Hit The Floor Star Jonathan McDaniel Makes Music For The Geniuses

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How did the Ready For The World remake come about? Were you eying the song for some time?
I’m an old school person; I grew up on the oldies: Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson. Records like that have always been close to me and I think the ‘80s and ‘90s was a great time for music. Growing up in that era, I’ve always been attracted to remakes of older records. [Remaking "Love You Down"] was actually my manager’s idea–he’s really great friends with Melvin Riley and has worked with the group throughout the years. The timing was perfect, Melvin gave us his blessing, and he flew out to Los Angeles to jump on the record. Now we’re working on the treatment for the video, so we’re really excited to be able to get back into the music world and hope that people are drawn to the music.

How was it working with Melvin? Were you intimidated at all?
Oh my gosh, no! Never intimidated, but just very excited. I felt very blessed to be able to have someone like him, who’s had hit records and made such a career for himself, be able to come on the record with me. When you go into the studio with someone like that you kind of want to turn into a sponge and really learn from them. That was my main objective. It was exciting to be in the studio with him; we had such a great time. We hung out, we took him out to dinner and drinks, kicked it, it was just a beautiful time.

We’re experiencing a resurgence of great R&B right now, whether it’s veteran groups like TLC coming back with new material, or artists like Frank Ocean and Miguel channeling that old-school sound. Who are you listening to right now?
I’m a fan of Kendrick Lamar, I feel like he’s really made a lane for himself which I really respect. R&B and pop-wise, I’m really a fan of Adele, Miguel’s a dope artist, he’s doing his thing for sure, Macklemore is really coming up in the game right now, and I really respect his direction. I think his record “Same Love” is going to win a Grammy because it’s such a great, feel-good record, and at the same time it’s very socially conscious. I feel like we need to have a lot more records like that–there’s a want for that in the world as far as people wanting substance. I also love fun. Their new album is amazing to me. I actually think that they should have won a VMA this year—I don’t understand how or why they didn’t win.

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