Dirtybird's Justin Jay diverts into a side project of Fantastic proportions. Trading in tech-house for synthpop, Justin Jay teams up with his old college palls for Fantastic Voyage.

Have you seen The Muppet Movie? In the unfortunate case you haven't, it begins when Kermit the Frog is picked off his lily pad and invited to be a star in Hollywood. As he starts his journey, he finds Fozzy Bear telling jokes in a dive bar. He asks the waka-waka machine to join him, and so it goes with Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Rowlf the Dog, and so on until his brown Studebaker is overflowing with a wild and varied cast of characters.

Although they come from different backgrounds and take different approaches, each one is a dreamer pursuing a passion. They are stronger and better together than they ever were apart, and that's something Justin Jay has learned during the course of his own Fantastic Voyage.

I know that I'm not your type, and you're not mine, but that's alright,” his college buddy Josh Taylor sings on “What Do you Want.” It's track three of 12 on Fantastic Voyage, the debut collaborative album from the producer's new four-to-seven-piece band (depending on the lineup that day), Justin Jay & Friends, and it captures the spirit of the project.

This is a band that in many ways shouldn't make sense. It's a tech-house producer teamed with a singing ukulele enthusiast, a drummer, a guitarist, and sometimes a trumpeter, saxophonist, and bassist. It's a process so involved, Jay actually went back to college after graduation to take a “school of rock” style class that taught him how to perform in a band. It's been totally weird, but that's what's made it exciting. As Taylor sings on track seven “Let Go,” “holding on will hold you back.”

“We didn't even realize it (was happening), because we were really just getting lost in the process of making music, songwriting, and just hanging out,” Jay says of the album writing and recording process. “I've just learned so much from that experience, and I'm really excited to just keep learning about new things and to experiment with my homies.”


Read the full story by Kat Bein at Billboard

Join The Conversation