Since he hit the stage in New York City with “My Life”, Jason Walker has been one of the premier voices in dance music. He came rushing back to the dance charts this year with a cover of the Taylor Dayne classic “Tell It To My Heart” (along with the legendary Bimbo Jones).
Jason took a few minutes to chat with Entertainment Editor Cookie about remaking a classic, teaming up with Bimbo Jones, and his thoughts on the house music vs. EDM debate.
“Tell It To My Heart” is getting so much buzz around what is turning into one of the hottest songs of the summer! What made you want to remake what is such an iconic track?
I have to say, Bill Coleman, who heads up Peace Bisquit, this was totally his idea. I had wanted to work with him for years, I think that he is really in tune with what goes on with electronic music completely. All of his artists seem to be on the cutting edge of what’s going on, and when he suggested covering “Tell It To My Heart” I started thinking about it, and the more I thought about it, the more I thought it may be a really great idea! I have had people tell me that my voice reminds them of Taylor Dayne’s, and even with that said, the thought never crossed my mind. I love the track already, I mean who doesn’t?! I thought it was a really cool idea and we just ran with it!
Did you ever think that remaking a track was risky? I mean how do you decide, stay true to the Taylor Dayne original 80’s vibe, or put your own spin on it?
As far as the vocals, I really wanted to stay close to the originals, I mean I can’t hear it any way. I definitely had to give Taylor her props. I mean, the way she sounds now is almost better than she used to sound, she is amazing!
Speaking of, has Ms. Dayne herself weighed in on your take on one of her biggest hits yet?
You know, I haven’t. I think that if I heard that she didn’t like it, my feelings would be hurt. I’m not gonna hold my breath, I don’t think I’m going to hear from her, I haven’t expected to in all honesty. But hey, anything is possible.
You worked on this track with Bimbo Jones, who are one of the premier duos for remixing and producing in the business. What was that team up like?
They’re great! When Bill (Coleman) sent me their final production of “Tell It To My Heart”, I couldn’t wait to listen to it. When I hit play & the chorus kicked in, all the hair on my neck stood up! What they did was insane; it was right on the pulse of what club music is currently doing, right on the money.
Many people nowadays are starting to jump on the bandwagon of calling house and club music “EDM” music and dumping it into one category. After working in this industry quite some time, howdo you feel about that shift?
I absolutely hate it. I feel that way because I feel like this music has been around for a long time. There have been producers, remixers, artists, and vocalists who have been sweating out this music for years and years. All of a sudden it’s like this is something brand new. In my opinion, this is nothing new; it’s been around for years. There are now people taking credit for music that’s been around, and it bothers me.
I have nothing against the music. There are people though, that are acting as if this sound is new; people like Junior Vasquez, Larry Levan, Danny Tenaglia, and Frankie Knuckles have been creating this sound for years.
Speaking of those legends, do you miss those days of old New York, with Twilo, Arena, etc?
I definitely do. I just got to hear Danny Tengalia at a 10 year Vinyl Anniversary! Some of the music now is just soul-less; there’s not a lot of rhythm in it, there’s not a lot of soul in it, and there’s not a lot of feeling in it. It’s like they wait for the breakdown and then it’s like…oh there it is. Sometimes you do catch a hint of that old music in some newer music, but not that often. It just doesn’t quite measure up to what it used to be.
Do you think you can see yourself covering another classic 80’s track or do you want to give us some original Jason Walker again?
I have some brand new stuff coming out, and I do have a couple covers that I’m working on that I hope to see the light of day as well. I’m not afraid of covering classics, but I do think that there are some covers that should not be touched. I definitely like to see old classics getting a new spin. Covering “Tell It To My Heart” made me comfortable since there had not been a cover of this track, and it was Bill’s idea, and he doesn’t have any bad ones that I’ve seen! The positive buzz on this track has far outweighed the negative.
What are the rest of your summer plans?
So many shows coming this summer! I have a couple things to iron out but I’ll definitely be hitting the road very soon!