Jim-E Stack has come a long way. Born and raised in the culturally rich environs of San Francisco, the now Brooklyn-based artist born James Harmon Stack cut his musical teeth on the drums at a young age. His true love was playing jazz in both his high school band and local groups, but it wasn’t until he entered the world of solo production at the tender age of 16 that he found the freedom necessary to write and record how he wanted. During 2008, he eagerly worked on hip-hop beats inspired by DJ Premier and J Dilla, coloring those sketches in Logic with bits of UK grime and Baltimore club sounds à la Blaqstarr and Karizma. Once he started sneaking into clubs in 2009, he uncovered the seeds of what would become the burgeoning producer we now know as Jim-E Stack, a journey which started with a set at SF’s renowned 222 Hyde from Fade to Mind boss Kingdom.
After moving from the West Coast to New Orleans, where he enrolled at Loyola University to study music technology and production, Jim-E Stack made his first splash with a bass-loaded version of Nguzunguzu’s “Mirage”, a well-received remix that eventually landed him his first official release. 2011’s Come Between EP was a bright and drum-focused offering that signaled the arrival of a viable production talent whose fresh perspective on club-ready music was lauded by DJs and tastemakers around the world. (BBC Radio 1 host Benji B went so far as to play the entire EP on his program for weeks before and after it was released.) It was an important moment for Stack, though it would also make for a serious obstacle in his creative journey’s next step: the debut album.
After moving to New York in summer of 2012, James quickly made friends with Shlohmo and his Wedidit crew, frequented the Lit City Raves at 285 Kent, and started the slow process of writing his first full-length record Tell Me I Belong LP, 10 diverse tracks representing the culmination of their creator’s musical experience thus far.