Episode 36 - Jitta On The Track: If You're a True Artist You Can Find Things That Inspire You

As I’m boarding my flight from Boston, MA to Detroit, MI for my connecting flight to Los Angeles, I get a text from Matt Keene, Episode 10 of the podcast, and manager behind my buddy Dylan Reese. He knew I was heading out there to have some fun of course, but he also knew I wanted to get some podcasting done. He said he thought Jitta would be a good fit for the podcast and asked if I wanted him to connect me with him. I grew up in Western MA, only twenty minutes from Hartford, CT, and had heard his name over the years, so I figured why not. I’m grateful that he was able to sit down and chop it up about everything leading up to this point in his life.

Located right in North Hollywood, CA, Jitta knows now what he wants to do with his life, and it all started on the east coast.

His story is almost like one you’d see in a movie. Born in Connecticut, he and his three siblings were living in Florida when they were put up for adoption. Three separate families adopted them, and they just so happened to live in the same neighborhood with houses next to each other. He spent his high schools years back in CT and eventually started making music. His second show ever was opening for 6God himself, Drake, after Jitta won a contest that gave him the opportunity to join the ‘Club Paradise’ tour in 2012. This was just the start a of successful path in his music career as he’d eventually work with artists like Diplo and Connecticut’s own Chris Webby.

What I love about his story is that when he moved to LA, he was heavily exposed to the art world- and even though he did like to sketch images growing up, he never really considered what that talent could do for him. Almost a year and a half after living in LA, his main focus is now the art, but he still makes music when he wants to. A great example of how you never know where life will take you and even when you think you’ve found that passion, something else can pop up.

All in all a genuine and humble person who wakes up everyday with the mindset to do his best and to love every minute of his life. People like him bring great energy into a room whether they realize it or not.

Episode takeaway: Take five minutes at the end of every day and look for “wow” moments that occurred that day or recently. Moments that you’re grateful for and appreciate. Because if we don’t ever take a second to step back and look at what is currently happening in our lives, when will we ever find the time to?


Podcast Outline

  • Who is Jitta On The Track today and how young is he?

    • 25 years young that is an artist/artist

  • Born in Connecticut along with three other siblings

    • Mother was young and put them up for adoption, they  were taken under by families in Florida

    • All of them grew up in the same neighborhood with different families right next to each other

  • Always tried to find his identity through the arts

    • Enjoyed hip-hop, watching cartoons like South Park and animation

  • Was always proud that he was born in Connecticut and molded him as he grew up

    • Bumping Nas, Biggie Smalls etc

  • Had no direction of where he was going over the years with the music

    • Started touring, putting out content and was doing the best he possibly could

    • Considers himself a great artist from production, writing and working with other artists. Likes to do it all

    • Best part of working with other artists is getting to step into their world and their thought process

  • Went to a trade school for one year for computer networking thinking that it was graphic design

    • School had given him a laptop which he had never had

    • Downloaded a beat making software for music and starting building his online social media presence

  • Realized he could start capitalizing off the music when he launched his first t-shirt

    • First show ever was opening for Currency at Toad’s Place

    • Second show and his first tour was opening for Drake

  • Won a contest to open for Drake’s ‘Club Paradise Tour’ that featured J.Cole, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, French Montana and Woka Flocka Flame

    • Uploaded a track to Youtube that was doing well, Joey Franchise (DJ for Hot 93.7) asked him if he wanted to submit it to Drake’s contest

    • That was the moment when Jitta realized that this was what he wanted to do

    • Flacka and 2 Chainz camp served as mentors for him on the tour

    • For Jitta it was his ‘college’, he and his friends were only nineteen on the road doing this

  • After the tour he continued to drop music

    • Linked up with a booking agency, Mood Swings out of New York

    • Saw a wave with the trap music and started getting into it

  • Connected with Diplo who grew up in the same town as him in Florida

    • Went on a couple EDM/trap tours with him

    • All of this was showing him the importance of working with people that you know and that you really have a connection with (23:10)

  • Used to throw parties before he even made music called “Camp Jitta”

    • Where he hosted on top of a mountain that you had to climb up to

    • Had created a social network, clubs started reaching out to have him promote and ‘Lumber Life’ was born

  • Chopping it up with DJ Premier, moving out to LA and being played on the radio have been some major moments for him (28:00)

    • Tries to find something everyday that makes him go “wow”

  • Hard to gain traction with anything because of how much content is being put out into the world (30:00)

  • Moving out to LA Jitta started getting exposed to the art scene and seeing what people were making from the art

    • As a kid he enjoyed sketching for him it was just learning how colors work

    • His Kanye project is his favorite piece and won’t let it go

  • “You technically can create anywhere you want because it’s all in your head” (36:15)

    • If you’re a true artist you can find things that will inspire you

    • You bring everything into the world if you’re a creator

  • Inspiration for art comes from Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, style of character  animation comes from Bob’s Burgers with Looney Tune neck bends

    • His work bashes stereotypical types of people and no one specific

  • Can’t sleep when the sun is up, is the most hyper when he gets up

    • Jitta writes his best music and his best ideas

  • Best gift he has ever received is life (46:10)

    • Learn to love, to hate and to experience

    • It is the best gift anyone can get

  • Money is like a gun, it comes down to what you do with it

    • It's what you do with it. You can use it for the right things or too much can hurt you.

  • Some of the best advice he ever received was from his father that adopted him

    • Got injured in the military and was paralyzed from the neck down

    • Taught Jitta instincts and how to read people

  • Ask Bobbbaaay 1 Question

    • Do you think your style will change when you move out to LA?

    • What is the next step for the podcast?

  • Picture frame on the wall 10 years from now, what/who do we see?

    • Him and his family opening up his first charity

    • Wants to be an animator, voice actor and an old actor

    • Wants to be a character on Bob Burgers etc

  • Where to Find ‘Jitta On The Track’

    • Where the name came from

  • 2-3 pieces of advice for someone trying to find their passion/purpose

    • Read Austin Cleon’s book “Steel Like An Artist”

    • Watch if people are talking to you or talking to themselves

    • Have purpose for everything

  • Book written by Jitta ‘Purgatory’

    • Making conversation with the same people with the same type of conversation and it's called purgatory.