Jacob Parker, who performs as Jaden, was a local to the McMinnville area is now making quite the name for himself in his new home of the past ten years, Portland. Believe it or not, there’s a little bit more coming from this area than Linfield graduates and fantastic wines. Jaden’s gone from a “townie” to DJing internationally and even to sold-out shows. Read on to discover more about this talented musician and what he has to offer to the music community in the following Q-and-A.
In the mix with Jaden
Where are you originally from?
I’ve been an Oregon boy since day one. I grew up out in the hills just outside of Amity and McMinnville on a Christmas tree farm. I love the Northwest. It’s beautiful out here.
Could you tell us a little about your experiences in Dayton and McMinnville?
I grew up going to school in McMinnville and transferred to Dayton High at the beginning of my ninth-grade year. It was quite the change of pace and scenery, being that it was a much smaller town and a really tightly knit, rural community. Everyone there knew one another most of their lives, so it was interesting showing up as the new kid in town. I had some good times in Yamhill County, but once school was over I was off to college and out of there. I still have most of my country-boy tendencies though. I’ve still got a potato gun, actually. No joke!
What (or who) gave you your inspiration to pursue music?
I listened to a bunch of different music growing up. I was a huge fan of older Metallica and such. My first concert was Megadeth and the Misfits at the Roseland [Theater] when I was 14. I was really drawn to music that was heavy and epic. That still hasn’t changed actually. You can definitely hear those sorts of influences in the music I work with.
The first disc jockey I saw that made me want to do what I do was Donald Glaude. He could take a crowd of 10,000+ people and mold them like clay, and he still can.
Other than that, my parents have been remarkably supportive of me. They’ve even been known to attend some of my shows from time to time. I couldn’t ask for more.
How long have you been involved with the electronic dance music scene? Any highlights?
I was first exposed to the music when I was 15, but it wasn’t until my 18th birthday that some of my friends took me to my first electronic music “party.” That was just more than 10 years ago. I started DJing shortly after, and I’ve been hooked ever since. In 2003, I joined up with Red Cube Productions, which is Portland’s biggest electronic music promotion company. That, among other things, enabled me to work alongside some amazing, world-class talent right from the get-go.
What do you like the most about the scene?
I love the music and the community aspect of it. I’ve met some of the most down-to-earth and amazing people imaginable. Performing at events has become a huge part of my life. I love it. Nothing compares to the energy and feeling I get while doing what I do.
What do you like the least about the scene?
Being that the electronic music scene has such an “underground” appeal, it tends to draw in some people who aren’t in it for the right reasons. Mainstream media have really latched on to this, and there’s a real stigma out there in regards to electronic events. But that is to be expected as the music and the events gain popularity. There are tons of great people out there. It’s too bad that they get pulled down by those people with poor intentions.
What is your favorite memory with music?
That’s a tough one. As I mentioned earlier, my first concert was at the Roseland when I was 14. Well, just recently I got to perform on that same stage in front of a sold-out crowd. It’s crazy to think of all of the musical talent that has been on that stage in the last 40+ years. I feel blessed to get to be a part of that.
A close second would be when my first release with TRIAGE, which is an extremely talented Portland–based trio of Dubstep and Drum & Bass producers, was signed and released back in October of 2009. That was a huge milestone for me.
How do you think the scene is changing or evolving?
It’s changed a lot since I first started, but that’s inevitable. Having such a huge influx of newcomers brings a lot of new challenges to the table, which is both good and bad at times. I’d have to say that right now, it’s the biggest that Portland has seen in the last 10 years. The level of attendance is higher, and the level of work and production going into the events is huge. It’s exciting.
In what other parts of the world have you toured/ traveled/performed?
I’ve played in a bunch of random places in the United States. Most recently I played in Portland, Seattle, Boise, Denver and Miami a few times for the Winter Music Conference.
I used to have my own online radio show called “Across the Pond” on www.ibreaks.co.uk, or Breakbeat, a radio station based out of London. That lasted for about two years and was very successful. While I was in the United Kingdom, I did a live broadcast with the iBreaks Records owner, JMekka.
That was definitely a blast. I think there’s still a recording of that out there somewhere.
As far as other cool places I’ve been, I’d have to say that getting to spend some time in Paris was surreal. The amount of culture in that city is breath-taking. I wish I could have stayed longer.
What’s next for you?
Just staying focused and getting as much music completed and released as possible. Over the last couple of years, I’ve done a lot of collaborative work with TRIAGE. We’ve got about four releases in the works that are ready to drop really soon on Bombtraxx Records and Highgrade Recordings. I’ve also got my own solo projects and some other exciting collaborations coming up that have been taking most of my time lately.
Other than that, I’ve got a whole slew of coming gigs booked for spring and early summer, including some out-of-state travel and a few festivals as well. I plan on hitting the shows really hard while really pushing the Jaden brand. I’ve also got a new mix that I’m working on that will be sponsored by Simplify Recordings out of Seattle for their “Mix Sessions” series. All of this will be posted online on my Facebook, Myspace and Soundcloud pages. Be sure to check them out!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would encourage anyone interested in my music to follow me on SoundCloud at www.soundcloud.com/jaden. Also, look up my music page on Facebook under “Jaden.” All of my upcoming event dates, music updates and other assorted shenanigans are up there. Like it up! Let’s be friends!
And if you’re interested in checking out any of the coming events that Red Cube has to offer, check us out online at www.redcubepdx.
I hope to see some new faces out and about. Hit me up on Facebook, and let me know what you think.
by Megan Myer/Online editor
Megan Myer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a night called Bassrush at the Roseland Theater, DJ Sence and Jaden opened for Downlink and Excision on their “Subsonic tour”. After DJ Sence got the crowd’s feet moving, Jaden got them jumping. Taking the stage by storm, Jaden definitely had the most passionate performance of the night. His enthusiasm seemed to outshine even Excision. The raw passion in his DJing definitely filled the ears of the audience in the sold out show. In a night filled with sweaty dancing bodies in the small space of the Roseland, music was seen, heard, felt and lived. If you are ever in an area where Jaden is playing, get yourself a ticket ASAP!
Become Jaden’s Facebook fan by going to: www.tinyurl.com/JadenTLR
For more information about Electronic Dance Music events: www.nwtekno.org
Lineup from the night: