Joseph Zucco already makes for a really cool stage name. But the actual Joseph Zucco doesn't seem to think so at this point. You may be more familiar with Joseph Zucco as J£zus Million - the 20 year-old producer, DJ and remixer who managed to catch the attention, ears and vocals of current pop phenomenon Charli XCX before she was, well, a pop phenomenon. But of course, there's more to him than just creating records for Charli; he's a seasoned musician even for his age, learning to play the guitar, drums, bass and piano before making the switch to production at a later stage.

In 2013, he released his debut collection entitled Cold Shoulder, which included collaborations with the aforementioned XCX and Chicago based rapper Sasha Go Hard while his latest EP Errors is largely a instrumental affair born out of a previously scrapped follow-up project to Cold Shoulder. The end result is a collection of three original tracks combined with three remixes of those tracks. EP opener 'Taught To Run' sounds a bit like something you'd imagine the likes of Skepta or Wiley rapping over in 2015 (in fact, someone make that happen because that would sound really great!) while 'If You Forget' and 'Exile' lend themselves to the more pop centric side of things. For what it's worth it's a solid, albeit brief, effort.

Talking on Skype from the house he shares with a number of friends ("I like in a house with like nine guys... Plus I live in Massachusetts so it's fucking freezing!") we get to talking about how he spent his holidays ("It was pretty average" he says rather nonchalantly) and I discover he has a passion for football. That's soccer, not the American stuff, which takes me by surprise. "I live with a British kid and he's really good at it but he's a cocky bastard so we're all trying to get really good and beat him [At FIFA]." Fortunately, the rest of our time was spent talking about music because FIFA isn't exactly my strongest point either.

At what point did you realise you wanted to do music as a job?

Probably when I was 10. When I thought of it more seriously; I was 18. When the possibility of that actually being a legitimate thing I could do as a profession, I was probably about 18 and in school before I dropped out and started doing music full time. But the initial idea came when I was around 10. I always knew I wanted to do music.

What about any instruments, did you play any when you were younger?

Yeah, I picked up the guitar when I was 10 and the drums at 12. Then I played the bass and piano over the years. I started working with electronic shit when I was 16, when I got Ableton and I started messing with that. I'm still learning how to do all that. I started doing all that at 16 and it's just been progressing since then.

Do you see yourself bringing the live music element back into your music?

I totally want to! I don't know what I'm going to do for the next release under this J£sus Million project. I think I want to do strictly production for that but at some point I'd like to branch off from it, have a whole new name, I guess and just put out music that's more instrumental and more hands on.

I've got to ask; how did the name J£zus Million come about?

I was getting a haircut when I was about 16 or 17. I went to a catholic school and I was feeling really angsty at the time about the whole thing. I was just like "People just love religion and they love money..." and... I don't know; that fabled $1Million is what people fucking crave in pop culture, like... wholesome spirituality, like some sense of nirvana is what people ultimately want to gain one day... I don't know it's just religion and money basically. It was just some stupid 16 year-old angst-y concoction of something. It's religion and money just into a stupid name

What was the inspiration behind the EP? What prompted you to do it?

I did it more so because I had pressure to release something since I hadn't released anything in forever. I just wanted to put something out that was different to what I'd previously put out. Inspiration-wise, it was really nothing. I was living at my mother's house, so I had to just come up with my own form of inspiration just by going inside myself and looking for inspiration in my head rather than from the world. I was living in some rural suburb. That was pretty much the inspiration behind it. Or lack thereof. I just had to come up with my own shit for it.

My understanding is you had previously worked on another EP that you scrapped before working on this one?

Yeah, I was trying to experiment with my vocals and how they would sound over my production and it didn't really connect as well as I'd liked it to. So I ended up scrapping all that and just doing an instrumental EP instead.

So in total, how long have you been working on this project?

Probably three months. The other EP was three months and I scrapped that and I really rushed to make the EP as it is today. I did it in about a month and a half, or two months. It was a quick process.

Did it all come together naturally?

Yeah, most of it I did in my basement. Overall, all the work I put in was probably over a month and a half but most of the tracking was done in a week. I kind of just locked myself in my basement and just slept there and worked on it.

You previously worked with Charli XCX on her debut album. How did you to get together?

My manager had known her a couple of years prior and I'd known her manager as well. They thought we'd mesh well together for her first release so they got us in contact, I sent over some instrumentals I did and took it from there. It was all electronic, through email. I met her for the first time on her 21st birthday in Boston two years ago. She did a show, I met her and we just talked music. I kept sending her beats and shit. That's how it came about.

You also worked with Sasha Go Hard too...

Yeah, that was for my first mixtape. That was the same deal; my management got in touch with her management and she agreed to do a feature. It all worked out pretty well.

Do all of your collaborations happen electronically?

Pretty much, for the moment. I don't think I have that big enough sway to hit up people on a personal level. I don't really have that stature to hit people up, so it's mainly just through management, knowing people and somehow getting them in touch with me.

What are you currently listening to? Or rather, what was your favourite album of the last year?

Probably R Plus Seven - Oneohtrix Point Never's record. I thought that was brilliant. That was probably my favourite record of last year. I like the new Iceage record, I been listening to that still too but I think R Plus Seven was the biggest standout for me.

Is there anyone you're hoping to work with?

I'd love to work with FKA twigs, she's kind of like my number one right now. I don't know how realistic that it at the moment but I'd definitely love to work with her; she's fucking amazing.

Are you currently working on any other projects at the moment?

I have no one in particular I'm working with right now - I'm working on some music with my roommates. That'll probably be a whole separate project. It's more of a band thing but more production oriented with some guitars and bass. We don't really know where that's going at the moment but that's what I've been working on for the past few months. That and I'm trying to crank out instrumentals to send to people.

What would you like your musical legacy to be? How would you like to be remembered?

Innovation maybe? I'm always trying to push for new ways to make music. I'm always trying to make new sounds with vague instruments with the computer. I'd like to be remembered for innovation within production and pop music for that matter.


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