If you have ever been on YouTube, chances are you have heard of JussJef. The 26 year old Californian became an internet phenomenon by posting ridiculous guitar covers of some very hot songs. Soletron managed to catch up with the musician and grab an interview to see how it all started and where he is going next.
When did you start playing guitar?
I actually got into the guitar because of the movie La Bamba. I saw it when I was 10 and immediately asked my Dad for a guitar. He bought me a little plastic toy one because he figured I’d be over it in like a week. I ended up learning a bunch of chords on it and figuring out songs by ear. He was so impressed, he bought me a real acoustic guitar. When I joined Jazz Ensemble in Middle School, that really increased my learning curve on guitar. That’s when I began to develop my style of playing.
What was your reaction to the amount of views you received from YouTube?
Definitely surprised. My friends at school talked me into uploading my first video which happen to be a cover of Neyo’s “So Sick”. I had zero expectations. I thought it would just get lost among the thousands of videos on YouTube of people playing guitar.
What has been the coolest thing to happen to you because of this?
Probably connecting with people across the world that enjoy my guitar playing. That wouldn’t exist without YouTube. When someone references me or covers something I’ve played, I can’t help but feel flattered.
Why the long break from posting videos?
Although YouTube opened up a lot of doors for me, it started getting harder to make videos when I started getting work as a professional musician. The time I had during college to make videos was now being spent learning and playing songs for gigs, shows, tours, and studio sessions. I’ve also been going through growing pains as a musician and trying to incorporate new genres and styles into my playing. Being versatile as a musician and a performer is important to me.
What’s next for you as far as music and life is concerned?
I’ll be doing more shows playing guitar for Jhene Aiko, who’s an amazing new Def Jam artist. Other than that, I’m just excited to be making a living doing what I love.
One thing about it, Jef definitely makes me want to pick up a Guitar and a copy of La Bamba. You can keep up with him via his YouTube page and social networks. This is one guy you’ll want to keep you’re eye on.