Updated: Oct 1
The #1 Billboard Chart Topping Saxophonist, Jackiem Joyner, jumps from success to success with his #1 Billboard Chart Topping hit, "Missing You," and his sci-fi book series, Zarya. You won't believe what he has up his sleeve next!
Multi-accomplished saxophonist and Sci-fi Author Jackiem Joyner is genuinely talented and unique. His playing is effortless and melodic. His first single, "I'm Waiting For You," was an instant #1 hit on the Billboards Contemporary Jazz Chart, and it held that #1 spot for 12 continuous weeks. Not only did "Waiting for You receive the enormous success of anchoring in the top spot, but the song was also nominated for Song of the Year in 2010 at the American Smooth Jazz Awards.
If that wasn't enough excitement, his single, Take Me There," which was released in early 2010, skyrocketed to the #1 spot on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. It remained in that spot for a whopping six weeks uninterrupted! His latest single, "Missing You” has followed the same recipe for success as he climbed to the #1 spot yet again with this current single missing you. In our conversation, he discussed his new music and his latest sci-fi book series, Zarya. Here's what he shared.
Mr. Jackiem Joyner, how are you today? Very good. How's London, England?
England is a beautiful country with a rich history and breathtaking architecture; it's lovely. Because England is an English-speaking country, it's easy to communicate with people; otherwise, things are different here. I find some aspects of the way of life here more straightforward and some more challenging, but I am learning to adapt.
Since we last spoke, many amazing things have happened in your life, and I want to discuss them. Before I do that, I would like to know where you were born and raised. Although I was born in Norfolk, VA., I grew up in Syracuse, NY. That's where I started playing the saxophone. I am currently located in Los Angeles, California.
England has a “Norfolk,” too. In America, Norfolk is a military town. There is a naval base there and it's close to Fort Houston. The CIA headquarters is located there, among other things. But that's where I was born.
Are you a military child? Yes, I am. My father was there during Vietnam, and my little brother was in the Navy. I come from a military family. In my case, I took a different route.
We're all glad you took an alternative path because we love your music! Now, Jackiem, I'm going to ask you some random questions. Can we take a ride down memory lane together? Sure.
Awesome! When you were growing up, what got you into trouble the most? Oh wow! All right. There's the young child between nine and twelve, and then there is the early teenage child. Which are you referring to? (laughs)
Both because of the way you just laughed. I'll miss out on something if I don't ask you to tell me about both age groups. (laughs) In my early teenage years, between twelve and fourteen, my brother and I snuck into movies.
The theatre had a back entrance, but I don't know if they knew about it. As a result, we would walk up the stairs, watch one movie, and then sneak into another film afterward. So, shame on me! (laughs)
Also, when I was between eight and ten years old, my mother sent us to church on this big bus. But what my mother didn't know was that we skipped church. So, when the bus parked next to the other buses and the kids had been let off, we would hide under the bus until everyone was gone. Then we would go somewhere else, like to a park or something. But we made sure we returned in time for the bus to take us home.
As we say in the UK, "That's cheeky!" (laughs) Awesome! Speaking of movies, there are times when I don't particularly enjoy going to the theatre. Watching the film with others can sometimes be annoying due to their strange habits. That can make the movie-watching experience quite challenging. What do you dislike most about them? I find it annoying when standing in line at the concession stand and someone in front of me orders everything but popcorn, especially when the movie starts in about two minutes. Then, the guy behind the counter is just taking his sweet little time to get the popcorn together. I don't want to miss the first two minutes. So yeah, that is very disturbing. (laughs)
I agree. Since they started putting reclining seats in theatres, people are taking it to another level. Now, they are bringing duvets, down comforters, feather pillows, pillow shams, snoring devices, and house slippers! They are doing way too much! So, irritating! I stay home and watch movies on the “Telly” now. It's way better for my sanity. (Laughs) You know Jackiem, most children love snacks; one of the most popular is potato chips. When you were a kid, what type of potato chip did you like best? I used to love cheese doodles and hot cheese curls, which are still my favorite.
When I was younger, I used to get a big bag of "Wise" potato chips. I don't think they have them in California anymore, but I would always get the big bag of cheese curls and eat them. Then, one day, they came out with hot cheese curls, which changed everything! That changed the game! (laughs)
That's hilarious! Did you put "Louisiana Hot Sauce" on them? You know what? I never tried putting hot sauce on them because they were hot enough. But they're still good. The crazy thing is, since they don't sell them in California, every time I travel to the East, like DC or Virginia, I always find those chips. (laughs)
What food do you love but most people hate? When I was really young, I used to eat pigs' feet. Although I loved them, I knew that they would repulse some people. I haven't had them in a long time. Other than that, I'm the standard eater.
I used to like fried liver because my mother made it taste like fried chicken, but I no longer eat it because I eat a vegan diet. Many people find liver gross, but we grew up eating it, so we developed a tolerance for it. On the contrary, I hate chitlins! Because I'm black, other black people are surprised that I don't like them, but I find them disgusting! Yuk! (laughs) How about hot pork rinds?
Yes, I used to eat those, too, and I liked them. I don't eat them any longer because they are so unhealthy, but I must admit, I really enjoyed eating them when eating them was a thing. (laughs) Yes. Many people wouldn't like them, but I do even today.
What popular dances were in style when you were a teen? One of them was "The Kriss Kross." Then there was the "The Kid' N Play" and "MC Hammer." Those dances were hot back then.
Could you do those dances? And did you have some of those "MC Hammer" pants?
Yes. I owned a pair of "MC Hammer" pants and got tortured in school for wearing them. I was addicted to "MC Hammer" when I was a kid. That's one thing people don't know about me. In middle school, I was so much into MC Hammer. I wore the “MC Hammer” pants and shirts. It was just crazy. (laughs)
Yes, those were great memories. Love it! Jackiem, have any of your friends ever pulled a cheeky prank on you? Yes. My friend stole my saxophone and hid it somewhere. I was in high school at the time.
When I asked him where it was, he replied, "I don't know what happened, but we're going to need to find it, and if we can't, the police may need to intervene." That totally tripped me out, and then he handed it to me, saying, "Here it is; I found it in your room." But yes, it was pretty bad.
That wasn't very nice, but I'm glad you finally got it back. Pranks today are much worse than they used to be. Many young people post videos of themselves playing tricks on others that almost lead to their deaths. Nowadays, living life at the edge seems to be the in thing. I guess it's just a sign of the changing times.
We live in an age when technology has advanced substantially, but despite its advances, the simplest everyday thing we need to make our lives much easier still has yet to be invented. If you had to choose one invention that has yet to be created but would make life easier for you, what would it be? Because I'm a sci-fi person, I feel like there are a ton of gadgets that need to be made. For instance, when I went to Japan, I noticed that they have super advanced toilets, so perhaps maybe when you use the restroom, there is some kind of system where you can be tested for various things.
When washing your hands, you can be tested for any impurities in your body. Some people would not consider these inventions fun but having that technology in place would be nice.
Flying cars and bikes would also be great. These kinds of things fascinate me. Flying has always appealed to me; I enjoy being in the air. So, I would love to see someone invent something that will allow us to fly, like a jet pack, but safe. There may even be a mechanical suit that allows you to jump higher and run faster than you usually could.
Depending on the sport, they could develop a suit that enables you to perform extraordinary maneuvers, such as backflips. While wearing these suits, you cannot get injured. This is one of the benefits of these suits.
Jackiem, you must have been wearing one of those suits because your saxophone playing is cosmic! It's extraordinary! God has truly blessed you with a super gift! So much so that your single "Missing You" charted #1 on both the Billboard Charts and Media Base America's Music Charts! Congratulations, and I want that mechanical suite! (laughs) Thank you.
You’re welcome. So, can you tell me a little history regarding "Missing You?" Did you write it, and who is on it? I started working on “Missing You” in 2022, just before Thanksgiving, but it wasn't working out. Therefore, I set it aside and tabled it.
Why? I just felt as though something was not happening with the song. However, I revisited the song around February or March and started experimenting with new things regarding the composition.
The original idea behind the song was there from when I produced it last year, but it needed something extra. I couldn't put my finger on it. As a producer, you know the song you're writing has potential, but sometimes you can't find the missing piece.
So, one day, while playing the Saxophone to the incomplete demo version of "Missing You," I said to myself, "It feels OK to play, but I'm just not really inspired when I'm playing it." My solution was to raise the key. I felt incredible when I played it in the new key!
That was the missing piece! The resolve was playing the song in a new key. From there, it came to life. I now had a lot of work ahead of me since I had to recreate this song in a different key. It took weeks to complete that process.
Yes. I knew I was heading in the right direction because playing it on the saxophone felt natural, and it started to come together nicely. As far as the production of the song, I wrote and produced it.
Most of the instruments on the single were played by me, including the drum programming, bass guitar, piano, all string arrangements, and percussions. Kyle Bolden played guitar.
The creation of the project was not a quick process. Overall, it took a lot of work and time to perfect. Although I did not want it to take so long, the song forced me to do so.
Once I changed the key, I knew it was heading in the right direction. It then had the feel that I wanted. I wanted it to have a 70s-like vibe with the funky Wah guitar, strings, and a bit of flute. I intended to incorporate all the elements that reminded you of the “afro” days.
Yes. And to my recollection, I don’t remember anyone doing this with a saxophone. So, the saxophone brought that contrast to the song, and it just turned out to be one of the few songs of mine that I can listen to repeatedly.
One of the things about producing music and writing songs is that once you've completed a piece, you don't want to hear it anymore. You would be fine if you didn't have to listen to it again until a year later. (laughs)
Yes, exactly. It even affected me as a writer because it was pulling me in. After producing it, I fell in love with it and still enjoy listening to it.
Quincy Jones once said in an interview, "If you write and produce a song, you can really feel it, and you really love it, and it's really touching you, then perhaps you have a chance to touch the audience. So, start with making yourself really fall in love with that song, and you'll have a chance." I remember him saying something like that. (This is just a paraphrase of what Quincy Jones said and may not actually be the exact quote.)
So true. Yes. And I think “Missing You” really did that and I'm glad that people loved it! Another achievement regarding this song is that it rose to the #1 spot on both the Billboard Charts and Media Base America's Music Charts! and I wasn’t expecting that to happen. But that’s something I'm sure that everybody wants, to have a #1 song.
Yes! Congratulations again! Thank you. So, when "Missing You" went #1, I was very excited! Then, when it reached #10 on the charts, I believed it would catapult to the #1 spot due to its fast movement. Although I felt that way, I don't like to jump ahead of myself. I knew it was the right song because of my music knowledge as a producer and critical thinking as a songwriter.
You are multi-instrumental, correct? I am. I play piano, saxophone and flute. I also do a great deal of programming with keyboards, bass, strings, drums, and percussion instruments. Overall, saxophone and piano are my main instruments.
Do you sing too? I used to sing. In fact, I was singing before I started playing saxophone. I was a big fan of John P. Kee and Yolanda Adams. I sang in a lot of youth choirs. I like to say that my music career started in church. But I was singing, before I started playing saxophone.
Can I sing now? (laughs) I don't know, but I do hum melodies. My secret, which many people are unaware of, is that I sing a piece of music before playing it on the saxophone.
As I write these phrases, play them, and try to imagine how they will sound on a saxophone versus a vocal, I typically hum and sing them to achieve the effect I'm going for.
Yeah, absolutely. You can tell when you play because you play so beautifully and melodically. It just sounds like someone singing in heaven. You put so much love and passion into your playing. So, Jackiem, what are you currently working on regarding future releases? Yes, currently I'm working on a new album for next year and I'm also working on episode 3 for “Zarya”.
How exciting. I would like to know more about “Zarya.” Sure. Zarya Episode II: Sochi Unleashed came out a few weeks ago, and currently, I'm working on episode 3. Working on the album, writing, and touring keeps me busy.
I'm impressed! It's incredible what you've accomplished! And you're going to be touring? Yes. I'll be touring throughout the end of the year. It's going to be a busy year for me.
Indeed, and it's lovely. Jackiem, if you don't mind, I want to discuss "Zarya" more. What is the book series about? Ok. While on tour in 2014/2015, I began writing the story of Zarya.
I love to read—especially James Patterson's books. As much as I am a big fan of stories, I'm also a critic. Thus, I thought one day that since I was going to be a critic, maybe I should write my own story. That was my sarcastic comment to myself, I guess. (laughs)
So, I opened my Evernote and began writing a story. My goal was to write a story that Interested readers.
Zarya takes place on another planet called "Cyndus," a desert planet from the future. The planet is like Mars. With "Speeders" zipping around in the air, it has a "Star Wars" feel.
What are "Speeders?" They're like flying cars. If you've ever seen a movie called "The Fifth Element," that would be similar to the environment of "New Sabrina," which is the main city on "Cyndus." So, it's futuristic. The main character depicted in the story is a girl by the name of Zayra, who is a young teenage girl. Although she's a coding expert and extremely smart, they underestimate her talent. Nevertheless, she developed her own AI speeder board, which she uses to do many things.
Overall, she aims to save the world from impending doom from a military government that wants to capture and stop her. In the meantime, she's also trying to rescue her parents.
I love it! Wow, that sounds exciting! So that is what transpires in the second episode, but what about the first? The first book is about Zarya finding her parents, whom she was separated from as a child. That's all I want to say regarding it because I don't want to say too much. (laughs)
Ok then, don't say anymore. (laughs) Everybody needs to get it and read it because it's terrific! Yes, if you like Avatar or Star Wars, you’ll enjoy Zarya.
Jackiem, do you plan to turn it into a movie or an animated series in the future? I would love that, and that's what I want to do. Due to Zarya's visual nature, I plan on converting it into a script and possibly shipping it around since it has long been one of my dreams and ambitions.
It's a world-building story, and when you start reading the first chapters, you quickly become immersed in this whole new world. It takes you on a journey, and you'll be blown away while reading this series.
Some of the people have tails, and there are lots of devices and futuristic gadgets all over the place. They communicate with one another differently than we do, but it's normal for them. It's a visual story packed with adventure, speeding, chasing, and near-death experiences.
In Episode Two, I went into more detail about the creatures of the planet. To create a more unique atmosphere for the planet, I introduced some of the flying creatures, speeders, and other transport’s. In this futuristic world, animals and other things are present also. As such, I think people would enjoy it, especially if they love science. It's right up your alley.
As time advances, I think we need something new and fresh. As children, we had Star Trek, Never Ending Story, Star Wars, and Avatar, but there is room for something new: Zarya, the Movie. The one sure thing is that whatever God wants for your life will come to pass. You know, Jackiem, a lot of people are teaching master classes. Do you plan to teach a master class on the saxophone? You know, I thought about it, but I found out that I'm an impatient teacher. (laughs)
Trust me, I understand. (laughs) It is as I teach my daughter that I am learning patience. But I have thought about it. The principal at my daughter's school suggested I become their music teacher since they needed one. I told her I would never have time for that. Would I have the patience? I will have to see what happens. It has crossed my mind, but I am unsure how I feel about it.
I get it. I just did a two-day film workshop with some of the children at my church and it was a day indeed. (laughs) Wow! (laughs)
Jackiem, it’s been lovely conversing with you today. Would you be so kind to share a few words of inspiration for young aspiring saxophonists? that are coming up are any words of wisdom that you've learned along the way that you would like to pass on? What would they be? First, you have to decide what your instrument is. And how do you find out what your instrument is? Your instrument is something that you are okay playing all day. Your instrument is the one that inspires you; you feel good playing it, and you enjoy doing it. So, the first step to playing is playing an instrument you enjoy.
Then, take it to the next level. Learn everything that there is to learn about the instrument. Listen to all of the great saxophone players out there so you can become inspired to get better.
The great thing about playing a musical instrument is that the more you learn, the more you can understand. And the more you know about your instrument, the more things you can come up with as a player. Then, you'll get to a place where your technical ability only reaches what's in your head, and you'll say, "I want to do this, but I just don't have the technical ability to do that."
But in the end, that will push you to improve with your instrument. So, keep going. Keep doing it, keep practicing it, and keep loving it. The main thing is to keep loving it and keep the passion.
Well said! Mr. Jackiem Joyner, thank you. It's been an honor and a privilege to speak with you today. My prayer for you is that God will continue to bless the works of your hands, be it done according to His will for your life.
I pray that God will keep you safe and protected and cover you and your beautiful family. I'm so proud of you and all your accomplishments and rooting for your success on the sidelines. Thank you again, and may God bless you. Thank you.
Bye. Take care, bye.
Visit his website www.JackiemJoyner.com
All Photo of Jackiem Joyner are by Jorge Cabrera and are a courtesy of Jackiem Joyner
End of Interview
Disclaimer: The words of inspiration posted by The Indie Post, written within ( The New American Standard Version Bible Verse) are not the words of the above interviewed.
"John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him."
"Romans 10:9-13 9 [f]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, [g]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [h]resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE [i]PUT TO SHAME.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13for “EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”