Jonathan McDaniel aka Lil J aka J has been a musician long before he was competing for Ahsha’s heart as German on Hit The Floor. After recording his first album at 15, Jonathan landed a recurring role on That’s So Raven, temporarily putting his musical aspirations on hold. Now, he’s getting back to his roots.
After rescheduling our original interview due to the fact that he was in the hospital, awaiting the birth of his first child–congratulations!–we spoke with Jonathan about his current project, a four-song EP entitledA Geniuschild Unknown dedicated to all the ’80s babies who aren’t afraid to create their own rules. Read on to find out what vintage sounds he was lucky enough to capture in the studio, and how his role on HTF inspires his musical output.
What is the meaning behind the title of your EP?
My production company that I just started is called Geniuschild, and that represents the era that I grew up in: the ‘80s. A lot of us that came from that era have always thought differently, thought outside the box, and tried to expand how they are as creators and artists. The reason why it’s called “Geniuschild Unknown,” is because I’ve been in the game for so long and there’s a lot of people who know me, but there’s a lot of people who have yet to get to know me as a musician. We dropped an EP only because we wanted to get the buzz out there, like a teaser to let people know that I am back on the music scene.
What kind of songs can fans–new and old–expect?
“Hit The Floor” was inspired by the show, “Ima Love You Down” is a remake of the Ready For the World record, and we were blessed to get lead singer Melvin Riley on the track with us, and “Like It’s Yo Birthday” is a feel good record–everyone always enjoys something that’s dedicated to them so they can feel special. Of course, the majority of the record is catered to my female fans. I have a big following from the females—which is never a bad thing –and I love to make records for them whether it’s love records, relationship records, feel-good records, whatever.