Detroit Grand Pubahs would be proud (img: Allie Janisch)

If you want to be wildly successful with dance music, you’ve got to pick a helmet. After all, it worked for Daft Punk. It worked for deadmau5. It could work for Joman too.

“If I had to pick an elaborate helmet, it would be a mantis hat. I have a design that I kind of drew for a logo. I love praying mantises.”

Bringing said mantis hat to fruition isn’t exactly at the top of Joman’s to-do list, but re-rubbing a certain rodent runner’s unreleased banger is.

“I did a deadmau5 remix for Beatport’s ‘SOFI Needs a Ladder’ competition. Voting opens today and ends on the 26th, I believe. The winner gets to open for deadmau5 at an upcoming gig. Six thousand dollars worth of Beatport shwag, shirts and a gift card are also up for grabs.”

Considering deadmau5’s uber-massive current popularity, the competition will inevitably be stiff. Joman’s got a legitimate shot, though. Even though he’s only 22, he’s been tinkering with beats for nearly ten years now.

“My first ‘studio’, per se, was just a surround sound system and a big screen TV. I had my custom-built desktop hooked up to the TV via an S-video cable. So I was squinting when I was looking at the screen, then I would figure it out and make music. I was constantly putting on a show for all my friends. They’d flip out when I’d make some beat they really liked.”

“In 2008, Vanish picked me up on Velcro City Records. He came up to me at Skylab that year. I had a table set up where I was selling CDs. I was giddy that someone was talking to me. I hopped on board, and it was probably the best stepping stone so far. I went from being completely anonymous to actually getting gigs and having Beatport releases.”

Although it’s not as easy as it used to be, getting a track on Beatport is feasible. Charting is the hard part. Not for Joman. “Tha Illest”, a collaboration he did with Hero featuring both Oh Shit and Messinian, moved a respectable number of units. Others’ renditions of Joman’s originals have performed well too. Ishe’s dubstep mix of “These Breaks” peaked at 26.

“I have two fundamental techniques. One is jumping around like a jackass in front of my computer for nine or ten hours until magic happens. The other is pumping out random garbage, file after file, for awhile. Then, armed with the wisdom of hindsight, I return to those tracks and open ’em up one by one. If one sounds good, I’ll know I can probably take it somewhere.”

Kaskade put it best: ‘I don’t concern myself with sales or whether or not something’s gonna chart because I know that for every person who buys one of my tracks or albums, they’re passing it off to 30 other people.’ That’s how I look at Beatport sales. I remember hearing [Beatport CEO] Jonas Tempel play ‘Another Late Night’ at Beta, and there were people in the audience that knew the lyrics. There were people mouthing the words. That was amazing to me.”

Vote for Joman here.

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