J Rand Talks Interscope Deal, Jimmy Iovine’s Wild Invite and ‘Up Against the Wall’
A visit to the Playboy mansion shortly after meeting Interscope-Geffen-A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine surprised crooner J Rand. The big-time music industry executive invited the South Florida native to Hugh Hefner's abode last year, though, the experience was a bit of a "test" as a new signee.
"It was awesome," J Rand tells The BoomBox. "I think it was a bit of a test to see how I'd feel, fitting in there. It kinda feels like when you go to the Playboy mansion you're kinda like the freshman at the cool high school party and you don't know anybody and you're like, 'What do I do?' It was pretty fun."
Subsequently, the singer-songwriter signed to Iovine's Interscope Records, through Poe Boy Music Group. The career-changing event came courtesy of rapper Flo Rida's manager E Class, who solidified the deal.
J Rand, born Josh Randall, scored a recording contract with E Class' Poe Boy Music Group in 2009. He was the label's star singer. However, hitting high notes wasn't always his passion. "I essentially wanted to be a rapper," he admits with a laugh. "There's incriminating songs of course."
Despite his MC dreams, he excelled in writing songs centered in the R&B and pop lane and provided the vocals to match. The new direction he chose was a seamless one.
"When you first start out you have to realize you can't go to these record labels in Miami and say, 'Can you help me?'" J Rand states. "You have to say, 'I can help you.' So that's what I was really doing. Essentially, someone was like, 'You can sing. Sing on this rapper's hook.' And that's how I really got my start."
His smooth vocals can be heard on "Up Against the Wall," a bass-friendly club track that finds J Rand eyeing a fine female. "Damn you lookin' good, man, shorty so fly/ If I pull you on the dance floor don't be acting shy," he sings.
"We started recording it at 3AM," he reveals of the effort, which was a collaboration between himself, Joseph "Young Seph" Holmes, Nathan Harris and Corey Gibson. "We wanted to make a record as sweaty and as sexy as the track."
"Up Against the Wall" will likely show up on Rand's debut LP. Another song he'll have comprising the tracklist is "Thanks for Nothing," an ode to ex-girlfriends everywhere. The performer penned the lyrics around a soured relationship. He says he uses his "sarcastic humor" to touch on wild acts like a scorned woman breaking his car windows.
As he preps the release of his forthcoming opus, J Rand will also gear up for his role in the comedic film "Spring Breakers," starring James Franco, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. "I'm only wearing a jock strap in the movie in lots of scenes and saying very dirty things," he shares of his role, which moviegoers will witness in 2013.
Yet before then, he has high hopes for his music to reach eager listeners' ears. J Rand's album is complete -- he's set on unveiling the project later this year -- and he's got a special title in mind. "I could tell you," he explains before chuckling. "But then I'd have to kill you."
Watch J Rand's "Up Against the Wall" Video
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