A Broken Heart Of Gold..."; the pulsating electro-funk anthem, "I Could've Luved U" (featuring Missy Elliott & Jazmine Sullivan); the ethereal vibe of "Flashback" with guest vocalist Lupe Fiasco; or the acoustic guitar-meets-robo-pop of "Like a Ringtone" (featuring R.
Kelly & T-Pain), Jack Splash simultaneously provokes the boogie and the brain. Through his audiophile love of music spanning decades and genres, Jack creates his own fiercely original yet strangely familiar sound. "Even though I make music that sounds like the future, I base my blueprint off of real old-school producers," Jack says, "dudes like Nile Rodgers or Quincy Jones or Brian Wilson or Phil Spector, dudes who didn't make the same record all the time, but whatever they made was special." While classic funk, soul and pop rank high on Jack's list, he says, "I could probably spend 10 hours listing the people who have influenced me." In his quest to make what he calls "forever music," songs that new generations might only discover years from now (the same way that he discovered John Lennon), Jack takes all of his musical influences to heart. "That's what I love about individuality, especially in this day and age where everything is so dominated by radio that people hear these big songs and love the song but could give a fuck about the artist," Jack says. "Not everyone is an individual. That's a lucky thing to be your own little weirdo.
It might not be lucky when you're young, but when you grow up and master your individuality, that's a big blessing." Jack is indeed his own little weirdo, one who would heed all the other talented weirdos of the past and present to create his own concoction of electro-funk-pop music on Technology and Love Might Save Us All. "I wanted to make a Jack Splash album, which is part Dr. Dre, part Red Hot Chilli Peppers, part Pink Floyd, part Prince, part Timbaland," he says with a laugh. But, like the forefathers of funk before him (George, James, Sly & Prince to name a few), Jack has always made bedfellows of politics and partying in his music. It's a dichotomy that points to the complex needs of people.
Let loose and dance, or dig deeper and think. "The underlying theme of the album is that it goes back to the believers and the dreamers, like in John Lennon's 'Imagine,'" Jack explains. "We can actually make the utopia that we see in our mind. But we're constantly told to get real, be realistic, stop being a dreamer. I'm sorry, but I just don't believe that optimism isn't realistic." While naysayers on both sides of the political spectrum can get in the way of progress, there are still powerful people affecting change.
"That's the message behind my record," Jack says. "There are two ways we could go: We could use our technological brilliance to build a bigger bomb that could blow up more people, or we could use that same brilliance to fix all these problems that we think are insurmountable but really aren't." In the end, Jack Splash hopes the world will stay positive, keep dancing and listen to the robot with the heart of gold when he says in the intro to Technology and Love Might Save Us All: "You want to know what might save us when push comes to shove? It's not people and bombs, it's technology and love." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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