Check out one of our best interviews yet. I2G sits down with Jehuniko to discuss all things Welocme To Forever, J’s latest magnum opus.
*Bonus**** also check out Jehuniko’s latest sit down interview with Latination
I2G is here with Jehuniko, how’s it going brother?
I am well thank you, blessed & grateful. Counting my blessing & not my problems you could say hahaha. 2016 has been the the hardest yet most blessed year of my life.
Amen to that. Alright let’s get right into it. Now I personally know the background on this new project, Welcome To Forever, which dropped on the 26th of September. For all the fans and people out there new to the project and the singles, tell me a little bit about how it came together for you.
It is a personal narrative of me living & breathing. Painting the picture of how I see things and how I want the subjects of love, duality & intimacy to be seen. Raw, powerful yet respected & nurtured. As human animals, we thrust our souls into position to be where we need to be in life but a delicate balance of careful touch is also required. Treading lighting, if you will. As I said in 1 of the songs on “Welcome To Forever,” so aggressive, so delicate.” The afforementioned encapsulates exactly what I want to communicate. Love hard but carefully. Be vulnerable as to experience every flavor, every meal of soul food with that one person who has earned the spot, who has earned the right to walk by your side yet be aware of what is happening. Love hard & let this life movie play out, welcome forever the absolute electricity and never lower your standard. It could all be so beautiful and what I wrote is forever real.
How did you come up with the artwork concepts for the singles and the project?
I had been collecting these images for some time and they seemed to work perfect. When it was time to send over the images to Tanner Guinn, one of the best graphic artists there is, I had the images ready. Tanner just worked his magic. The way he made the artwork for “Canters” with my name was so ill. I cannot thank Tanner enough!
The response from the supporters has been overwhelming to say the least, and you have very vocal and honest supporters. But I must say for this project I have never seen people REACT to the music they way they have with this project compared to others. From an artist’s standpoint, how is that feeling?
It is so humbling. Easily the biggest response to anything I’ve ever done. I have to say, it caught me by surprise. The songs wrote themselves. I was merely a conduit for the electricity. I kept it so raw in these songs. Talking about intimacy, a heart longing for someone’s proximity, dancing with a lady and feeling on top of the world. You know, people drink & take drugs sometimes in an effort to somehow come close to the feelings I describe in these songs but nothing compares to the healing touch of a woman. It is adrenalin & joy, bliss & amazement all in one. Nothing compares and it is an absolute honor to pay my respect to the beginning of time. I say the beginning of time because a woman gives birth to us, she begins our time here on planet earth so let me bow down in sheer awe at the magic & power that is she.
I always wondered with your music how do you decide musically where your albums take you and the listeners on a journey?
My heart guides me ultimately but it’s also a response to what’s happening in the world. The concepts come to me in dreams sometimes, other times I reflect for months and then plot accordingly. I have never released a project like “Welcome To Forever” and I felt it was a good time considering the chaos in the world. For example, all these crazy things are happening with the US government, world governments yet people still are sacrificing everything to take care of their children, to carve out a moment of bliss & laughter. “Welcome To Forever” was calculated & very much a response to the chaos of the world in hopes that it would be a time capsule for those selfish dreamy thoughts while waiting at stop lights, while waiting in line at the store, when you first wake up in the morning and your mind drifts off to times of magic & fire.
Alright let’s dig into it, Welcome To Forever, the project. Word association. I am going to go track by track and give me your thoughts either on making the track or maybe a vibe or feeling you feel best represents it. I will also give my thoughts on them as well.
I like it, let’s do this.
Oregon- The intro on this is and the production is amazing. Very sensual to the ear.
Reviewing text messages & writing down thoughts from those texts communicated by me, remembering the associated feelings. Places, images, feeling selfish yet still adoring the magic unfolding.
Toi On Sunset- Another amazing intro. Great story telling. Love how the beat switches up
Thank you so much! “Toi On Sunset” is a Thai food restaruant in Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. & I have gone there for many years. This song documents the magic of touch, the glow of her smile, this is sound in color. I remember a table full of food, more food than we could eat & I was surrounded by some of my oldest friends and an absolute queen. I remember having to park far away, making sure she was on the inside while we walked so I was the one closest to the street, holding hands, every step felt like the sidewalk cracked underneath our feet.
Crowne Plaza Motel 6- Another amazing story telling track. Love how the beat changes up also with this.
Stressed out, losing her while following each other late at night. Falling asleep worried sick. Following the wrong car at a certain point. It was like a movie. The car I ended up following was driving all crazy trying to shake me then when they parked they ran into the hotel to lose me. Kind of funny to think about now but I felt bad, plus only hours later did we reunite. Hence the part where I knock on the door finally reuniting. It was like plugging a lamp into the light socket, I am the lamp & she is the power source, together we light up an eternity with our hands grazing the outer limits of the universe with stardust trailing from our fingertips. Let that moment live forever.
In The Shower- Slow, melodic banger. The ladies love the artwork on this also.
I love the artwork also. I think this maybe was the biggest song on the project. I loved the melody & vibe but also the message too so I chose to perform this song on National TV network, LATV when the opportunity came up. Love, intimacy, friendship but how about being proud of who you are & what you look like. If you’re not happy then work on yourself but bottom-line, accept who you are and be proud. I remember standing in the shower with the shower curtain open, telling this absolutely beautiful queen to not allow those oppressive thoughts to make a home on her shoulders, how fucking amazing she was inside & out. Society is cruel in their corrupt standards of beauty and in every breath I aim to burn those glass houses down.
Echoplex- The intro on this kind of reminds me of Illusions from Cypress Hill. Feel good track as the chorus chants.
Yes!! I am huge fan of world music and have always wanted to do incorporate world music into my own music. The words in this song are so real. I don’t drink but I remember being at this club Echoplex feeling intoxicated with adrenalin & love & adoration. Like, the illest high but all natural. I’m telling you, the power of a woman. Dancing with her, in front of a fan, like the most timeless shampoo commercial ever with her hair dancing in the wind.
Canters- A I2G favorite. My 2nd favorite on this and one of Tanner’s favorites on this. Now Canters is an actual restaurant in California right?
Nice, I appreciate that. Yes, Canters is a historic Los Angeles restaurant. I never went there very often but it was always one of the more quality late night options available in the Hollywood area. It played out like a movie, one of my best friends & 2 queens, laughing, eating good food, talking with the waitress making her laugh, switching plates with the queen next to me, it was perfect.
Sunday Morning- This was another track the ladies gravitate to.
Not a flesh desire but a soul desire. Magnetized by friendship, divine connection & timing, sheer electricity as a result. Good morning, Ive been waiting for you my whole life it seems. I saw you in my mind for many years but I did not know what you looked like and here you are. Thank you for you!
Kissing To Deftones- This is my all time favorite track from you. Instant hit record.
As much as I love the moments of this song I speak on, I love my flow on this the most. Plus, I love the title because Deftones is one my favorite bands. So to sit in a car, kissing to Deftones is such a sick concept to me.
4 Months Later- Dope outro track
Ok so this is a lot. It is very real and features me with thoughts on overload. Divine timing amidst life & its differing responsibilities. I sought refuge elsewhere in an effort distract me from what I could not have, bottom-line. But I love my words & flow on this one. I think this is the 2nd most popular song on the project as it is commented on a lot.
Seems like every 6 months or so we are getting a new project from you. This one is definitely going to be in heavy rotation for a minute. Any ideas or insight on what’s next for you?
Thank you for that, I really appreciate that. I will say, “Welcome To Forever” opened the most doors for me. It made more noise than having my video played on MTV and that is because of the response to it, the very tangible response and for that I am forever grateful. Next up is my project “Thunder, I.” As in, I Jehuniko, or Jehuniko I am, except it’s I thunder or, thunder I am, here to strike with ferocity. No love songs here, strictly hardcore anthems.
Do you have any upcoming shows or tour dates?
Definitely have things planned.
As always it is an honor and pleasure to sit and chop up game with you about music in general and getting the inside scoop on your music. Any last words or shoutouts?
The honor is all mine. I am grateful for those that support what I do and I am nothing without it. I just want to thank the people that support what I do, I am grateful for my supporters. The ones leaving comments, sharing my music, coming to shows, you are forever to me. It’s a trip that social media & my words build a bridge for us to connect on, to discuss ideas & experiences, something I don’t take lightly. Don’t forget to check Jehuniko.com, my videos on Youtube, my music on iTunes & Spotify, my IG & Twitter. I have dropped 14 projects in total, I think hahahaha. I want to thank I2G for your long-time support of my music. I respect very much your work ethic, your quality journalism and true belief in our culture. My respects to my team, Anura, Knikol, Angel Assasin, Tanner Guinn, LATV, Jdubs, American Latino, my martial arts teacher, my family and my daughter.
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