Talking with Jason Walker about “Dance A Little” and His Writing Process

Talking with Jason Walker about “Dance A Little” and His Writing Process

Indie-pop artist Jason Walker recently unveiled his new single/music video, “Dance A Little” (Georgie’s House Is A Feeling Mix), produced and co-written with Georgie Porgie.

Originally from Pittsburgh, where he sang in church choirs, followed by local R&B and blues bands, Walker entered the national spotlight with his performance on Its Show Time at the Apollo. He then moved to NYC, where he signed with Junior Vasquez’s label, JVM, releasing two albums, This Is My Life and Flexible, featuring three Top 10 Billboard hits and two Billboard number ones.

In 2010, Walker released his third full-length album Leave It All Behind, landing his seventh Top 20 Billboard Dance hit. Another single, “Raise Your Hands,” climbed to #17 on the Billboard charts. He followed with “Beat Don’t Stop,” which took the fifth slot on Billboard. In 2018, Walker again topped the Billboard Dance Chart with “I’m in Love with You.”

Walker’s secret is his exuberance, which he channels into his music.

The video, directed by Karl Giant, focuses on Walker, caparisoned in hot pink clothing, along with glow-in-the-dark makeup. Combined with the pulsating push of the heady music, conjuring up suggestions of the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson, the video delivers a dazzling audio-visual experience.

CelebMix spoke with Jason Walker to find out more about the song’s inspiration, his writing process, and his definition of success.

What three things can’t you live without?

Music, of course, also sex, and sweets

What inspired your new single, “Dance A Little?”

The pandemic and subsequent life were really rough on everyone, and I wanted to write something that hopefully would make people forget for a minute and smile a little more.

Who directed the video and where was it shot?

My good friend, and artistic powerhouse, Karl Giant, directed and shot the video. He also did the styling, lighting, make-up, and editing and we shot it in a few locations around NYC.

How did you get started in music?

I started singing when I was 4. I was in the church and school choir and did a lot of theatre and talent showcases growing up. Later I was in a few bands and vocal groups before realizing the types of music I wanted to sing and then moving to New York City.

Where are you from?

Originally, I’m from Canonsburg, PA which is a town about 20 minutes southwest of Pittsburgh, and I’ve lived in Brooklyn for the past 20 years.

Did your hometown impact your sound?

No. I’ve always known that I was a little out there – sometimes a lot out there. It wouldn’t have mattered where I was born and raised. At my core, I’m a coal miner’s daughter (literally–my father was a coal miner).

If you had to explain your sound to the uninitiated, what would you say?

I’d say that I’m a veritable cornucopia of song!

Did your sound evolve naturally, or did you deliberately push it in a certain direction?

I’ve always been drawn to soul singers but grew up listening to Madonna, Prince, and Barbara Streisand.

What inspires your writing?

That’s tough to answer. It really could be anything. I remember when I wrote my album ‘Leave It All Behind’ – I worked at a restaurant in Times Square. I wrote all of the songs during the dinner rushes – I would just zone out while working in a 5-table section–it was like I left myself on auto pilot, left my body and I’d just write – the whole time – while I was waiting for a drink at the bar or serving a table. Lyrics and melodies would just come to me, and I’d sneak off of the floor to record a voice note or write some lyrics.  The whole album happened that way. I was walking down the street and wrote the song “Uh Huh.” It happened real fast.

When we wrote “All To You,” the lyrics and melody just flowed out–it was effortless. There are some songs, though, that have proven not so easy. A couple of songs I’ve been working on for over 10 years, still aren’t quite right. So I’ll go where they lead me and when they want to be completed, they will let me know. I’m weird, I know.

I can’t schedule a time to write. Ideas will just come to me and sometimes they come when it’s quite inconvenient.

Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, or other media?

I guess that you could say that I draw inspiration from everything around me. I will say that pain is a good catalyst. But lately, I’ve been inspired by hope and positivity.

Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?

I really dig anything from the Anjunadeep Label. Ben Boehmer and Marsh are fantastic–along with Jody Wisternoff and James Grant—they make magic. Also, I love the fact that Kate Bush has experienced a renaissance. To me, that’s the music story of the year. And I love H.E.R. And Ultra Nate’s new album is killer.

How do you define success?

I think that success, or at least a large part of it, is having the respect of your peers. That, to me, is success. Having a hit record also helps, lol.

What can your fans look forward to over the next six months? Music videos? Live gigs?

We are prepping our next 2 releases right now. I will be performing at Kenga Madgjik in Albania at the end of November. It will be my second appearance at this music festival as I was there in 2019, and I’m thrilled to be asked to return. We are just getting started.

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