Jim Jonsin Talks Racing, Idol and Music
XXL: Speaking of standing on your own two, you’re opening up your own studio?
JJ: Yeah, it’ll be up this month. It’s my own recording studio and a place to do what we want to do. It’s our own private spot. It’s actually gonna be an invitation-only studio. It’s my own private spot. It’s not like commercial and it’ll require membership cards, sort of like the Playboy Mansion of recording studios. We’ll have parties there, too. Very exclusive stuff.
XXL: Must be nice. What artists are you working with now, outside of your responsibilities with American Idol?
JJ: I’m working on the B.o.B project and working on Yelawolf’s project. And then, of course, I’m working with some other artists, like we just had a session with Justin Bieber and Usher.
XXL: Yelawolf was part of XXL’s 2011 Freshmen Class. How long have you been working with Wolf?
JJ: I’ve known Yelawolf for three to four years now. I’ve always been rooting for him. He’s awesome, man. He’s one of my homies. Like I said he’s one of close friends and I’m just here for him. I love working with him. It’s like hanging out with your buddy, you know? So, we always get some great stuff done.
XXL: When you’re in the studio and you create a song like “Lollipop” for Lil Wayne, do you know right from jump that it’s going to be a smash?
JJ: I thought it was a great song but I didn’t know it was going to be as big as it was. By the way, I just heard I have a new single with Lil Wayne.
XXL: Congrats! Do you know the song title?
JJ: Well there are a couple options for names. One is “She Blows My Brain” and “If You Want To” is another option. It could be one of those.
XXL: You also had a monster hit with T.I.’s “Whatever You Like.” What were your notions of that track before it blew?
JJ: Oh I knew that was it. Huge. He told me that we had a smash and I thought, “I don’t know.” But when we got in and recorded the final version, I knew right away it was going to be a hit.
XXL: Recently, Nelly’s “Just A Dream” did a lot to revive his career. Did you expect that single to have such a big impact?
JJ: I knew that as soon as that chorus was recorded. I knew that it was going to be huge. I knew that right away cause it felt really good and I was so happy that I could be able to help in Nelly’s career; he’s such an amazing person. He’s a good dude and working with him and Rico Love is pure magic. We have good chemistry together.
XXL: So you have the racing team, working with American Idol, building a studio and I hear you’re heading into the gaming world as well. Anything you can share about that?
JJ: We’re developing a video game called “Road to Fame.” It’s a social networking game. It’s super cool. I can’t tell you too much about it but, we’re working on that right now.
XXL: Lastly, since you’re delving into the racing world… can you tell us what your favorite cars are?
JJ: Sure. Maybe I’ll get sponsorships if I say the right car. I race Porsche 3GT Cup cars and that is, hands down, my favorite car right now. I love my Ford F450 —I love that truck! It’s sick. My ’56 Bel Air. I actually really like that Chevy Camaro. I’d love to build a Chevy Camaro race car. I would love to have one of those GT race cars for Grand Am, too. Also, the Porche Panerama and the BMW Sedan 7 series.