Off Peak exists as a new collaborative feature between record label 48k and Insert which aims to tap into those recreational tracks that DJs and producers listen to in their down time, giving an insight into the sounds they feel, but don’t fit into a club context. The guidelines for this feature are challenging for the artist but important for instance, a certain portion of the tracks should be from non-male identifying artist and at least 25% created by people of colour.
JSPORT is a DJ and producer, label manager at Fade To Mind, and, alongside co-creator Leonce, the co-founder of Morph, a regular club night focused on providing a safe and inclusive space for the LGBTQ and POC nightlife community in Atlanta and working against bigotry and by-the-numbers club music. We talked with him about interstellar travel, his love of hiking, how Morph is growing, and the myriad ways in which he’s inspired to create.
"When humans embark on the first journey to an exoplanet, what will we listen to during the trip, or what’s the first song we play when we get there?"
You started this playlist strong with tracks related to outer space, and you told us once that you are from the cosmos. What is it about the infinite expanse of this universe that inspired you to go with that theme?
Well, I’m a huge sci-fi nerd with an obsessive interest in exoplanets and interstellar travel. I often imagine what life would sound like outside of our own galaxy. When humans embark on the first journey to an exoplanet, what will we listen to during the trip, or what’s the first song we play when we get there? By that time I believe genres will be completely dismantled. I also ponder if sound would be altered during interstellar travel. Would space travel chop and screw the way a song from earth sounds? Will music even be considered music a trillion light years away?!? Ah!! I love these thoughts!
I think a lot of musicians today are not only ahead of our time but also beyond our galaxy, and a few of them on this list are artists that I’ll be listening to on the way to Proxima Cen B. That is if we’re lucky enough to leave earth in this lifetime.
You and Morph co-creator Leonce have both stated that the party came about because of the need for a queer space in Atlanta’s nightlife. How has the Atlanta scene grown and changed as a result of Morph? Where do you see the scene going, and where do you see yourself in this expansion?
The local scene has been thriving ever since we started Morph. Queer-focused parties are on the rise, too. But I feel like Morph is still new. It’s only been 2 years. More locals are just now discovering us so I can’t say that Morph has been here long enough to claim any kind of overall change. But I do know we’ve inspired a few early attendees to start their own parties. Now more than ever before, I can confidently say that Atlanta can quench whatever thirst one would have for a good night of music. There is something significant going on nearly every week, and most of the time there’s something for everyone. There is still room for improvement in the scene but we’re doing well with fighting the battle of gentrification and ridiculous venue fees. Morph has a lot more work to do and a lot more ground to cover. Atlanta’s underground culture is being fed by us, so we need to keep it up, and we damn sure will. We’ve got our eye on other cities too!
You mentioned to us that you were excited to include queer artists from ATL and the South on this playlist, like BE3K and TAYLOR ALXNDR. Who are some other artists we should be on the lookout for from ATL? And if you had to pick a favorite track from this playlist, could you, and what would it be?
What record, album, or piece of music do you have on repeat right now—or if not music, what’s really inspiring you right now?
Right now I’m really inspired by hiking trails. Kingdom sparked that interest for me. He took me on a “sort-of” illegal hiking trail in California, and since then I’ve been craving fairly lengthy hikes. Just recently I hiked around Amicalola Falls, the largest waterfall in Georgia. I felt recharged. I get a lot of clarity and energy being in the woods, around mountains and fresh air. I like being reminded that the “real world” we are taught to know isn’t exactly the “real world.” Having only nature around you is the real world to me, and I like to visit as often as I can.
You seem to be stepping out more as a producer recently, releasing a Mýa remix with Ana Sia and a Kelela edit, both super DJ-friendly bops. What’s next for you musically? What projects should we be on the lookout for from you?
Not many people know that I was professionally trained to read and write music from age 11 to 19. I played the piano and clarinet. But I am someone that has a general passion to create. Weather it be graphics, music, food or fashion (yes, I was a seamstress once upon a time).
When I am exercising my creativity and fine-tuning my taste through several mediums, I am at peace. That’s where I am with music. It’s an exercise for me. Everything I do adds to this creative muscle I am building. It’s a sport to me, hence my DJ name “JSPORT.”
I am adding music production into the mixture of what keeps me happy. I have so many ideas, but at this moment I’m just playing with it until I land on my own opportunity to create a full body of work. There’s no telling what season of my life it will land on, but it is something I’m studying. One thing for certain is that I will always be creating. I’m mentally preparing myself to tie all of my favorite mediums into a brand that people like me can identify with. Where I want to go is bigger than just making music, DJing, or throwing parties. There is an underlying itch I have to create something bigger that has taken some time for even me to comprehend. But it shall be done!