Born and raised in South Florida, SomeJerk is a music producer, DJ, visual artist and educator pushing bass heavy electronic music, unrestrained by BPM.

In 2007, he was one of the first dubstep artists to emerge from South Florida, as a producer, DJ and promoter pushing what was at the time, the next big but unheard thing. 

As the genre became more focused on aggressive, mid range wobbles, he found himself leaning more toward the roots of dubstep; 2step garage, broken beat and grime styles were more of the focus of sets over wobbles. Eventually he would find himself focusing on his original and true love, the sounds of jungle and drum and bass.

Cutting his teeth at the legendary Laundry Bar on South Beach and regularly DJing and collaborating on events at Get Low/Shake at the Vagabond, SomeJerk has been fortunate to work with open minded, talented and resourceful artists and crews. The spirit of SomeJerk is collaborating with others to share the traditions and culture of bass music with new audiences.

The Interview
By Sergio Mendes

In comes Mr. Somejerk, a man of many talents but of very few words. I have grown to know John for 10+ years and we have worked together on many things, from graphic design work, to music performances to the occasional cook off. Excited to finally sit down and dive deep with this man that wear so many hats.

For those that don’t know you, please tell our readers your name and what you do in this beautiful bass music scene of ours.

My name is John, some people call me SomeJerk. I was born and raised in Hollywood, South Florida and have not gone too far away from here. I have been DJing and releasing original music since 2007. Currently, I release most of my music on my label, Futura. I have been teaching music production at the Scratch DJ Academy for almost 13 years, and I am also a graphic designer, dabbling in different visual mediums.

Somejerk. That is a very unique name. What is the origin story behind it?

When I was a teen, I started skateboarding and getting into different subcultures, punk rock and hiphop mainly. I was super into graffiti. My brother, Brandon, made a comment that as someone walked past something I had tagged they must say “oh some jerk did that”. I don’t know why but I thought that was hilarious and began using it as my name for graffiti. Later, signing up for forums, I “somejerk” as my handle. When I started sharing my productions for feedback, I needed a name so that made sense at the time. SomeJerk was born.

How long have you been producing music and how long have you been doing graphic design work?

I have been producing for over 20 years but I started “taking it seriously” around 2005 I think. In 2007 I started DJing and that pushed me to work harder on making tunes that DJs could play. I have been using Ableton Live for almost 20 years. I love it.

I started messing with graphic design when I was 15, making collages and crap in Photoshop. I became interested in the idea of graphic design mostly due to punk rock and hiphop ads in skateboarding magazines in the 90s. Everything was so raw and I wanted to understand how they did it. I also decided to stop doing graffiti because I was getting into trouble so Photoshop replaced that. My first paid design was a flyers for Juan Basshead for one of pre-Laundry Bar events. I was paid a pair of Beastie Boys tickets. That was a sick show.

When you are not producing music ot working on art, I know you have a passion of growing your own ingredients to make your own hot sauces. Tell us more of this process.

I have always been into cooking, mainly for survival, partially to attract a mate. One day I was like, “how IS hot sauce made??” and started researching. I was astonished at the variety of peppers and became obsessed with learning about their origins and different uses for cooking. I tried growing peppers, killed a bunch. Grew more plants, and now I have peppers and ferment them, and then make different sauces out of them. I’m now getting into hot honeys and working on a sugar free BBQ sauce.

We had the pleasure of featuring you on our second Compilation album on American Grime Records, with the track “Grimerica”, which was more Grime inspired than any other genre. As a versatile music producer, which genre calls to you and which do you enjoy the best in creating?

I have been focusing mostly on jungle and DNB in the last couple of years. I have been told that my drum and bass tracks are very rooted in the 90’s sound, which makes sense as that’s my favorite style of music overall. Even my 140/dubstep tracks have a clear jungle or DNB vibe somewhere in the mix.
I am working on releasing new 140/dubstep/whatever under an alias as the vibes are different from what I produce and DJ as SomeJerk. I have other aliases that I release 160/footwork, breakcore, IDM and other really weird stuff that has nothing to do with the other music I put out.

You and I have collaborated on pop up events and you also used to have your own monthly in South beach called “Bassline”. Any plans of bringing back the monthly or any upcoming events we should be in the know about?

I stopped promoting my own events a few years ago and want to help others do their thing. If I had the right venue in the right location I would consider doing something again. But for now, I enjoy contributing what I can to other’s events, and getting to play occasionally. Versus trying to make it a career and all that stress. It’s a lot more fun when your groceries aren’t depending on how much money was spent at a bar. Plus there are a lot of good events and shows going on, who needs me!

They say behind every strong man, stands a strong woman. Who do you have in your corner and how do they support you?

My wife Melanie is the most important person in my life, we’ve been together for almost 13 years and we were good friends before that. I would recommend to anyone, to find a partner in a good friend, from the club or not. Jhovany has been my best friend since middle school and while he hasn’t left his house since 2010 due to chronic Playstationitis, he is supportive in his own ways, mostly with blunt honesty. Eddie aka Disidente is my #1 papi, we were raving and clubbing together before the DJ/MC/promoter thing happened and I feel lucky to have him as a great friend and person in my corner.

You worked as a teaches at DJ Scratch Academy in which you taught the craft of DJing and Music Production. Any advise you wish to give to anyone wishing to pursue their passions in that field?

My advice to anyone that would like to become a professional DJ, to try and make a living, is to understand the different types of DJs that are out there and where you can fit into that. If you want to make money to live off of, be prepared to play music you don’t like in places you don’t like. It’s a job, not a party! If you want to be a club or festival DJ, become a sincere member of that scene or community. You will learn what’s out there, who’s doing it and can make things happen in an organic way Practice, put out mixes, be respectful and good things will happen.

For music producers, it’s sort of the same idea. Buy a decent pair of speakers. Buy and commit to a DAW and learn it inside out before getting sucked into needlessly buying fad plugins. Try to learn how to make money from producing music, other than selling your original music. Do remix contests, just for fun/exercise. Learn about how music rights, publishing and royalties work. If you can, collaborate with other producers in real life, thru Discord, etc. Produce different genres and styles that you normally wouldn’t, or don’t even like. You will learn more from that than trying to make the same thing repeatedly.
Most importantly, for both DJing and production – have fun.

Any new music projects or collaborations we should be in the lookout for in the future?

At the moment I have a couple of things lined up thru my label, Futura ( that I will be putting out once I finish the mastering. I regularly upload new original music, remixes and bootleg edits to my Bandcamp ( that is all free!

Anyone you wish to shout out in this issue?

Big up Serg, Calvin, all the AG fam and extended friends that I have made by being a part of the thing. Big up United D&B, Juan Basshead, everyone at Scratch DJ Academy, JNGL and Fina, our puppy Sega. And big up yourself for getting to the end of this interview.

Follow Somejerk online





Photos by Skyp3r