Next in our VU Meets… series where we catch up with artists coming up in our programme, we chat with JMSN aka Christian Berishaj, who has become an R&B staple, thanks to a string of strong releases that have seen the industry songwriter transform into a heart-wrenching soul singer.
How would you describe your style in three words?
Raw, live and uncut.
For people coming to see you live for the first time, what should they expect?
To see me in the flesh. Probably a lot of swearing and bad jokes too.
What is your proudest achievement?
I don’t get proud. I feel like pride is a very ego driven word. Still working every day to achieve all I can achieve.
What’s your favourite part about making music?
To listen to it. Literally, all I do it for is to listen to it.
What’s your least favourite part?
Literally everything else. Producing, Mixing, Engineering, Promoting.
What music/artists do you like to dance to?
Anything that’s quality and that fits the mood. I like everything that’s good.
What music/artists do you like to chill to?
Donny Hathaway is a good one.
Best recent live gig/DJ set you’ve been to?
Have you ever seen anyone at VU? Who?
No, I have not, but I have played there myself before and its a good one.
What’s your pre-gig ritual? And have you heard of any other artists that have weird ones?
I just try to chill out as much as possible and have calm before the storm. and yeah, there are some people that got crazy ones where they smoke bath salts and shit.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
Writing better music than I’ve ever written before.
Outside of making music what other creative outlets do you have?
I like gardening and interior design.
VU is an old train depot and we’ve got recycled tube trains on our roof. Do you have any funny public transport-related stories? Maybe when travelling to perform?
Nothing crazy just know that I used the Metro a lot one year when I lost my license for too many tickets.
Longevity in the music industry is something to not take for granted and isn’t something easy to achieve, what would you say has been integral in your career in order to achieve a strong career as JMSN for 7 years?
Just keep progressing and challenging myself to get better and explore. Never get content in doing the same thing just cause it works. Take chances again and again and be passionate about it.
Soundcloud was quite important in the early days of JMSN, remixes from producers such as Stwo and features with producers such as Kaytranada, Sango, Ta-Ku is how many came across your music. Do you think it has the same influence today or as your career is continuing to grow, do you find that other platforms or approaches have taken its place?
It’s definitely not the same as it used to be, unfortunately. It’s a lot more leaning towards the other streaming platforms now and YouTube always has its own place in the mix. It’s just an ever-changing climate out there for artists and you just gotta keep up the best you can to utilize any new tools that make sense for you.
Do you have a favourite remix of one of your original songs or does the original always feel more personal to you?
They’re both different. It’s still at the core the same song so it doesn’t matter to me. The song at the core is just the guitar or piano and the vocal at the end of the day. That being said, I love the Stwo Remix of ‘The One’