Inside The Track with Jonn Hawley and Born I Music

The ‘Panties EP’ is the latest release from Milwaukee’s Jonn Hawley featuring Born I Music on the SOUP imprint. This 5-track remix package features re-rubs from Junior Rivero, Chris Patrick, Love & Logic & Joe Pompeo and is sure to tear up the world’s dancefloors with it’s juicy, jackin hip-house flavor.

We took the opportunity to sit down with the dynamic producer and MC tag team to discuss the EP, how they met and the creative process for ‘Panties’, as we went Inside the Track with Jonn Hawley and Born I Music.

Congratulations on your new ‘Panties EP’. How is it being received in your sets and how are other club DJs responding to it?

Jonn: Thank you! Since I posted the clip it has become one of the most requested songs at my gigs. It’s also one of the most listened to songs on my Soundcloud! I have kept this one pretty close but the few people that I have sent it to say it’s a crowd rocker. I am very excited about it!

How did you guys meet?

Born I Music: I met Jonn in Miami through AB Logic at the Winter Music Conference 4 years ago. It was the first time AB and I had experimented with using me as an MC over his house sets. He was a part of a duo at the time called Da Hoodfellas. One of my catchphrases at the time as an MC was “sitting on top of the world”, I would say that kind of as a buffer line to keep the energy going. We were playing a rooftop party and as I was on the mic I heard this record called “Electric Lush” and it blew me away. The chorus was “Feels like I’m sitting on top of the world” and it just so happened that I was saying same line as the record was coming on! I turned to AB Logic and I was like w’ho the hell made this?’ and he said that guy over there, and it was Jonn Hawley! The rest is history. We became fast friends and then family, him J.C, Hannah and the whole clique.

Tell us more about the ‘Panties’ track. What was the main inspiration behind it and what prompted the musical direction on this?

Jonn: What I have found throughout my musical journey is that inspiration strikes at the strangest of times. I live in Wisconsin where winter can range from -50°F wind chills, to 50°F days in February. The day I composed the basic idea for the song was a jump in temperature from 0 to 45°F. Needless to say I was pretty excited to wear shorts outside that day! I tend to write much more bouncy when I am feeling happy. 

Born I Music: Jonn and I had discussed doing a collaboration for some time and he was actually sending me hip hop records for a while, we ended up making a really dope hip hop tune, but our goal was to make a dance music record. Eventually he sent me the track that would ultimately become “Panties”, the bassline was so funky that all I could imagine was women dancing to it in their underwear. That’s where the first line came from, “she’s got a real dope body and her face is a 10…” lyrically, once I get rolling, it pretty much just flows from there. We went back and forth on a few mixes and got to a sound that we really liked and here we are.

On the production side, what is it about the ‘Panties’ track that makes it work?

Jonn: The chugging along sound that knocks you in the chest with a driving bassline, I call it the ‘DROBOT EFFECT’. Most of the upbeat tracks that I have produced over the years have that signature sound to them.

How did you guys get involved with SOUP?

Born I Music: Well. I’m actually the official MC for SOUP NYC, so I’ve been involved with them from the start. Before the company became a label, SOUP was always a team of amazing DJ’s, with Chris Love and AB Logic at the helm. So we started out putting on crazy parties in New York and gradually its evolved into becoming a label. Its really an honor to be on my team’s first release. They are super picky about sound, quality and direction, so just because I’m affiliated doesn’t mean it was a guarantee that I would be on a release!

Is there one machine, program or technique that characterizes your sound?

Jonn: The Roland TR-8 hands down. Since the beginning of my production career, I have been all about Roland and the drums. The TR-8 is such an amazing tool for getting your idea out!

NOTE: Click the images for large versions

What is the one piece of hardware or kit that you simply cannot do without?

Jonn: It’s a battle between the Arturia Microbrute and Roland TB-3. I played stand up bass back in grade school and have been a bass junkie since. Gotta have that BASS FOR YOUR FACE! Ha!

Any advice for your fans on how to make it in todays fast paced game?

Jonn: BE YOURSELF. Be inspired by others but make what YOU enjoy. FEEL IT! Let go and really feel what you are creating. Take your time to make a song instead of just a track. LOVE IT. Stay committed to what you believe in.

Can we expect more collabs from you two in the future? Another one on SOUP perhaps?

Born I Music: Without a doubt. There’s a lot more in store, you can count on that.

Jonn Hawley artist page and releases on Traxsource.