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February 22, 2024 32 mins

Welcome to the latest episode of Smiley J Artizone, a hub for celebrating independent music and creativity. Our host, Smiley J, engages in an exciting dialogue with the multi-talented Jess Paul— who is not just a singer and songwriter, but also a community activist and a comedian.

In this engaging interview, Jess shares his unwavering passion for nurturing local music, with a particular focus on go-go - Washington D.C's signature genre. He discusses his contributions to Kids Crank, a non-profit initiative aimed at promoting musicianship among youth and across cultures.

JusPaul also sheds light on his collaborations with other bands, especially with The Jogo Project, and their hit 'Baby Fever.' This go-go song, as per Jess, could be the most commercialized in the industry. Apart from music, Jess talks about his varied roles - from being a tour guide to a cultural advocate. He elaborates on mastering time management and scheduled planning that helps him juggle his many commitments.

Besides his music, Jess Paul gives us a glimpse into his personal life, sharing his joy for crafting unforgettable moments with his family. Evidently, this vibrant personality shatters the 'serious adult' stereotype, emphasizing the value of creating and cherishing memories with loved ones.

Jess leaves listeners with valuable advice for upcoming artists, inspiring them not to suppress their unique voices under societal pressures. He emphasizes the artists' significant role in community transformation and change. Further, he notes the importance of mental and emotional wellness, underlining the necessity of maintaining a positive mindset and eradicating toxicity.

As a treat, the episode wraps up with a musical delight from JusPaul. Tune in and let his vibrant energy uplift your spirits and move your feet!

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Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
(00:00):
The Smiley J Artist Zone is a cool space dedicated to independent music creators,
conversation, music, information, laughter, and much, much more.
Now, here's your host, Smiley J.
Music.

(00:21):
Hey y'all, what's up? What's up? Oh, happy day. Yes, yes, yes. We are truly blessed.
Again, welcome to the Smiley J Art Zone. I am your host, Smiley J,
and I'm so glad that you guys are hanging out with me today.
Shout out to all my real music heads out there. You know, the ones that have
been hanging out with me since day one.

(00:42):
You guys are special to me, and thank you guys for hanging out.
Now, to all of my first-time listeners, yes, all of my newbies,
all of my virgin listeners, welcome, welcome, welcome. I'm glad that you're here.
All I ask is that you come on back and, you know, hang out with me again.
Again, yes, but just next time, you know, bring a couple of friends with you, okay?

(01:02):
And also, you guys can tune in and listen to the show on your favorite music
streaming or podcast platform.
Yes, I'm in all of the major ones.
And, you know, all of the shows are archived, which means that,
you know, if you miss the show, you can always go back and listen.
Yes, listen, you know, just listen whenever you can. It's all good.

(01:23):
I know y'all busy. busy, but wherever you choose to listen, make sure that you
hit that follow button, okay?
Yes, because y'all know my business is chit-chatting music.
Yes, that's what I do, and it's all for you. Yes, all of my real music hits.
Now, listen, you guys know I do have some rules. Yes, yes, I do have rules.

(01:44):
You know, my rules are real simple, which are rule number one,
any music that you hear on this show and you like it, go ahead and,
you know, download the music and add Add it to your playlist. Yes.
Number two, just, you know, all I ask is that you be open-minded.
Yes. Come on out of that music box.
Yes. You know why? Because music comes in many different styles,

(02:06):
genres, and, you know, cultural expressions. Yes.
So appreciate and enjoy the diversity of music.
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Music for your soul.
Now, you know what? Let's go ahead and get on with today's show,
okay? Okay, so you know what? Before I bring on today's guest,
let me just tell you a little bit about him.
He is a singer, songwriter, and he's a community activist.

(02:28):
He's also a comedian. Yes, he has a little comedic side. Yes, he does.
But you know what? He wears many hats, but the one title that he cherishes the
most is being a proud dad of three.
Yes, you guys help me welcome Jess Paul.
Welcome to the Smiley J Artizone. How are you?

(02:51):
What's going on, Smiley J? I'm pretty good.
Good, good. It is so nice to finally have you in the Artizone.
Yeah, it's good to be here finally. It's been a long time coming.
I know, I know. You've been super busy, and busy is always a good thing.
Yes, it is, because when you stay busy, you stay out of trouble. Boom, there it is.

(03:13):
Now, you know, we're still at the top of the 2-4, and I see that you're giving us a new look.
Yeah, the bald head Paul is a little bit different now, ain't he? It's good.
It's all good. This is my 90s R&B look.
I love it. You know, you joined the BBC club, the beautiful bald club.

(03:34):
Oh, I was about to say, what's the beautiful bald head club,
beautiful bald club? Yes, yes.
Now, I see, you know, I be paying attention. I watch my folks.
I see you have been quite busy traveling the world. I mean, doing what you love, which is performing.
Yes. You know, I have to get my performance on. I enjoy being out there in those,

(03:56):
in the wilderness, if you will.
The music wilderness. Yeah, you've been hanging out with the legendary jazz,
funk, and R&B band Blackbirds. Yes.
Yes, yes. And by the way, congratulations to them for 50 years,
you know, their 50 year anniversary, just bringing us the good,
timeless music that we all love.

(04:18):
Yeah, it's been a long 50.
Yeah. I've only been in for 13, but yeah.
But that's awesome. It's a long 50, and not in a negative way,
but like the place is in space.
And if you go and listen to those records, you can hear like the experiences
and how it's been longevity, you know?

(04:41):
And you know what? And longevity is a beautiful thing, especially in the music
business. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
You know? So, Paul, you are what I would call a renaissance man.
Like, you have multiple skills that you use for the good of others, you know?
And I love that. You know, I love that. I think that is so dope.

(05:04):
Yes, thank you. I take pride in doing that. I think it's a matter of purpose.
Feels purposeful. Yes, yes. And you know what? We're going to talk about some
of those things. Yes, we are.
Because you know what? You know, the folks in the DMV and beyond know about you.
But we want to, you know, we want to circulate this to the world.
All of my listeners worldwide, you know? Yes.

(05:25):
I like to brag on my folks, especially when they are making positive contributions
and just pouring into others.
Yes. Well, first of all, hey, Worldwide Listener.
Yes, we're going to get to know more about Jess Paul. Yes, we are.

(05:46):
You know what? Let's start off, you know, because I'm a homegirl. I'm a D.C. native.
Let's start off with Kids Crank Go-Go. Let's go. Keep talking about that.
So Kids Crank is a nonprofit that I started. It is a program that focuses on
shining the light on D.C.'s official music genre, go-go.

(06:13):
And from the at-risk point of view, we are here to deter youth away from drill
music and that entire lifestyle over to musicianship through go-go.
But for the more suburban side and holistic view, we just want to raise awareness

(06:33):
on this culture of go-go music in Washington, D.C.
With the intent of influencing the creation of go-go bands all over the world. Yes.
Go-Go is a cultural exchange movement where the conga drum is being played in

(06:55):
Latin communities, but they haven't seen the junior conga.
And so we're coming with the junior conga and we're holding it up like a golden trophy.
And we're finding that we we're different, but we're very much alike.
So it's a barrier breaker, kids, correct?
I love it. And I love that, you know, you guys are reaching the kids through music.

(07:18):
And, you know, I am a, you know, DC native. So go-go was really near and dear
to me. Like I went to school with some of the guys in essence.
And, you know, that was a big part of my childhood and growing up.
And, you know, even now, you know, you, you dropped that, you dropped that go-go
beat. I'm going to drop it.
I'm going to drop it too. So, you know, it's spiritual, like it's spiritual.

(07:38):
It just grabs at you. You know, you got to move. You got to move.
Yeah, absolutely. Trank website right now.
But if you want to see a just Paul performance, you want to go to Washington dot org.
I am a the newest one of the newest members of Destination D.C.,
which is our tourism board.

(07:59):
So you my performances locally are
updated on that website the website that you
would visit to find things to do in Washington the
number one congratulations that's major yes so you know what I have to say that
so if you do travel to DC you just might see Jess Paul as I mentioned providing

(08:22):
you with some very informative information and landmarks and cultural cultural attractions.
And you know what? I'm sure that your tour guide is just lit.
Yeah. It's a good time. It is a good time. Like you said, it is very informative.
But I like to have a good time too.

(08:43):
I know, because that's your personality. I mean, if I have to be on a tour,
I need it to be, you know, with a personality like yours.
Entertainment as well as informative.
Yes. And shout out to all the people that are doing two things at once.
Because, yes, I am a singer, but I am also a tour guide.
And I'm a D.C. cultural advocate. I think they all intertwine with each other.

(09:07):
And I can't wait to give you guys a tour.
I can't wait. I'm having a great time doing it. Well, you know what?
I'm going to have to jump on your tour.
At least I think I've seen everything in D.C., but I'm sure that I have not.
So I might have to jump on your tour just so I can be entertained doing the
guide, doing the tour. Yes, yes.

(09:29):
Now, you are that guy. You know, you're that guy that's often called on to collaborate
with some of the bands around town.
You are that guy. He's a hired gun.
Like a hired dude. Yes, yes.
So tell us about one of the collaborations with one of my favorite bands,

(09:52):
one of many, The Jogo Project. Yes.
What is it, Baby Fever? Baby Fever is a record that is out right now on all platforms.
My favorite platform being Apple Music. But yes, Baby Fever is out.
I do have a record with The Jogo Project that's led by Elijah Jamal Balbid,

(10:13):
the last saxophone player for Chuck Brown. Man, what can I say?
Horns, lyrics, vocals, congos, rollatons, cowbell, a go-go swing,
and Lord have mercy, a beautiful saxophone being played by Elijah Jamal Bobbitt.
You can't get better commercialized, original go-go than this song right now.

(10:39):
I don't know a commercialized go-go song in the industry right now better than this song.
I don't. You know what? I'm tapping my feet right now. We're not even listening
to it. but I've heard it, but I'm sitting here tapping my feet because I hear it in my head.
You know what I'm saying? Hey, go-go ain't cranked this good on a commercial
scale since doing the butt.
Oh, okay. You know what? You know what? You know what? We're making a lot of noise around the globe.

(11:02):
People are just enjoying just the whole move, the go-go movement,
the feel, you know. But, you know, nobody does it like DC, but,
you know, we love that people are embracing it.
Now, you know what? but you are quite a busy man.
Father, friend, artist, community activist.
Like, how do you manage your time? I know how I manage my time. Google Calendar.

(11:27):
If it ain't on Google Calendar, I'm going to have a challenge meeting.
So normally when I get an assignment or I'm scheduling something,
I have to pull this phone out and just put it there.
Even if it's not in detail, like, meeting with Smiley.
So you just you have a placeholder even if it's not confirmed yeah it got to

(11:48):
be right there yes I have to do the same thing because otherwise you know I
forget and you know yeah the calendar can be your best friend if you use it
wisely to help manage your time now you being a musical guy I have to ask like,
What artists did you listen to growing up? Like, what was your music menu like?

(12:10):
Oh, snap. Everybody who played on Magic 102.3. Okay. The old Magic 102.3. Quiet Storm.
Quiet Storm? You know what I'm talking about? Are you talking about Melvin Lindsay?
Are you old enough to know about Melvin Lindsay? I didn't know whose name was
what. I was just in that thing.
I would fall asleep to this music. I would just, like, be to this music all day.

(12:34):
And then I stumbled upon the Jackson 5 Greatest Hits.
And I never looked back from there. Wow.
Now, I have to say, because, you know, I partnered with you and hosted with some events.
And I have to say that you have this incredible energy that's just infectious.

(12:56):
It's like, if you're a wallflower, you're going to pull those folks off the wall.
Yeah, yeah. You know, you just had that energy to make you want to get up and
move your feet. You know, you don't have to beg people to dance.
I don't know what's going on with people not wanting to get their groove on
these days, but I'm not one of those people.
But if you are one of those people, you must see Jess Paul perform and just

(13:21):
taking all that good energy. Like, it's amazing. Amazing.
Yeah. Thank you for that. Thank you for that.
I enjoy being able to share that energy as well, right?
Because sometimes, especially when you spend a lot of time alone,
you find yourself having it all balled up and you want to go outside and just give it out.

(13:43):
So why not give it out in a way that makes us all happy?
There you go. Because that music is the one thing that bridges us together and
connects us and breaks down all those barriers.
It's a music on.
Speaking the universal language. Yes, yes.
So like I said, we know how you manage your time. You use the calendar, smart man.

(14:05):
Now, when you're not performing, what does Jess Paul do in his spare time?
I am putting together a holiday...
A 190-piece holiday camper van by Lego for my kids.
I like to do stuff that maybe you'd see on a YouTube channel.

(14:30):
And I should be probably time-lapsing this, like, record it with time-lapse
phones so they can believe. Because they won't believe I put this together.
Yeah, you have to. I put things together.
But I like to just do stuff with my kids and do stuff for my kids that they'll probably never forget.
Which is why you have to capture those moments so they can always have something,

(14:51):
you know, near and dear and close to them, you know? Yep. Yep. Yep.
So, okay. So as you know, this platform is dedicated to independent music creators like yourself.
So they listening and all my music hits, all my music hits, all my artists owners.
Okay. Come on. Getting to be my one desire. Getting to be all that matters to me.

(15:19):
Yeah, my little music. Wait a minute. I was waiting for the next.
Listen, this is what I'm talking about, y'all. You see how he just, he's got music to wreck.
You see how he just burst out with a song? I love it.
I love it. Yeah. So, as I was mentioning, you know, I have a lot of artists that tune into the show.
And you've been an independent music creator, a father, a community activist,

(15:42):
all that you do, can you give a piece of advice to the emerging artists right now listening?
What piece of advice would you share? Ooh, don't let them shut you up.
Don't let them make you think that because you sing, you can't do something in your community.

(16:03):
They need us, okay? One of the most powerful activists to ever exist.
Name was Fela Kuti.
Who was your year? Yeah.
Or Bob Marley. You know what I'm saying? Marvin Gaye. Paul Robeson.

(16:23):
You know what I'm saying?
We got to be willing to do that. Paul Robeson went to the front lines of a war
in Europe and sang and stopped the war.
Look at that. He temporarily stopped the wars. Temporary ceasefire for music.
This is what we do. You understand?
There's a reason why the USO has always been a thing. They're going to take

(16:47):
your music over to the boys in the middle on their break time during war.
This is a healing and a wellness piece that you got.
And the best part about being a musician or an artist in a position of,
protest is that you always got a microphone. You always got a microphone, man. So use that joint.

(17:10):
Don't just use it to hit the note. Use it to say the quote. Hello.
Boy, you got to hear that. This is recorded, right?
Yes, it is. Listen, you've trademarked
that. That was the most handsomest thing I ever said in my life.
I love it. I love that. I absolutely love it. So don't mute yourselves.
Use your voice, You know, not only for the notes, use it for your voice,

(17:31):
for your communities, your neighborhoods. Yes.
So, Jess, Paul, I always ask the ladies, right?
I always ask the ladies about their wellness routine, you know?
But, you know, guys, you guys need wellness routine, too. Like,
we all are under the sun together.
We all deal with different things, you know, everyday stressors.

(17:53):
What are some of the things you do, some of the wellness activities that you
do? Or what do you do to manage your stress?
Number one, I pray. Okay, there you go.
Number one. Let's put that right there up front. Number two,
I make sure I do stuff that makes me happy, right?
First of all, make sure you do stuff that presents yourself well.

(18:13):
Get a hic, wash your booty.
You feel me? I knew this was going to be this kind of interview.
You feel me? Also, ain't nothing, and it's nothing like a long shower.
You may stay in there a little longer. I don't know what your water bill look
like, but you may stay in there a little longer, right?
I also listened to this cat named Daraj Global, who talks about healing yourself.

(18:38):
Self and uh just positive affirmations and
it's a really good piece where
this guy just he just talks about the law of attraction and all of that so all
the good stuff yeah you feel me i feed myself that feed yourself good stuff
that's what i do with my wellness i stay away from toxicity there you go goodness

(19:00):
there you go water your soul with the good stuff yeah water your soul with the good stuff.
Yes, yes, I love it. And that's so important. I do the same thing.
Like, I don't want anything disturbing my spirit. Like, yeah.
So, so listen, we're going to get on some of this music. You know,
I want the folks to hear this music. So I'm going to let you choose.

(19:21):
What are we going to put on?
You know what? I think this is a good time to give them a chance to listen to,
To baby fever. And the reason I say that is because I want to start to give you that flavor.
Okay. I want to give you the immediate flavor of the newness.
And then we'll go further into things like hot bread and butter and survival.

(19:47):
Okay. So that folks can kind of, I want you to get to know where we are now.
And then hear where we were just coming from. Because it's all in the same realm.
But it tells a story. You know what? This is my show. I'm going to play both
of them. How about that? Baby fever and survival.
Boom. So we're going to do that. But before I get the songs on for the people,

(20:07):
I need you to tell the folk.
I know you gave them one how to contact you through the travel,
but, you know, give out your social media handles so folks can keep up with
all the wonderful things that you're doing and download your music and interact
with you because you're real active on your page. Yes, I am. I shows up.
I'm going to answer you. You write me now. Be careful what you write me.

(20:27):
I'm going to write you back.
Now, you can hit me on Instagram at J-U-S-P-A-U-L. I'm on threads as the same.
I don't know what threads is and how I ended up on it, but I'm on threads.
You can find me on Twitter at JustPaul202. That's J-U-S-P-A-U-L 202.

(20:50):
Shout out to the entire Washington, D.C. Today is 202 day.
I'm on Facebook at J-U-S-P-A-U-L Spires,
last name Spires I am on Black Planet at Chocolate Handsome Father of Three
Making music in the DMV 202,

(21:10):
2023 That's my whole nickname on Black Planet,
Wonderful. Wonderful. Thank you for leaving all that information.
I'm on Christian Mingle at Loves the Lord. And look, I'm glad.
You know what? You know what? Somebody was writing that down.
It's all good. It's all good.

(21:32):
Look, I sit in the no judgment zone. So if you're on Christian Mingle, it's all good.
So I want to thank you so much for hanging out with me. And you know what?
I forgot to mention that we're going to be kicking off me in partnership.
I got to mention this. I can't go without mentioning this. I just thought about it.
Myself and RJ Entertainment, we have partnered up together to spotlight some

(21:55):
independent music creators around the Washington, D.C. area and beyond.
We're going to have what you call Mature Mondays. I know everybody had the Monday
blues, but not if you hang out with us, Mature Mondays.
And our kickoff is going to be with Jess Paul.
So make sure you make your way out I'll leave all the information,
we would love to see you there, hang out see them Jess Paul and the family Jess

(22:19):
Paul and the family and I'm going to be dressed very maturely okay okay,
I guess I'm going to have to do something since me and RJ are entertaining I
guess we're going to have to show up too they're going to make me pull up some
heels yeah, you're going to pull up some heels and I'm such a sneaker girl,
I'm coming through like a Chuck Brown fanatic.

(22:41):
Okay. I'm ready. I'm ready for it. I'm so excited.
So, again, I want to thank you for hanging out with me.
And look, best of luck to you in all that you do. And continue doing what you
do. We need more folks like you.
World changers. Change agents.
Yes. Change agent. Yes. That's a powerful one right there. That's powerful.

(23:03):
Yes, it's true. Change agent. Oh, man. Man.
Listen, keep doing what you do. We need more folks like you in the world.
Thank you. Thank you, Smiley. And the same for you. We need this energy right
here. We need this energy.
Thank you. Thank you so much. And peace and love to you and much success.
And I see you on Mature Mondays. And that's going to be April 1st.

(23:26):
Yes, April 1st. Mark your calendars, DMB, and hang out with Jess Paul and the family.
Mm-hmm. April, don't be no fool. Come on down to this spot, y'all. Yeah.
Music.

(27:34):
Hi, this is singer-songwriter and musician Dana Davis, and you are in the Artist Zone with Smiley J.
Music.

(30:56):
Oh my gosh, this was so much fun. I want to thank today's guest,
Jess Paul, for coming through. Yes.
You guys be sure to follow him so that you know you can keep up with all the
wonderful things that he does.
Because you know what? That brother's got a lot of stuff going on out here in
these streets. But guess what? It's all good stuff. And that's what's up.

(31:17):
And I want to thank you. Yes, I want to thank you guys for being patient and.
Hanging with me to the very end.
Just know that I appreciate and I love each and every one of you.
Yes. Yes, I do. Now, to all my artists out there, you know, you heard today,
wherever, you know, it's music, wherever you're a visual artist,
whether it's literature, you know what?

(31:38):
Just be sure to use your platform to influence, to inspire.
And you know what? And promote all that good, positive change that's needed
out here in this world. Yes.
Now if that's not your ministry I totally get it But guess what That's You know
That's cool We still love you though Keep doing what you do Until next time
I'm going to need you guys To be well,

(31:59):
Stay safe And remember to listen to Good good music Your ears Well thank you
for it I'm Smiley J And I'm out.
Music.
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