Jupiter Rising is Spencer Nezey and Jesse Payo. The band released their sophomore album, The Quiet Hype, on March 17 and share insight into how Jupiter Rising lives up to the Hype.
Jupiter Rising, as described by Nylon Magazine, is a “pop soul with a purpose,” declaring that the duo has “devised a unique, throw-it-in-a-blender mix of Timbaland, Girl Talk and Kylie Minogue.”
Jupiter is on the rise
Jupiter Rising producer/vocalist Spencer Nezey has come a long way since first hearing N.E.R.D.’s In Search Of from his San Diego State University dorm room. The Los Angeles native has been making beats since he was 15-years-old, pulling influences from the likes of John Coltrane, The Roots and Pharrell from The Neptunes.
“Once I got into (Pharrell) and started loving his production work, it made me fall in love with a lot of mainstream artists that I never gave a fair chance, like (Ludacris) and Nelly and all those cats,” says Nezey.
“I started understanding how they got this off and how the concepts work. Since then, I’ve tried to follow in (Pharrell’s) footsteps…It really broke ground for me.”
Breaking ground in many directions, the young artist figured that the “good life” wasn’t going to come from making electronic beats – at least not right away. Nezey held his cards in hand and focused on international business while in school. Despite the artist’s efforts to distract from his musical talents, Nezey briefly played saxophone in a collegiate setting.
“I went to two weeks of band camp…All the kids were so square. I had been playing in marching band and concert band and jazz band and jazz combos for years, so I’ve been around some nerds, but these kids were something else.”
Nezey’s days with the squares were limited. The retro chic artist soon found his niche and it didn’t include pocket-protectors, high waters or an updated version of Dungeons and Dragons. Try sexy smooth vocals in a stylish package with a hot pink bow to match. Enter Jesse Payo.
Snap, crackle, pop!
Finding sonic chemistry with vocalist Jesse Payo had an electrifying outcome. By blending Nezey with Payo and Payo with Nezey, this hip-hop-dance-soul thing happened and it seems to be quite unstoppable.
The duo ironed out the kinks in 2007 with their debut album, Electropop, which boasted two catchy singles, Electropop and Go.
When asked if The Quiet Hypewould sound anything like the hits off their previous album, the two artists extended similar sentiment that was best articulated by the male ego.
“Sonically, it is the sounds that we use and the instrumentation that makes (the album) stand out. It isn’t necessarily the Electropop feel, but this album translates more of the vibe of how we work together,” says Nezey.
“I make sure that the tracks can live on their own, so when you hear the whole record, it just feels good.”
‘Prada bags, Gucci shoes, Louis V’s, Jimmy Choos’
Poking fun at Southern California materialism and couture, the duo’s song LA Girls, off their new album, was appropriately featured on the November 19 episode of The Hills. With the catchy hook, “Prada bags, Gucci shoes, Louis V’s, Jimmy Choos,” it’s no wonder the song has over 1 million plays on the band’s MySpace page.
As for or all those girls who catch boys checking out their super sick style, Payo playingly coys, “Boy you’re a classy man, I can see by your Rolex, you can see my Jimmy, Jimmy’s and we’re making the connect…”
LA Girls was released in late 2008 as an EP along with Tres Cool, a track that highlights Payo’s vibrant vocals along with a little taste of Nezey beatboxing. It was no doubt these guys were really “killin’ it, killin’ it.”
Keeping it real
Although the tootsie-pop duo push a lot of fun and play through their music, Payo reminds us that as a female artist it is important to be serious and always hold your head high.
“I would like my fans to see that there is much more depth behind my lyrics and my music and it’s not just, ‘let’s get the party started and look at my…'” says Payo. “Self-respect is the number one thing I want to translate to young girls and anyone for that matter.”
Right now in the industry and in the world, it’s not all bubble gum and pop. There are a lot of things going down. So to be just, we need to elevate our consciousness and transition to positivity and growth.”
Working together on The Quiet Hypegave the pair an opportunity to explore their sound and make an album that truly paralleled their vision. “This was the first time that Jesse and I got to make an album together,” says Nezey. “It was more or less exploring our chemistry, as far as having music that is conceptually organic, yet still accessible to our audiences.”
Although Nezey and Payo took the reins on this project, they weren’t alone in the process. Gregg Ogan (Brittany Spears, J-Lo, Rihanna) co-produced the record and “really took the album to the next level,” says Payo.
“He is amazing. This was my first time working with (Ogan) and I have the utmost respect for him.”
According to an interview with Ogan in Mix Magazine, the album is rooted in “programmed electro” with live drums, guitar, piano and keyboards on almost every song. Combined with synthesizers and killer vocals, The Quiet Hypehas a multi-layered sound, full of energy and depth.
“We would take breaks and listen to the playback of the songs and break out into these crazy dances,” says Payo. “We would go outside and (Ogan) would be doing some interpretive dance with kicks and turns; I would be dying laughing by the time we were ready to go back in and record some more.”
What’s in a name
When asked where the album’s moniker originated from, Payo credited her cohort.
“Spencer came up with it one day and it was one of those things that was no question. We wrote a song called The Quiet Hypeand the whole idea behind it is that you yourself, as an individual, will always have your own hype because you know what you’re worth and what your value is,” says Payo.
“I wrote a verse about my dad and how he was a genius and a creative renaissance man. No one knew what he was capable of doing, but he had the (quiet) hype. It was more valuable because he owned it.”
Taking credit with mild modesty, Nezey said he felt a surge of support early on from people in the industry and totally felt the push.
“We had a lot of people behind us and we were gaining a lot of momentum. We still weren’t there yet, but you could feel it coming.”
Nezey was stoked to boast that the new album features not only Mike Shapiro on drums and Mike Garcon on keys, but N.E.R.D.’s lead guitarist Brent Paschke as well. “I saw this guy in concert and now I’m playing with him and we record music together. It’s crazy.”