2. Jaqal the Hybrid
**Morgan:** [00:00:00] No, do you perform live too? What, what is your, what do you look like right now as a musician? Like what are you, let's talk some promotion stuff. Right now
**Jaqal:** I am in the d out of practicing phase . Cause Yeah, I graduated college in 2002. That was, it'll be 21 years ago this May. And unfortunately I graduated at the height of Napster.
And for those of you who don't know what Napster is, Oh boy. . NA is why we have apps like Spotify and Pandora . Yes,
**Morgan:** the OG
**Jaqal:** NA is the original music streaming platform, but instead of having artists actually paid for the stream, which even though they're paid like fractions of the penny per stream as it is, they weren't paid at.
and you could just, you could upload the music that you have put it on Napster, and then anybody who else wanted to listen to that music could then download it for themselves so people were not buying music [00:01:00] anymore. And it, like part of the music industry needed to be turned upside down because it was so predatory against artists and musicians.
It's not that it's not predatory now. , all of the power were in record executives and talent scouts. And they could decide whether a, an artist or a band was good enough to then be given a record label. So then you could hear the music on the radio. Where now artists like myself or you know, you, we can now put our own music out.
and then unfortunately we then have to do our own pr, which is a whole nother beast all in itself. But at least you're not, there's few, so fewer gatekeepers into what music gets to be heard and enjoyed these days. The downside to that is now there's so much that is difficult to actually find what's good and what is is like you, you'll hear music on.[00:02:00]
that becomes popular, how that went viral. And you're like, but this is crap. Or, you know, it's a lot more, a lot more difficult to actually find the, the qual, find the quality music and also to be able to stand out amongst all the noise.
**Morgan:** Yeah. I think there's still a lot of power in, in label.
**Jaqal:** I think there, there's still there.
Yes, there absolutely is. And for some musical music artists, that's still their goal is to be either signed to an indie label or to sign to get a major record, record deal. But for any like musicians listening to it, a major record deal doesn't mean that you're gonna get paid
**Morgan:** well. Absolutely. That whole thing with Taylor Swift, like re-recording her albums, someone of that.
Yeah. I mean, she was already famous at that time. Yeah. And for someone like that to still. Victim to that whole system tells us a lot. Like most small artists aren't gonna know, they're not gonna read the contract in enough detail to understand that owning your work, you have to [00:03:00] work to own your work.
**Jaqal:** Yeah. Owning your masters, I mean, this is, this is, you know what happened to the Beatles too? Yeah. Same. Somebody with a whole lot of money decided to buy all the Masters to the Beatles music and they couldn't and they were able to outbid the Beatles.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Which is insane. Paul McCartney is still trying to get his access to his works back.
**Jaqal:** Yeah. Yeah. And it, and it has ruined like my favorite artist Poe. Cause she was, she was signed to a label that was under the Atlanta label Atlantic. And then, but then the owner of that ma sub-label had a dispute with Atlantic. And so they split. And then at that point, Poe lost all of her access to her second.
And she, I
**Morgan:** just can't imagine how infuriating that would be as an artist. Like, ah,
**Jaqal:** yeah. Well, I, I saw her live when I was down in, when I was living in the [00:04:00] la she was doing a benefit for Rain. Tori Amos's, nonprofit Rape and incest National Network, and so many people in the audience were wanting her to sing songs from her new album and, All she do is like, it's amazing to me.
It's like, okay, that's all I can do. If she tried to sing any more of that song or tried to sing a whole song, she was subject to lawsuit,
**Morgan:** she'd get copy struck from her own album. . Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you have a YouTube channel? I do. YouTube's not immune from this either because it is very, very easy for people to report.
I saw this happen recently with Toset violin. They had this huge concert in Singapore, I believe. And. They got reported for copyright. And the thing is, there's not really any penalties for people to, who are reporting because YouTube [00:05:00] wants to kind of, it's YouTube in a way is trying to protect the artist by making sure that any unauthorized copies get taken down or credit gets given or whatever.
But the trouble. , if it's just trolls being trolls, there's no penalty for them to do that. And so they still, as far as I know, they've gotten a partial refund for the revenue that was lost because it goes to the other person, like whoever you say it's attributed to, they were having their royalties sent to a completely other company.
They have a whole series on it. You. Go check it out. But it's, it's quite the saga there, so it's, it's still difficult. There's no good solution that I'm aware of yet. , but yeah, well, I'm,
**Jaqal:** I'm not planning on monetizing my YouTube channel. I'm eventually, once I actually have a fan base, then I'll send people to go gimme money through Patreon.
So I haven't had any copyright issues with YouTube yet. And right now there's only like four or five songs on there. It's all just classical music. But I posted a video [00:06:00] of me playing for a release onto Facebook and Instagram and that. . It happens more with Instagram than does Facebook, but that one gets flagged so often for being copyright infringement, and I'm like, and I have to, every single time it comes up, like people won't be able to hear the sound on this because it's possibly copyrighted.
I contest to every single time. It's like, look, it's for a lease. This was written by a dude who died more than 92 years ago, and the performer is me . Right? Right. The music itself is in the public domain. The performance is me. I own the performance . Right. and I finally, I, I uploaded some music up onto SoundCloud.
It's not perfect yet. And another one of those tracks got flagged for being copyrighted too, because again, it was a classical piece. I forget exactly who was the composer, but somebody else had already posted them playing that piece on SoundCloud. So SoundCloud was, , are you sure you're not playing their piece?
I'm [00:07:00] like, again, I had to contest them like, well, the piece was written by so-and-so and so-and-so was. Dead and gone, but this performance is me . Right. We just happen to both be playing the same
**Morgan:** song. Right. We're a algorithms .
**Jaqal:** Neither one of us have written, neither one of us wrote this piece. The music itself is public domain and we are different people performing the same piece.
Yes. So yeah, it, it, and part of it really is, is like the, the algorithm rhythms. They don't re. Whomever wrote them, doesn't know enough of, you know, classical or you know, classical music to know that when someone's playing like say to the screen to the spring by Edward Grieg, that they're not, neither one of them are Edward Grieg.
**Morgan:** Right. And they're so different. Like I love listening to different people play the same piece. One of one of the [00:08:00] favorites that I have for myself that I play all the time is w c Arabesque number two. And I, I can just flow that thing outta my fingers, but I love hearing other people take it because I'm like, wow, that is like completely different.
They bring out different lines. They bring, and I guess to to people who who don't listen to a lot of that style of music, maybe it sounds the same to. , yeah. But to people who, you know, live this world and practice this music and love this music, it's different between your playing it and my playing. It will be com like drastically different.
And it would, it's so cool to see like, oh, you brought that out. Or like, oh wow, you went a lot faster here. And then I wanna ask you, why did you go faster here? Like, what does this part mean to you? You know? Yeah.
**Jaqal:** Yeah. And that, that's when I, like, when I, when I was in college I was, my work study for my, at least the first year was the assistant to the assistant of the education, music business, music engineering, music composition department, and the, the dude who is a [00:09:00] head of the music business, he.
I don't really know if he really fancies himself as a composer, but he was really fond of like new composers and stuff like that. And he would all tell me all the time like, oh, you're playing this. Have you gone and listened to somebody else? Play it. And as I'm learning, I'm like, no, I don't wanna be influenced by how somebody else plays it.
**Morgan:** It can be really, yeah. I, I'm, I'm the same way. I'm totally there. Like, if I'm learning a piece, I wanna learn it first. Yeah. And then once I've got it, sure, I'll listen to other people, but it's, but it's, it has to come from me first. But I, there's a lot of people who disagree with that.
**Jaqal:** Yeah, and he, he did the same ta, same thing too.
And I was wanting, I think I was wanting to write like a harp piece or something. I was like, well, have you gone and listened to a lot of harp compositions? I'm like, no. Cuz again, I don't wanna be influenced. I want my writing to come from me and from inside. And like, if there's errors in the composition, like, you know, in the arrangement.
Then I can take that [00:10:00] up with the HARs and the HARs go, well, you know what, the, this will be a better way to write this than having to listen to somebody else. And then unintentionally stealing a melody line, right? Yeah. Because then you, that will happen. Like when a, of a friend of Facebook, she was they were listening to just classical piano and one song stood out and they went and found.
The original, which was kinda like this flamenco guitar and they were very upset that this person re like basically wrote it but didn't attribute to the other person now listening to it. Cause I listened to both the orig, the original and then The cover essentially, or the variation, it was more of a variation on theme.
They didn't, it was so obviously that they took, because they took like the entire main theme and then they did variations on top of it, and they didn't name the name was like [00:11:00] some. Like fires theme or something. The, the title of it was com didn't even include anything of the original title. Didn't give any kind of credit that this piece was inspired by this piece or anything along those lines.
So I'm less inclined to believe that it was accidental just cuz how close it was. Yeah. But at the same time, I can still imagine that being. Unintentional because if you like, you're listening to it for a while, and then you don't realize sometimes how ingrained melodies will get into your brain. And then when you think that you're writing something original, it's not.
**Morgan:** I think almost every musician who's ever written anything has this moment. Even me, I don't consider myself a composer, but I've, you know, written some songs just kind of very, very casually. And one of them I was actually really proud of and I was like, I like this. It's kind of, you know, It's heartfelt.
It's about me in a very specific time of my life, and every time I [00:12:00] play it for people, they start singing Gilligans Islands because the chord progression in this one part is like exactly the same as Gilligans Island. And I'm like, no, stop. So I don't play for anymore
I finally got to where I'm recycling it back and I'm just drastically changing how I play it to be a lot less blocky so that people don't automatically attribute it over the Gilligans Island. But I, I think that's, I've talked to so many composers who have done that in some form. Even just a little snippet.
You're, they're, people are like, oh, that's Jurassic Park. Oh, that's, you know, Gilligan's Island. It's like, no, that's me. Yeah, but it's also really good and it happens to have been used before because it's really good. .
**Jaqal:** Well, you, you can find on YouTube the, those. the mashups where they basically play the same chord progression and then sing multiple pop songs over that [00:13:00] same chord progression.
Cause it works. . Yes. It's like, cause I mean they're like, you know, granted a lot of, you know, songwriters out there didn't exactly spend years learning music theory. So, you know, some very, very few people. , even though their songs are good, they're quality songs. I'm not gonna say anything about like, oh, that's crap songwriting.
But if you're not familiar with all of the different ways that you can manipulate chord progressions, then you're gonna fall back on the what you know, what you know works. And that's how a lot of you know, pop songwriters work too, is they stick to formulas because the formula works. The formula gets the song to become a hit.
**Morgan:** Exactly. So I wanna ask you about the metal side, cuz you mentioned there's some metal in there too. Yes, I, tell me
**Jaqal:** about this. So yeah, I love, I love hard rock, I love metal and I love heavy metal. There's certain [00:14:00] genres in, in the heavy metal that is just a little bit too screamy for me to actually listen to because I need to actually be able to sing along if I can't sing along to, I'm sorry.
I might love the, the instrumentation and the instrumentals in it, but I'm, I just can't listen to it because I can't, I can't mimic your scream. And I can't not write music. Gonna be music that I love. So I'm not, I can play like a little bit of electric guitar, but this is another thing where eventually when I do have a fan base and can have Patreon, Patrons giving me money, I can then actually hire people to be like the drummer and the, the bassist and the elec, the, the lead in rhythm guitars.
I can do them electronically now, but they just, those instruments sound so much better when they're actually played by musicians,
**Morgan:** especially in metal. Yeah. Well, I mean everywhere but metal particularly so much is, relies on drum and bass particularly. Yeah. Like yeah, I find a really [00:15:00] interesting parallel.
I guess there's a lot of people who, who are either listened to metal or perform metal actually really like classical. Like there seems to be this link between metal and classical that I find so interesting.
**Jaqal:** So metal is the closest form of pop music to classical music. I love that.
**Morgan:** Tell me why . I love that.
**Jaqal:** Well, part of it is one metal doesn't stick to the standard simple core progressions and neither does classical music like, and they don't also don't, they don't stick to the same four by four.
**Morgan:** Yes. The rhythm, they throw in all kinds of stuff. There's like just random bars of 11 and you're like, hello?
**Jaqal:** Yeah. And, and that's why like you have, why you compare Metallica and the symphony. Why oh, trans Siberian orchestra. Why
**Morgan:** the cello? What are the cello? The cello one, not the vi.
**Jaqal:** Oh, apocalyptic. Apocalyptic apocalyp. They're [00:16:00] finish. They're half my kinsman . I, I went, when I spent when I was in Finland, I actually took.
Contemporary composer class at the university where one of the cellists teaches cello. He wa I never met him. He wasn't there at the time, but it's like, yeah. That's Sabellius University or Uni? Yeah, I think it's Sabellius University. Oh, and Sabellius is like the most. Famous finished composer. I wanted to go to check out his house too.
But it opens in the summer and I left like May 1st. So I, I went up to the town where it was, and then I walked over to the property. I peered through the trees and
**Morgan:** took a picture of the house. , I love Sebas. Yeah,
**Jaqal:** but that, that's why, that's why heavy metal and classical pairs so well is because of how the lengths that they're willing to take their music.
and no other pop music is really interested in taking it. They don't wanna risk it. They, you know, [00:17:00] like lyrically they might be willing to risk it, but musically they can't. They don't want to take it to a level that will prevent them from getting on the charts or having a hit or fans. Yeah. Me personally, I don't, I do want fans, , I'm not gonna say
**Morgan:** don't want fans.
And it goes, hold on, hold on. . It's not that I,
**Jaqal:** it's not that I don't want fans, but my, my goal isn't to make it in music. So what is your goal? I, my goal is, I was like, I don't wanna make any music. I wanna matter. And so I wanna, I wanna use my, my music to kind of o on one hand to create discomfort.
Because without discomfort there can be no change. So instead of being the change I wanna see in the world, I wanna be the discomfort that creates the change I wanna see in the world. Nice to be a catalyst for people to go, Hmm, maybe I shouldn't treat women this way. . Hmm. Maybe I should be, shouldn't, you know, view my sexuality as something that's just for [00:18:00] me and not like have it be more of a selfless act than a self act that instructed mostly towards men because most women are kind of forced to be selfless in that area.
And then also when basically any social justice issue is like, you know, we, we need to actually honor. The people who came before us, you know, people who, who we stole their land from. We need to be, we actually need to protect our home. . Like, I'm like, yeah, you might die on this planet before it dies itself, but you have family members who aren't.
and it's like, you know, I, I did see like a, a meme on Facebook and some, some, somebody asked, somebody asked me why I cared so much about the cl my climate change. It's like, well, because I live here, right? . Yeah. It's like we, we live on this planet. Why are we so concerned about our conveniences when those con, when [00:19:00] just being a little bit more inconvenienced means that this world is not going to implode, like destroy the world, is not gonna destroy all humans.
So that way then it can survive. Yeah. Yeah, maybe. Maybe we do need to change the system so it's actually there is actual freedom for everyone instead of just the, these elite few. Yeah. And so yeah, causing that discomfort, making people who are very comfortable with their lives to get that little. . It's like, maybe I shouldn't be this comfortable.
Maybe, maybe all of what I have isn't just attributed to my skills and my talent. Maybe somebody else who has the exact skills and my talent were, were excluded from being able to get the education that I have to be able to get this job because of things not in their control. Like, you know, you look at every, like, every aspect.
How the world works and, you know, especially in like the United States, is there's so many people who are [00:20:00] losing opportunities just either because they don't have the resources or because someone has deemed that they aren't wor worthy of that opportunity.
**Morgan:** And music to you. How, how does that, I have lots of thoughts on this, but I wanna hear for you how music fits into all of that.
**Jaqal:** Well, so how Music one, one. My, my lyrics. I was told once that my lyrics made people uncomfortable. This was when I, I performed at my church.
**Morgan:** Oh, . So were you proud of yourself? Just a little bit. You're like, good, good.
**Jaqal:** I, I was taken aback by that criticism . I was like, it wasn't a criticism that I was expecting, so I didn't really have a response, but in the back of my head I was like, Well, that's kind of the point, and that's where I was like, kind of like, you know, my, because you know, a lot of my lyrics have to do either with the injustices I've seen in life or things that I've actually experienced myself.
So as a woman, yes, I have experienced sexual [00:21:00] assault. I've experienced abuse. I've been treated by men as the only thing of value on me is my orifices. . And then on top of that yeah, my oldest brother died from an Axon heroin overdose. And so then, and he was the one who is my primary abuser as a child because, well, all three of us were molested by, I'm assuming our babysitter.
So this is like before I was even three. But a lot of things happened that the only explanation for it is molestation and. Greg, his trauma response was to hate the world and take that hate out on me. So I had all of that going on and then we did mend a relationship. And then a few years, he was my first boxing instructor at Ma Coach.
And a few years later, he, he died from an heroin overdose. So yeah, a lot of my lyrics have to do with also dealing with addiction, addiction, watching [00:22:00] someone you love suffer from addiction, losing someone from addiction and kind of, and then seeing how so few people actually look at like, like, you know, the homeless people on the street or someone who is suffering from a substance abuse.
That all of a sudden they're less human, they're less worthy of having their basic rights met. And so yeah, lyrically one I want, I want everyone who listens to my music to either start having compassion for other people or to realize, At least me, at least I have compassion for them. And that maybe that, that they will start seeing their humanity in themselves.
**Morgan:** And I love this because there is so much in there and there's a lot of complexity. And the music that you're drawing from, is that too, right? So you've mentioned [00:23:00] lyrically you go, you know, into all of these themes, but you're also backing that up. with classical influence, with metal influence, like Hard rock, you know, like these traditions.
So it's like you here now in this moment and all of the things that we're facing, but you're kind of on the shoulders are like drawing from and bringing in literal centuries of people who aren't afraid to. Think about things and be complicated to support of this very complicated, you know, situation that we're in Socially.
**Jaqal:** Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, and then the other aspect that I wanna do to matter from the very beginning is I wanna be able to do fundraising concerts in collaboration with n at no cost for nonprofits. And I'm not talking about like the, like the red Crosses of nonprofits who have like multimillion dollar budgets and say, yeah, I'll do a concert for you, but you gotta gimme money cuz you have like a million dollar [00:24:00] fundraising budget.
But there's a lot. Just very tiny nonprofits here in the Portland area that have like practically, I mean just going through like the Willamette Week give guide, you can see how much donations they received and some of them don't even get a thousand dollars. And then you look at what their goal is and they're the community that they're wanting to serve.
And it's like, no, you deserve to have a functional operational budget. So that cause the community that you serve is a lot faster than. and needs a whole lot more than what the donations you're receiving are gonna allow you to be able to do. And I ha it has to be in collaboration because I don't have an audience, so it's not
I talked, I was talking to one nonprofit. It's like, well, yeah, all you have to do is just yeah, put on a concert and then all the, the proceeds from it, well, you'll donate to us. I'm like, yeah, that will give you like, what, 10 bucks for
**Morgan:** my mom's on this note, where can people find you?
**Jaqal:** Yeah, I'm on I'm on Facebook and [00:25:00] Instagram and TikTok as at Jel, the hybrid and J with the Q?
Yeah. Yep. J A Q A L. There's no U app with the queue. And I have a YouTube channel too.
**Morgan:** It'll be in the notes. Go follow Jel. So in closing, my last question here, so zeitgeist means spirit of the times, right? And it's like the, the feel for what it's like to be alive kind of in an era and. With this being a, you know, music company too.
There's a moment that I like to call, like a zeitgeist moment where, a moment where music just like comes alive for you and you're just like consumed inside and out and you connect with at least for me, a lot of times it's, you connect with those people who came before and you just kind of like get it.
Yeah. Was there a a zitgeist moment for you recently? Or what was the last time that you can really picture just being like, consumed like that?
**Jaqal:** That's, it's difficult to say because like I as I've told other people, like, you know, I'm a Jacqueline of all trades, that music kind of infuses everything that I [00:26:00] do.
Yeah. Like, . I'm not, when I'm out walking dogs, my music is on. It's not in earbuds either cuz I need to be able to hear the environment. But yeah, I'm listening to music, I'm singing along. But one of like the, the is a trigger that told me that, okay, I need to stop writing lyrics and actually I need to start getting back to writing music Was.
Had writer's block, I was no longer really inspired to put words to, to the page, a line here or there, but nothing like complete. I'm like, well, I do have three and a half books, and only like maybe 10 of them have been put to music. So I think it's time for me to figure out how to put this to music.
**Morgan:** Jan, thank you so much for being on my podcast.
I'm so excited.
**Jaqal:** I'm so excited to see. I'm so proud of you. I'm happy that you're, thank you. You're able to, yeah. You, you started this and then shit happened and you had to put it aside and now it's, zeitgeist is back.
**Morgan:** It's back. It's different. [00:27:00] It's, but it's all online, but it's I've gone through a lot of personal growth and it's, it's different and.
Yeah, better, but it's back. It's back. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Well go follow Jackal. The hybrid on all of the platforms links will be in the show notes. And again, thank you so much. Yeah, you're welcome. Thank you.