Made in NY, Loved Around the World: Getting to Know Jean Pierre
Jan 25, 2024
6 min read
If you love a good house music story, then Jean Pierre's journey will get you floored. This man has paid his dues in the underground scene for over 20 years now, but his drive shows no signs of slowing down.
Born in NYC, Jean was hooked on dance music from an early age after hearing crazy tales of Sound Factory from his brother. Fate brought him to Colombia as a teen, where he got his start DJing at huge clubs.
By the time Jean returned to New York, he was hungry to work. Gig by gig, he proved himself as a selector at legendary venues like Pacha. His days grinding at record store Halcyon connected him with the dopest artists in the borough too.
A trip to Ibiza in 2012 was a straight game-changer - this is when Jean discovered his true calling for global house sounds. These days you'll find him representing at mega festivals worldwide, from BPM to Movement in Detroit. Additionally, he also runs his sick label Pakate from his Miami base these days.
In this chat, Jean gives us the lowdown on epic collabs with talents like Daniel Orpi. He also shares how teaching up-and-comers during lockdown seriously leveled up his own production skills.
After all he's been through, one thing is clear - Jean Pierre lives, breathes and animates dance floors with house music on another level. Get into his inspiring story inside.
Can you talk about a key moment early in your career that really changed your path in music?
One key moment was going to Ibiza in 2012 for the first time. It changed my outlook on the music I was playing in NYC and influenced everything I wanted to work in the following years.
When it comes to music production, is there any way you try to incorporate your Colombian roots?
I love Latin percussion for sure and I try to incorporate that in my sound as much as I can. The rhythm and groove is key.
Can you talk about any memorable moments or experiences working with other artists on a track? Or even going b2b with one during a live set?
I feel that every artist has his own unique approach to making music and it's very interesting to collaborate with artists, for example Daniel Orpi. We started our EP for Paco’s Osuna’s Mindshake label in Miami and then continued to work on it in London when I was touring. I feel the vibe of the city that the music is created definitely takes a part of the process.
Is there a special memory from your time at Halcyon that had any influence on your career?
I just loved being surrounded by so much music, it introduced me to so many new artists. It was great to be a part of the Williamsburg community during these years.
How did moving from NYC to Miami change your music and your life? What are your thoughts on Miami’s music scene? Do you prefer NYC’s?
The quality of life for me improved a great deal. I was able to focus more on production and build a bigger studio which became a nice hub for me and a bunch of upcoming artists. I began to give one on one classes and help aspiring producers improve their sound.
Regarding the scenes I think Miami has a strong scene and community but NYC has way more venues and clubs to check out which I personally prefer.
As the boss of Pakate, what do you look for in new artists? What kind of talent do you seek? What qualities do you look for in aspiring producers?
I am looking for music that catches my ear immediately. There is so much music out there but we try to focus on records that move me and the dance floor. I love working with new artists that are open to the label’s feedback and are excited about working with us. It's very refreshing to see so many great artists out there!
What’s the best thing about being an affiliate with Cuttin’ Headz music and what’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from working with the team?
It’s about hard work and family vibes with Cuttin’ Headz. We always push each other and look out after one another. We also look up to the brothers a lot and that keeps us pushing ourselves musically as much as we can.
What's the most surprising thing that has inspired your music?
When COVID happened I began to teach on a personal level with young producers. This really changed my outlook and helped me be open to new techniques and kept making me learn more and more to keep up with all the new trends. Teaching has inspired me a lot these past couple of years in Miami.
Looking back, is there anything you'd change about your career?
Not really because everything I have learned has led me to where I am now. I am truly thankful for everything that has happened to me and blessed to keep doing what I love.
If you could make music with any artist, deceased or alive, who would it be and why?
Favorite artist of all time is Michael Jackson. I would just like to be the fly on the wall while he was creating all that incredible music.
What track do you play that always gets the crowd going?
I always try to play new music in my sets but these past couple of months the Davide Mentesana EP on my label Pakate has been in heavy rotation. Toki Toki and DOC have been rocking the floor.
How do you relax and get your energy back after touring or making music?
I have an amazing gym in Miami called Anatomy that has a full spa. I hit the cold plunge and steam room every morning. That keeps me in the game.
If you weren't a DJ/producer, what job would you want to do?
Good question but tough to answer. I have always thought about music, never really given an opportunity to something else.