Growing up in a home with records from the past and a love for the current hits coming his way via the now antiquated way of music television, Vinnie Jinn fell in love with the art of music from the jump. Today, a veteran of the music industry, there isn’t much he hasn’t done; from being part of a group to going solo to starting his own label, Pyaar Music Records. We talked about all of that and then some like his latest release, ‘Joyful Noise,’ and more.
Kendra: You’ve been making music since the decade when there wasn’t a day without a Mariah Carey song in the #1 spot. With that, what has been the most significant change you’ve seen that you feel has impacted the music industry since the ‘90s?
Vinnie Jinn: A good question that I have been talking about a lot with my friends, musicians, and people in the industry lately, and I have countless thoughts about it.
I grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s in Poland, listening to music from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, which at that time was difficult to access. We had many unique types of vinyl and vintage reel tapes at home. Listening to this music on such media was something mystical for me.
At that time, I was also listening to music on TV, watching programs such as American MTV, German Viva 2, or the Polish music program Atomic TV. I remember recording my favorite music videos on VHS and then listening to them over and over again. Every new song and music video from that time was like discovering a new planet for me.
It was classic rock, blues (I’m a massive fan of BB King, Ray Charles), jazz (Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis), soul (Al Green, James Brown), but also the beginnings of electronic music and American hip-hop. Back then, I listened to bands like Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath. Then, when new styles of music emerged, I was excited to discover new genres. Rock music naturally made me love bands playing thrash metal or hardcore. I’ve always been a big fan of bands like Pantera, Sepultura, Soulfly, Rage Against the Machine, Korn, Tool, NIN, Marylin Manson, Deftones, etc.
With the emergence of bands like Limp Bizkit and their song “N 2 Gether Now” featuring Method Man, I fell in love with Wu-Tang Clan. I discovered Redman, NWA, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, OutKast, Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Talib Kweli, Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, and The Pharcyde. Probably because all these bands based their beats on samples of instrumental music that I grew up on, I liked their music so much.
Even though I often had no idea what many artists were rapping or singing about, it did not matter to me at the time because what mattered to me was the singer’s flow and the music itself. These elements make us like the artist or band or not. I know that rap is mostly about lyrics, but I think that other stimuli matters to our perception and liking of a given song.
I have never closed myself to one genre and have always been curious about new music. Likewise, I was a huge fan of The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method, Massive Attack, Tricky, Run DMC, Roni Size, and many other electronic music precursors. With the advent of compilations with songs released by the Ninja Tunes label, I was crazy about this kind of music, which was a fusion of trip-hop and electronic music created by solo music producers.
All these bands were a huge inspiration for me and my style. I think it was because they were new and at that time more difficult to discover than music is today. Even music piracy was something new, unique, and hard to access because not everyone had the internet.
It used to be that being part of a band made you special, you became an idol because there weren’t many artists who could or had enough money to create. To record an album, you had to go to a professional studio, plan everything, pay a lot of money, have access to such opportunities, and, above all, be a good musician and be able to compose music.
The entire world of music at that time was of great value because of its uniqueness and the fact that it was not easily accessible to everyone.
Nowadays, when virtually anyone can make music at home or even on the phone, without musical instruments, music is free to listen to and discover on many free music platforms, and all its unique values have disappeared. Music has become a background and something completely common. Today’s producers do not even have to know how to play the instruments because the algorithms mostly create music for them. This is crazy because today even AI can create quite decent music that cannot be distinguished in quality from real musicians.
What everyone dreamed of when I was a kid to be able to listen to and access all kinds of music became the curse of the entire music industry. Apart from the few artists supported by big labels, those who play many gigs now, and a few artists who know how to promote their music themselves, virtually musicians make no money from music today at all.
Now, the streaming platforms that the entire music industry once fought against are reaping all the profits. By the way, they are also paid by artists who delude themselves that the appearance of their work together with hundreds of thousands of new artists a day will change their lives and build their fan base. Trust me, most of the artists who have their music on Spotify and other streaming platforms do not earn as much a month as they pay for access to these platforms as listeners. Moreover, to appear on these platforms, artists often have to pay for it as well, having absolutely no profit whatsoever.
There is too much music today, it is free, and in my opinion, this is the most significant change since the ‘90s, which radically changed the way people perceive it.
Kendra: Did any of those changes impact how you went about starting Pyaar Music Records?
Vinnie Jinn: Believe it or not, I don’t follow what’s going on in the music industry. I don’t even know many new artists. I usually find new music accidentally through playlists from streaming platforms. But I rarely check who is playing it. I only save the songs that I like in my favorites so as not to lose them. But I don’t even have to do that because the algorithm does it for me, arranging similar playlists for me. So as you can see, I am also a victim of this new music system and I am lost in this massive world of music and its resources.
I am most emotionally connected to the music that was with me when I was growing up and when I discovered what life is. I think that is why the most loyal fans are people in their teenage years, in the period of rebellion and willingness to belong to some kind of community.
I have been creating my music since I was a child. It is my greatest passion that allows me to relax, clear my emotions, and expel my anger and disappointments in life. It has always been a form of self-therapy for me. I have never created music to please someone, to adapt to current trends, or to earn money from it. My tunes must always please me above all. It is for me the purification of my soul and it will be that forever.
However, over the years I have produced over 1,000 songs that were heard only by me or a small group of people close to me. People who lived with me were forced to listen to it over and over again during the production of these songs. However, I have never heard too many negative opinions about what I create. Indeed, many of my friends and relatives could not understand why I am not trying to show it to the world. I have heard hundreds of times from my friends that it is a pity not to show my music to others. So finally, I decided to start releasing my songs on my own, without being affiliated with any label.
I constantly try to be as independent as possible in what I do to have full control over it.
I have also been associated with the independent film industry since I was a teenager. Furthermore, having lived in Ireland for 11 years, I ran a commercial and documentary production company in which we used my music as a soundtrack. I have been close to the art, film, animation, and games industry all the time. Every day, I also get to know more and more talented artists and creative studios personally. I owe it to the cooperation with the magma.com company, in which I am a shareholder and I help to develop it.
Hence the idea for Pyaar Music Records, which is not only a boutique label promoting my music and the artists selected by me. Above all, it is a soundtrack marketplace where you can buy my instrumental compositions with an exclusive license for life.
I am also a music engineer, so sometimes I also mix and master songs for other artists and as a ghost producer, I create commissioned beats for other artists. I already have a plan to expand this business, so this is just the beginning of my path as a label owner.
Kendra: Looking back, how do you think 2011’s ‘Trip Around Tunes’ compares to your latest, ‘Joyful Noise’ in terms of your artistry?
Vinnie Jinn: Each album I made is a different stage in my life. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been listening to a lot of different music since I was a child. From jazz, blues, rap, hip hop, and soul to metal, drum and bass, and widely understood electronic music. ‘Trip Around Tunes‘ was an album to prove to myself that I can create any kind of music I can think of. Therefore, it is a fusion of many genres of music that were close to me at that time.
I really like experimenting with sounds and giving myself musical challenges that motivate me to create. Before I started making the next album “Seed of Manuka” I often went to clubs in Ireland where they played house music. I like such music very much because you can easily add parts of musical instruments to it, such as saxophone, trumpet, hand drums, piano, guitar, etc. But I didn’t like everything that I heard, and it was too monotonous for me, so I decided to create the kind of music that I feel the most.
I am aware that too much variety in sound may make it difficult for the listeners to remember the artist who creates it and it is better to create one characteristic style. The problem is that I have a very diverse personality and deal with so many things in life that are often opposites to each other. So it’s hard for me to stick to one music genre. I always want to diversify my music somehow so that it expresses me.
Interestingly, after so many years of producing, this variety has become my own music genre. I have heard many times from listeners that they can recognize my work by this unusual style and fusion of sounds that I create.
As I mentioned, I have created over 1,000 songs over the years, which, despite the variety, sometimes retain a similar atmosphere. So I decided to divide them into albums whose musical pieces will sound coherently as one project. The album “Joyful Noise” is one of those characteristic styles of film music that I create. Hence, the idea to publish it as a separate piece of music in order not to distract the listener too much and to show the style of music that is very close to me at the moment.
Kendra: A couple of your recent singles, “End of Rain” and “28th May,” have a very eerie, cinematic feel. So if you could place either or both in a recent film, what movie would that be and why?
Vinnie Jinn: For years, I have been creating music that I try to tell some stories. The entire album “Joyful Noise”, which these singles come from, consists of songs that, despite the fusion of very different music genres, create a coherent story. I took the same approach when creating the album “Trip Trough Galaxies”, which I also refer to as electronic cinematic music. However, I would prefer to leave the interpretations of my music in terms of the image to the listener.
As difficult as it is to define the genre of music I create, it is difficult for me to find a type of film in which it could fit perfectly. However, I feel that thanks to a kind of delicate darkness and mystery, this music would fit in a film that would be filmed in the atmosphere of the paintings of Edward Hopper.
The album “Joyful Noise” has already attracted the attention of the animation studio – Pitch Dev Studios, who worked on such films as Finch or Black Adam. PDS decided to use selected songs from this LP in their latest production, which they are currently working on. “Moon Kontrol” will be an animated film set at a space base on the moon. However, I cannot tell you the details of the scenario yet, due to the confidentiality of the project. However, I can’t wait to see the results of their work.
Kendra: On top of doing your own thing, you’re also part of a rap group, Klif n Jinn. Do you approach music differently as a solo artist than you do when you’re collaborating with your partner?
Vinnie Jinn: Thanks for asking about that. In parallel with Joyful Noise, we have just released our second album together with Kliford – Klif n Jinn “Eclectic 2”. LP promotes two singles (“Freedom” & “Ceviche”) and two more will appear in August 2022. This project is an entirely different energy for me, full of inspiration obtained from another person and the charisma of Kliford. Kliford is a stage animal, well-experienced with a scene that he loves and feels perfect in it. He is the best freestyler I have ever met on my way, whose lyrics, invented and recited live, are sometimes better for me than the ones he writes. They have an interesting philosophical message and are a bit less metaphorical, so they are easier to interpret and perceive.
Despite my extensive experience as a composer, I do not have much experience with the stage. I only played a few gigs in my life. The largest for several thousand people. Apart from the fact that Kliford has been associated with the Polish rap scene for over 20 years, he also works as a host at large events and music festivals, so it is a natural environment for him.
Making music for myself is relaxing for me and it calms me down. In such a process, I am most inspired by sounds, which are an inspiration for the next ones. Making music with someone is a different kind of story and energy. Despite a similar creative process in the field of music, there is a second personality that drives you to act. Kliford adds a few sounds from himself and raps the lyrics, which is also an inspiration for me to write or invent lyrics that complete the whole.
Even though my lyrics are improvised on the album as well, I don’t feel comfortable with freestyle. I like to write song lyrics. They are always created mysteriously for me, without a plan and I never know what message from my mind universe will ultimately arise. This is my controlled improvisation. Each word is an inspiration for the next, just like composing music.
Making music with Kliford in the Klif n Jinn project is an incredibly creative adventure for both of us. Even though we are very different from each other in terms of personality, together we create one synchronous organism, and together we cannot get over how well we complement each other in the creative process. We are like the engine that drives our musical machine. Hence, our name Klif n Jinn, which is a peculiar play on words.
For us, music is most of all fun and super creative, awesome time together. Interestingly, the productions that we have created together over the last 2 years are recorded during individual live sessions. The lyrics, guitars, keys, and other instruments are improvised to the beats I have created during our jam sessions. We created over 100 songs in this way. I only deal with mixing and mastering alone because in this process I have to keep the focus on the sound to make it suitable for publication and listening by others.
Contrary to appearances, Kliford is more demanding when it comes to the final sound than I am. I know from experience that for an ordinary listener, it does not really matter that much because they cannot hear certain nuances that professional musicians hear. The sound must be loud enough, clear, and not distorted. However, working together in a team requires seeking consensus so that everyone is satisfied with the final effect.
This is one of the key differences between music projects created a solo for oneself and those created together with another artist or commissioned by a client. You have to strike a balance to make everyone happy. And this is the biggest challenge for me in this type of project. Anyway, I love it!
Kendra: Time for a side note – with it being summer, I’d love to know your go-to summer anthem? Like what song must you listen to when the weather is perfect and the sun is out?
Vinnie Jinn: I don’t have any favorite songs that I would recommend as an anthem. For me, jazz rap and deep house songs are the best for summer. I recommend Jazz Rap playlists on streaming platforms or Hip-Hop band from Manchester – The Mouse Outfit. It is one of the few jazz rap bands in the world that I can listen to all the time and I like the vast majority of their songs. From the deep house genre, for the summer I recommend Sahale – a Parisian producer who mixes traditional and electronic instruments. I love this type of music fusion.
From my songs, I recommend a few of my older singles: “Music Potion”, “Tekilla!”, (which I recorded with the Polish artist Agbe), “Blue Moon” (which was the anthem promoting the Irish Castelpalooza 2015 festival), “Alabania Drive” from the new Klif n Jinn album – Eclectic II, and the song “Mordko Fajerman” from the album Joyful Noise. I think it is such a piece of diverse music that everyone will find something for themselves.
Kendra: Lastly, what are your plans moving forward? Is there touring in the works?
Vinnie Jinn: Currently, I am focusing on promoting the released albums and singles. As Klif n Jinn, we are planning to play a few gigs, but we have to figure out how to do it interestingly. As I mentioned, our music was made live, without a plan and everything was improvised. Therefore, it is hard to repeat it similarly. But we already have some ideas on how to get this project on stage.
As for me, I would now like to pay more attention to the promotion of my soundtrack marketplace and start promoting the artists who are part of Pyaar Music Records.
We are currently scouting for more jazz rap and alternative electronic music artists that we could release under our label to promote them on the global stage.
If someone from your audience would like to cooperate with us, I invite all interested bands and artists to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am also in the process of finalizing the purchase of a huge 200-year-old stone barn bordering a forest and a lake, which I intend to transform into a music studio and art center. As soon as I finish the construction, I intend to take my activities to a new level. I’m sure you’ll hear about us again.