January 19, 1990
New York, NY
Cortlandt Manor, NY
Hip Hop Recording Artist/Record Producer
Jon Harris, Jon Harris Music, Jonathan Harris, January 19, January 19 1990, Cortlandt Manor, Cortlandt Manor NY
Jon Harris is a hip-hop recording artist from New York that has a vision of success for the future. Success to him means more than the average music artist as he believes he started with no musical background and literally built his brand from the ground up.
Jon began making music because he never took an instrument to learn in early grade school, so he was introduced to FL Studios in his general music class in 7th grade. He said he got his interest in the program not from the music aspect but from the program's ability to speak what the user types in. "I was completely fascinated with that, it was like a new toy. Then I gradually started messing around with the instruments and realized it was what the pros were doing". The rest of his time in middle school he made mixtapes from his sister’s karaoke machine which could record to cassette tapes. These mixtapes were never heard by the public and Harris admits as much as he would like to hear them and realize his early days, he actually does not know where they are.
As a freshman at Walter Panas High School he would make his first physical CD using a mixture of his amateur beats and beats he found off the internet. He credits the reception of this project as one of the driving forces for his pursuit of success because he routine brings up how every CD he gave out he found in a trash can somewhere around the school. He referenced this specifically in the third verse of his “Destiny’s Calling 2” song where he says “…the reviews came in that it was pretty cool then I saw it in the trash cans all over the school”. Jon becomes very persistent in proving people wrong so when he is believed to be bad at something he works to gain the respect of those who initially felt that way.
After graduating high school, he attended Pace University where he studied Business Management. Jon has stated he didn’t know what he wanted in life outside of doing music, so he chose a management major as a backup incase record companies wouldn’t take him, he could start his own. Harris worked on music his junior year which would be the foundation of his later project “Destiny’s Calling”. He made a few records to put together a demo CD to distribute to major labels and management companies. Not to his surprise he didn’t receive any contact back, but it did upset him knowing they didn’t even listen. Jon says he is a person who can take rejection but feels it’s completely disrespectful to not even acknowledge the artist sent you something. This fuel his ambition to start up a company that would be designed to help artist that haven’t risen to the level of success where they can be spotted by the major labels.
After graduating Pace University with his bachelor’s degree Jon finalized and released his first official mixtape “Destiny’s Calling” on June 8, 2012. This project was meant to showcase his talents at the time and the progress he has made as an artist since he started. Until this project Harris has heavily relied on internet instrumentals or making remixes rather than his own creations. For the first time he made a complete project being completely self-reliant; he made every beat, wrote every song, and mixed the entire project himself. The only part he didn’t play was his features.
Since the original “Destiny’s Calling” Harris has made a few more mixtapes to better his music abilities while at the same time continue to stay relevant to the fans that he had. On October 31, 2015 Jon released the sequel mixtape “Destiny’s Calling 2” with the same motives but a clear progression with his abilities. One of the main critiques of its predecessor was sound quality. This was due to faulty equipment. He said he bought a $100 microphone and a $50 microphone from Radio Shack both of which broke, and he had to use his laptop mic to record most of Destiny’s Calling. By the time of production on Destiny’s Calling 2 Harris had upgraded to studio grade equipment to give him the best quality at the time. His goal for DC2 was not only to show his improvements as an artist and producer but also showcase his ability to listen to criticism and make adjustment accordingly.
A little before the release of Destiny’s Calling 2” Jon decided to change his stage name from his long-time, well-known, previously used name “jholla”. He felt the name seemed immature and didn’t reflect him as an artist. He decided to use “Jon Harris” as a stage name being that its his name which represents him best. When asked about it he replied, “I feel like the name jholla represented more of a ‘rapper’ and I don’t consider myself as just ‘a rapper’, I do so much more.” He also added the frustration of having a name that so many others use and how he wanted something more original.
In 2012 Harris created Black Widow Entertainment, made to help the artists that get overlooked by the major labels. He said he chose the name “black widow” because it was a very iconic and very distinguishable spider. Also, it represents a creature that is not to be messed with and can potentially be very deadly so it demands respect no matter the size. He later rebranded to the current state as Living Life Our Way Entertainment because he said the new brand represents the company’s core values better. Harris also commented on the fact that it was harder to find the company on search engines because of the popular Marvel character Black Widow. Much like his stage name he wanted to build upon something that was completely original.
After laying down the foundation for the company and the foundation for himself as an artist Jon felt it was the right time to start moving forward with his music career. On December 14, 2018 Jon released his first song, “Big”, to online stores and music streaming companies. The song was meant as a promotional single to build awareness for his first album. Jon has stated the song is for promotional use and has no intentions of adding the song on to album. The album “Who is Jon Harris” was sat to release 2019 but was pushed back due to complications with scheduling. Harris was supposed to release a song called “Goals” which included sampling of Mariah Carey’s “make it Happen to which he found it difficult to hear back from Sony, the parent company of Colombia Records who owns the rights to the masters. His album was delayed as we waited for a response which ultimately never came.
In the meantime, he did release a few songs to keep growing his presence. He released “Just Another Day” in response to the United States ability to look the other way with it’s increasing gun violence and mass shooting problem. The song is depicting a person who has become desensitized by the idea of another shooting in the United States saying, “it’s just another day”. He also released on Youtube and his own site “F SC” which stands for “F*** Soundcloud” in frustration with the media site for flagging his music do to the remixes even though they allow cover tracks. The last song he released of the songs that won’t be on his album is “Perfect”. The song is made to remind people it’s okay to not be perfect. It stresses the idea that men and women do too much for their public perception.