Dec 20, 2017

Artist | Producer | Engineer

Jean Rodriguez

An Interview

The Renaissance period birthed some of the most influential thinkers and artists the world has ever known. This was a time when mastering various crafts was essential to every day life. On this foggy fall afternoon, I arrive to a hotel in Virginia to meet with a man that embodies the characteristics of the individuals who conquered that era. Jean Rodriguez, the multi-faceted musician, engulfed himself in the industry at a very young age as one of the first artists to merge soulful R&B elements with Latin and Caribbean sounds. Jean has spent years producing, songwriting, vocal coaching, engineering, and performing with some of the greatest musicians of this generation. His attention to detail and fearless drive is evident in every project he is involved with. Currently on tour, his DMV stop provides an opportunity to discuss origin stories, success strategies, and why Details Matter.

Can you pinpoint a specific moment in where your goal of becoming an Artist was conceived?

An important moment for me was when I signed my first record deal. I come from a family that placed a lot of emphasis on education. So once I was able to obtain this goal of being a part of A&M and I had my family’s blessing, I knew it I had to strive for it.

Another pivotal moment was the first time meeting Pharrell Williams. He got a hold of my music through a demo. First words out of his mouth during our meeting were “You’re a f****** star!” Seeing that I had the label and Pharrell believing in me definitely gave me the confidence I needed to pursue this dream.

What has been the biggest challenge in obtaining your goals and what fuels you to continue the journey?

The biggest challenge has definitely been staying 100% honest with my music and what I am trying to bring to the game. You learn a lot along the way. Taking the route carved by some of the executives in my journey may have been financially fruitful but it would not have been true to what I was trying to create.

Without a doubt what continues to fuel me is my family and my kids. Staying true and having their support gives me the strength I need to persevere.

What message do you believe is most important when considering your legacy?

I want people to understand how important it is to fight for what they believe. Stay true to their arts. Weaving through life is difficult but the truth will always find its way. I want people to know that I stand for that. I want my music to feel like it is breaking down cultural barriers. I don’t consider it full Spanish and I don’t consider it entirely English, it’s Spanglish.

Can you list the key characteristics needed for professional and/or personal development?

You should always be a student. I am learning something new every day in this business. I began my career as a singer and that is all I knew. I learned the hard way that you must teach yourself all aspects of the business. Learn as much as you can and invest in yourself.

How do you define success?

I ask myself that question all of the time. I am blessed to have accomplished everything that I have in my career. However, what sticks out the most for me are those moments when I put my kids to sleep. I sit and think how great it is to have a beautiful family and food in the fridge. That to me is what being successful looks like. Not how much is in the bank account.

Why is paying attention to details so vital?

Details Matter, and they are so important. I recall an interview I had in where the reporter picked up on every element of one of our songs (COASTCITY). He identified every instrument and the fusion we created. It left an impression on me. When you are able to focus on details and deliver that message, it makes an impact on people. Details definitely Matter.

Artist: Jean Rodriguez

Director: Carlos Escobar
Producer: Sammy Cuevas