By Natalya Jones
By County Grind
By Liz Tracy
By Chris Joseph
By Liz Tracy
By Matt Preira
By Jesse Scheckner
By Michael E. Miller
It doesn't really matter. This time, I didn't care. I wanted to come fresh and new and different from the way I always come. So if I had to go get a track from Red One or Dr. Luke or Drummer Boy or whoever, it didn't really matter, because I fill in the gaps, and I'm gonna do songs too. It just helped me to get a fresh energy. And it took some of the pressure off me, because most of the albums I've done, I... produce, write, do A&R, and do my label too. But pretty much, I still coproduced all the songs on the album. I solely made the beats for about six of the tracks.
How did you meet Pitbull?
I met him in Miami, just hanging out. We became cool, and I put him on an interlude on my album, because I noticed that when I'd come down here, a lot of Cuban cats would show me a lot of love. So I just wanted to kind of show love back and show that I fuck with 'em real tough.
And Pit had a song playing on the radio out here; I forget the song, but it was in his real early days. And I ran into him on the beach and told him to come to the studio and jump on some shit, because I really liked that song. We've been down ever since.
Why do you think you two have been able to stay such good friends in an industry full of so much backstabbing?
He met me before I really blew all the way up, and we were cool. And I always believed in his talent and stuck right there with him. That's a lot, to believe in each other like that. That's family to me, for real! I don't think we'll ever fall out, because we know each other well enough to say "I know Jon" or "I know Pit, and he wouldn't do that to me" if hearsay ever comes around. And we know how to just get on the phone and talk to each other, talk out whatever the problem is.
"Calle Ocho" was on the Top 10 iTunes chart and on the top of charts in some 15 or 20 countries, something crazy like that. And for it to go from us fighting [TVT Records exec] Steve Gottlieb for stuff to him having a Top 10 in all those countries was like — that just touched me in the heart.
I always believed in the guy, and I always knew he could make it commercially. It just shows that if you keep working hard and doing your thing, it'll happen for you. That's a lesson for anybody out there trying to make it. Keep doing it, you know?
What other projects do you have going on besides this record?
I just got done doing something with Snoop called "1800"; it's really hot. We've got the wines — Little Jonathan. We've got Crunk energy drink; we just dropped two new flavors: citrus and grape.
Yeah, Little Jonathan Winery. We've got Cab, Merlot, Chardonnay... They're California wines, in different regions. We're getting them around in stores, but it's a process. Right now, people are mainly getting them from the internet.
Anything else you want to mention?
Read the full Q&A at BrowardPalmBeach.com.