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There’s No Speed Limit for Splurt
He’s in His Own Lane on a Musical Bridge to Everywhere
The Supersonic Speed of Splurt
Splurt is definitely in his own lane. He’s in the high-speed lane of a musical bridge to everywhere. It’s a sonic span that reaches across the Atlantic from New Jersey to Sweden. It also links the U.S. mainland with Jamaica as it transports tracks of musical traffic throughout the globe. With a playful mix of reggae, electro and hip hop tunes, his music accelerates toward a collision of genres and cultures. He’s taking his “Splurt Personality” and his label Zillionz Entertainment along for the ride!
The Birth of Splurt
“Splurt” is a Jamaican/British slang word. It means “to run or leave quickly.” Splurt was born in Belleville, New Jersey to a Swedish mother and a father from Brooklyn. While growing up in Montclair, New Jersey, he gravitated towards music at a very early age. His creativity came naturally as he explains, “Both of my parents worked in artistic fields. My mother was a worked as a fashion designer, while my father worked as an art director for top ad agencies in New York City.
Splurting to Jamaica
In his youth, Splurt began to listen to the dancehall reggae shows on WNWK. The Jamaican dialects, bass-heavy rhythms and fast-paced flow of the Patios lyrics fascinated him. One day he saw a group of Rastas in the alley listening to the same type of music he was. That experience made him become more interested in the music and culture of Jamaica. By the age of eighteen, Splurt was thoroughly into music, experimenting with synthesizers and DJing. He finally had the opportunity to visit Jamaica in 1992. The trip was life-changing. He created a buzz with his knowledge of their culture. The people were amazed when he spoke Patios, and began to chat lyrics.
Solar Powered Splurt
While attending The Evergreen State College near Seattle in 1992, he landed a job hosting his own afternoon radio show on KAOS. It was there that he heard his first ragga jungle breakbeat and was hooked. He knew where this music was coming from somewhere very familiar to him – Europe and Sweden! However, as he skated around campus the lack of sun in Seattle was affecting him. Splurt knew he was solar powered, so he traded his skateboard for a surfboard and moved to Hawaii. While in the islands, he built a reggae-based sound system and met Japanese DJs that introduced him to the genre of UK Jungle.
It wasn’t long before he longed to be back on the US mainland. He moved back east from Hawaii to complete college at the Art Institute of Atlanta. At AiA, he studied business management and audio engineering. It was in Atlanta where he would meet the iconic king of crunk, Lil Jon. At the time Lil Jon was working as an A&R representative at So So Def and Splurt would hand Lil Jon mix tapes with his latest compositions. He recalls, “I guess I played a small role in the evolution of crunk because I was always giving Lil Jon mixes and telling him to check out UK Jungle.”
Big Apple Breakbeats
After graduation from AiA, Splurt headed somewhere he was familiar with – New York City. He explains, “Drum and Bass music was exploding there. I began to MC and working as a DJ under the name Jonny Z.” In New York’s legendary clubs like Twilo, he found himself rubbing shoulders with many of the big names of the D&B movement. He was playing with legends like Jojo Mayer and even Kate Moss and Sean Lennon were attending the parties. New York City was a launching point for him. He could be found at every club. As things came together for him, he began to travel and perform internationally. The breakbeats of the Big Apple sent Splurt – then known as Jonny Z – back to Sweden.
Z-MC on MTV
In Sweden, Splurt worked under the stage name of Z-MC. He met pop/dance music producer Hakan Lidbo. Together the two wrote a fun track entitled “The Drum and Bass” which went on become a hit. The song’s success and video won an award that catapulted him onto the Jyrki Video Awards show. The live performance was seen by millions across Europe. Z-MC’s success in Sweden culminated with a record deal with EMI Records. In 2002 he released singles such as “Sound on Sound” with new innovative mixtures of reggae, pop and D&B. He was approached by producer Jaako Salovaara (JS16) to do a track with platinum selling Bomfunk MC’S. Together, they recorded “Back to Back” which received heavy rotation on MTV Nordic and radio airplay.
A Splurt Personality
After all the success, something was still missing. Indeed, he had come a long way. From a child listening to dancehall reggae – he had evolved from JonnyZ into Z-MC. Splurt discovered himself in a period of transition and self-discovery. He was in a mid-life crisis. He had to separate himself from the musician. They had to be mutually exclusive personalities. In a period of melancholy, he knew he needed a stage name that reflected the music side of his spirit and soul. He chose the name Splurt, which he thought reflected his creative personality and traits. It was official; he was no longer Jonny Z or Z-MC. When he took the stage, he transformed into his own musical superhero persona named Splurt. On a personal level, the stage name was something that allowed him to escape societal norms and enter a more creative extension of self.
Zillionz to the World
It was quite by accident that Splurt found himself on a cruise ship headed for Jamaica in 2007. During his impromptu performances there, the reactions from the crowds reminded him of earlier trips to the island. In Jamaica, he rekindled his interest in blending the genres of hip hop, electro, and dancehall reggae. In doing so, he gained a fresh perspective of his true musical roots. Splurt’s return trips to Jamaica were a catalyst for new ideas. One of which was to start his own label, called Zillionz Entertainment. He began by signing Beenie Man’s cousin, Hollopain to the new label and began touring again as a DJ and performer. In addition he was invited to DJ and perform live in Mexico, Brazil, and Switzerland.
A Splurt of Red Wine
In 2009, Splurt met manager Donovan Thomas (Lil Vicious, Dante Thomas.) They began to work on new material at Wyclef Jean’s Platinum Sound Studios in New York City. It was there that his unique stylistic blend of reggae, hip hop and electro music caught the attention of the Fugees member Pras Michel. Splurt details the meeting, “Pras heard me and asked me to do a track with his group, The Axixs. We chose ‘Red Red Wine’ because it was a reggae classic that we felt needed an update.” In 2010, Splurt continues to work on new singles for the upcoming release of his next album; Splurt Personality.
The Musical Bridge to Everywhere
There is only one Splurt. He is a complex, unique and charismatic artist. His rhythms and rhymes have hyped-up crowds from the volcanic hot springs of Iceland all the way to concerts held deep in the Amazon forest. He has a persona which flouts the laws of physics while immersed in colorful creativity, vogue and verve. Splurt is surely in his own lane high speed lane on his musical bridge to everywhere.
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