Jason Cardinal got our attention last October when he took over the America's Got Talent audition room in Miami with his one man band spectacle. Gigging constantly throughout Palm Beach County, Cardinal's live performance has grown into a complete show. With spot-on impersonations and unexpected smashups, Cardinal has perfected the art of showmanship. So what's next? The creative bug is hard to shake, and he finally started writing and recording original music with the help of local musician and producer Greg Hansen.
First up is the new single "Love All Over the World" that Cardinal wrote while traveling and performing last summer. Eventually, the song grew and took on a larger message focused on a greater sense of good globally with a pop beat that's easy to love. More songs are in the works, but pretty soon we won't be able to call Cardinal a local boy. He is in the process of moving the one man band to Boston in hopes of taking over a new territory and growing his fan base. Before he makes the big leap, we chatted with Cardinal about his music inspirations, what happened with America's Got Talent and what he will miss most about South Florida.
New Times: You do so many impersonations -- out of everyone, who most closely inspires you when writing original music?
Jason Cardinal: I love pop music, classic rock, and hip-hop. I'm inspired by so many musicians. When I grew up, I listened to everything from Steely Dan to Bone Thugs. Actually, I'm working on a cover mashup of both right now. But if I had to pick one particular artist who inspires me to write my own stuff, it would have to be Bob Dylan. I think he's a genius.
Can you give us an update of what happened with America's Got Talent?
They never called. I may have gotten lost in the shuffle of the tens of thousands of musicians who try out for that show. It would have been great exposure, but I'm still booking 25 shows a month in Florida, my music is still progressing, and the fan base is growing. Life is good. I'll keep trying out for the talent shows until something pops.
What's the plan with the new tracks -- what do you want to do with your music?
First off, I have to thank my friend, local musician, and producer Greg Hansen who helped me write and produce my single and upcoming album. Also a shout out to Absent Hearts Studios in West Palm where I've been recording. I'd like to get one of my tracks in a movie or a commercial. I've sent out my first single to some publishing houses. With all the visual media we are stimulated with these days, the power of video can really help get your music out there and heard by millions. My single "Love All Over the World" would be great for a commercial.
What are you hoping moving to Boston will do for your career? Why Boston?
I'm hoping I can grow my following in Boston. My girlfriend got a job up there and I think it's a great opportunity for me to try a new city. When she was looking for a job, I said, "Put us near a major city." We picked Boston.
What's the biggest lesson you learned from playing in South Florida?
Work hard and take yourself and what you do seriously and people will notice.
What will you miss the most from South Florida?
Ask me that question again in the winter this year when I'm in Boston.
Will you be paying us visits?
Yes. I will come back and do a couple weeks of shows. It will be nice to have a bigger buzz for when I come back, because the saying goes, "You don't know what you got till it's gone." Hopefully SoFlo will be eager to hear my new sounds when I come back. I won't be doing 250-plus shows a year in Florida anymore, so when I come back, it will be nice to play festivals and big events.
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