The truth: You can’t. I’ve been a DJ since I was two, and I’ve been a singer and rapper since I was 15-years-old. It’s just this huge industry. It’s just a lot of work. And when you do it, you can get good at it; you can get good at whatever you try to do, but you can get really good at it and it’s just kind of a grind. You can get good at doing this stuff, but if it’s not perfect—and honestly, you’d get better at it if you just got lucky a few times.
Pitchfork: A few years ago you left behind that DIY, soulful vibe that makes you go “Wow.” How much of that did you think you’d get back? What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your music that makes people dig you even more?
BJ: I think it’s the same sort of thing. All I’ve ever wanted or hoped for was a record that would go down like, you know, a “R. Kelly”, you don’t even know he was on it. [laughs] It’s just a good record. That’s what makes it cool. It’s something that I knew my music would come back with, and I think it’s one of the reasons I still do it. I didn’t try to force anything, I just wrote the music that I wrote. I like to say that one big reason my albums are the way they are is because I write the music that I wrote. People don’t do that—they just go to a studio and record something. I think that’s why people enjoy my records, too; I try to think of my music as just a piece of writing, an album of music and I don’t want to be a perfectionist about it. I definitely am as I’ve always been.
Pitchfork: You also have “We Need to Talk” on your new record, “S.E.X.” That’s the first song on that album, and your new album, “Journey of the Heart,” and “Let It Die” too. How much did you feel that the album would reach a broader audience without a singer to guide its songwriting, and how did that come about? How difficult was that for you as a producer?
BJ: It’s fun because I get really happy with anything that we do with the musicians on it. I like to think that we
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