With an effervescent voice that’s graced songs by everyone ranging from Armin van Buuren and Tiesto to Paul Oakenfold and BT, JES is firmly planted in the core of trance music. Having garnered both significant critical and commercial success over the years for tracks like “Imagination,” “As The Rush Comes,” “Everything,” and “Every Other Way,” JES’ instantly-recognizable vocals have become a near-ubiquitous force within dance music. However, the New York City-born artist has created a name for herself in recent years with a string of solo releases and a full-fledged DJing career of her own.
Today, JES released “Two Souls,” a stunning progressive anthem that comes just in time to kickstart 2015 with lush production and her signature vocals. To celebrate the single, JES has graced the decks of DJ Times Radio to deliver an hour-long EDM odyssey bringing together gorgeous melodies, big drops, and an abundance of heart that’s ripe for dance fans everywhere. Stream the mix and read our chat with JES below.
DJ Times: Your new single “Two Souls” is out now. What inspired the lyrics and the sound of it?
JES: I was looking to do something on the more progressive tip but still keep the emotional and angelic feeling that I love to put into my songs. I wanted to write a song for all of us who have met before in a different time and place. I used the emotions and thoughts I’ve felt over the years with my journey in music. It’s interesting the way we experience life together in the same place and sometimes not know it. You’re in this place with thousands of other people but you feel somehow outside it all. You know that you can’t be the only one that feels that way. I wanted to write something for those people, a song for the outsiders.
DJ Times: You’ve collaborated with some of dance music’s biggest names over the years. What are some of the benefits and challenges of focusing on solo releases?
JES: Collaborations always bring out the best in me especially if there is inspiration, admiration, and connection involved. Most of my releases from last year were collaborations. So, it has been a while since I’ve focused on my solo releases, and it seemed about time! I always find when you take a step back from everything, you can see and really feel where you’ve landed and how you’ve changed or progressed with writing and singing. I am very critical of myself. I have a high expectation for my voice, for my music and at the same time I want to be free and do what speaks to me. Getting back to that person can be a challenge. After you have been writing with people you have to get to know yourself very basically again. That is what makes it so awesome and personal. I’m excited to just listen to my inner heart only, and let myself and no one else be the judge.
DJ Times: What goes into planning and producing your Unleash The Beat radio show every week?
JES: A lot! I never thought about how much work it would be: fun work! Having the responsibility of looking for the tracks, writing my ids, recording and mixing the show, it has proven to be a very interesting part of my week. It takes me a day to do and I’m constantly looking for tracks throughout the week. I also go through most of my week’s promos and anything that comes in on my West Coast, Monday morning for the show that week. The great thing is I am always listening to what is out there and getting new tracks for my live show every week as well as getting inspired by what I listen to. It’s motivating to hear what other artists and up and coming producers are doing. I also love to be a supportive peer!
DJ Times: Are you working on a new album?
JES: I am working on two new albums. Again, it’s about time! I have been working on them both side by side for a while. I’m doing another electronic influenced album as well as an acoustic, more stripped down record. I write many songs, and many start out in a more acoustic fashion. Some lend themselves better when produced with a beat than others, so I’ve kept some in their original form.
DJ Times: What sorts of changes have you personally seen Trance music go through over the years?
JES: I think Trance has gone through a very big sonic change and has fought to sound more modern and fuller at times. The genre has gotten a lot of flack from the fans for trying to change over the years. I think the songs have gotten stronger, especially the vocal tracks. Currently, I feel that the genre has come full circle and is now back to embracing the classic older trance sound.
DJ Times: What other projects do you have planned for 2015?
JES: I have a new Unleash The Beat mix CD coming out in February. I also have some more collaborations that I’m excited to see come out. I will be releasing some new songs on my label InToneNation records and getting that off the ground, very hyped for that to happen! Finishing my two albums through the writing process and producing songs has been slow so I’m pushing full steam ahead on that now. I can’t wait to have everyone hear what I have been working on. I also will be launching my cooking blog. So stay tuned!
Vicetone – United We Dance (Original Mix) [Ultra]
Jerome ISM AE vs. JES – Overdive To Heaven (Taxigirl Mashup)
Scott James & SEQU3L – Ignite (Original Mix) [Ultra Violet Music]
Burns, Oakenfold & JES – As We Collide (Orjan Nilsen Remix) [Armada]
Woody Van Eyden – RaveJuice (Original Mix) [Vandit]
BT – Every Other Way ft. JES (Johan Malmgren Remix) [Black Hole Recordings]
Arjonas – Symbols (Morttagua Remix) [Uplifting Music]
Room 24 – Americana (Original Mix) [Unreleased Digital]
JES, Cold Blue & Dennis Sheperd – Runaway (Tenishia Remix) [Magik Muzik]
Don Diablo & Yves V – King Cobra (Original Mix) [Smash The House]
Roger Shah pres. Sunlounger & JES – Glitter & Gold (Pedro Del Mar & Beatsole Mix) [Magik Muzik]
Sick Individuals – Olympia (Original Mix) [Doorn]
Nick Sember – Forth (Original Mix) [Anjunabeats]
“Two Souls” is available now via Magik Muszik on Beatport.