Interview with Brian J from Pimps of Joytime

brian j, pimps of joytime
Brian J from Pimps of Joytime

Interview by Scott Preston

The genre-defying Pimps of Joytime pay homage to funk, afrobeat, latin and hip hop, combining loops and live playing in a way that is seamless and infectious. The joyful noise you’ll hear is a heady musical gumbo sure to get you moving. Their eclectic debut album “High Steppin'” is available now on Wonderwheel Recordings.

Soul, baby. Digging deep into the roots of funk, blues afrobeat, latin and hip-hop, this band got down and dirty so you won’t have to. But you will. With songs that are infectious yet genre defying, The Pimps Of Joytime have put together a street-credible pop album released on Wonderwheel Recordings, the label started by Turntables on the Hudson co-founder Nickodemus. High Steppin’ is consistently entertaining and more enjoyable with each listen. Whether in your car stereo, ear buds or live in concert, The Pimps will move your body. As Alex Andreas, owner of the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco puts it–audiences are “drawn to the dance floors at these venues to throw down in a non-stop elated ‘get-down’ dance frenzy.”

Cincy Groove: Where did you come up with your band name, Pimps of Joytime?

Brian J: It was a friend of mine that had come up with that. On our new cd, High Steppin, there is a track that I wanted to have an introduction on. I told him to give me an introduction like I’m a boxer or something. At the time I didn’t even have a band name yet. He had written a whole bunch of things down and I looked it over and saw Pimps of Joytime. It seemed like a fun, funky name to me.

Cincy Groove: How did all the band members end up meeting?

Brian J: I met Hagar the bass player at a club in Brooklyn thats no longer open called The Stinger. We both had a residency there. I had a solo gig and she was playing with some sort of hip hop band. Chauncy the congo player and singer I ended up meeting just from being around the neighborhood. Everyone really came together by being around Brooklyn and playing music. I hand picked players that I thought could really play funky.

Cincy Groove: Aren’t you releasing another cd soon?

Brian J: Its mostly a remix cd with a couple new songs, called Funk Trixes and Remixes. This cat DJ Meglean from London did an incredible remix, which is the first track on the cd. It really set the precedent for the rest of the cd. DJ Nickodemus did something really cool on the cd as well. The leader of the band, Chico Man, did a track.

Cincy Groove: Who do you consider some of your influences?

Brian J: There are a lot of young performers in the Brooklyn area that have influenced me. Then there are bands like Chico Man, Tickla, Antibabas. I have also been getting into this African funk from the 1970’s.

Cincy Groove: Where does the band play at there in Brooklyn?

Brian J: We have a residency at a place called the Nu Room. Its getting kind of famous, the Brazilian Girls blew up really big coming out of there. Its a small place, but its has that special vibe. Nothing special, theres just 2 JBL speakers, it really has this kind of raw feeling to it. I was really happy when we got the residency there, its the first Thursday of every month.

Cincy Groove: What other projects are you working on?

Brian J: I’m working on a blues record with Cyril Neville of The Neville Brothers. Its such a great collaboration between he and I. It was the perfect time for us to link up. I’m trying to get more of that gritty, raw old school sound. I’m also starting to work on remixes. I’m going to use a bunch of live instruments, no loops. To make a living in music these days you really have to be a hustler, have to be able to do everything. Fortunately right now I’m in a position where I can focus on getting my music career going.

Cincy Groove: Tell me about your upcoming cd release party.

Brian J: Its set for October 24 at a place in the East Village called Drom. Its also going to be a CMJ Showcase. So hopefully there will be some industry people down there.

Pimps of Joytime:
Brian J
Chauncey Yearwood
Hagar Benari
Mayteana Morales


Upcoming Pimps of Joytime tour dates:
for complete show details visit
Oct 24 2008 Drom….cd release party NYC, New York
Nov 6 2008 Nublu w. dj nickodemus NYC, New York
Nov 20 2008 Moe’s alley Santa Cruz, California
Nov 21 2008 The Boom Boom Room San Francisco, California
Nov 22 2008 The Boom Boom Room San Francisco, California
Dec 4 2008 Nublu w. dj nickodemus NYC, New York
Dec 31 2008 T.B.A. San Francisco, California