Jason Walker is a house music singer who recently collaborated with the two-time Grammy-nominated music producer, Tony Moran, on the upbeat dance track titled “I’m in Love with You.” The song reached #1 on the Billboard Dance Charts in August 2018. It is Jason’s fifth #1 Billboard club hit.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jason Walker started singing in church choirs before moving on to R&B and eventually, house music. He rose to national acclaim on the television competition show, “It’s Showtime at the Apollo,” winning the program’s popular amateur night.

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Jason and Tony have now collaborated on three songs together. Jason discussed his successful music career, plans for the future, and more on August 28, 2018.

The Apollo, singing, and church

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you uncover your love for singing and how did that lead to you also making music?

Jason Walker (JW): I started singing when I was four, in church, and later in school.

You know musicals and any competition that came through Pittsburgh. I just knew that this was what I wanted to do, even at such a young age. I would write and record songs and leave them for my Dad to listen to when he came home from working the midnight shift. That's when I fell into soul music, namely Patti Labelle. Aretha, Chaka, and Pop artists like Prince, Madonna, and dance artists of the time, like Kristine W, CeCe Peniston, and Robin S.

MM: You started out singing in church, which is different from pop and dance, but how did those early influences affect your music style and vocal range?

JW: Well let’s be clear, Catholic church hymns are vastly different than Gospel. I grew up in the Catholic Church, but I loved Gospel. There just seemed to be so much more emotion behind it and I gravitated towards that.

When I was in High School, I sang in an all-black group and was really exposed to Gospel, and I learned so much from the singers in the group. That’s when I felt a change in my voice. It’s like I was injected with soul music and the emotion that comes with it. I injected it into everything that I sang and wrote, which at that time was a lot of R&B.

MM: How did you find your way on Showtime at The Apollo?

JW: That's actually kind of funny. On a whim, I sent them a demo, but it was a Dance Music demo. I was singing club music. To my disbelief, they called me! The woman's name was Maxine Lewis. I’ll never forget her. My only issue was that they wanted me to perform the club song on the actual show and if you have ever been to or watched the show, you know that the audience can be BRUTAL if they're not feelin’ you.

So, I didn't want to take that chance. I asked if I could do another song: "Get Here" by Oleta Adams Thankfully, she said yes so when I got to NYC for the taping of the show, I remember one of the women who did security for the theatre saying to me, "honey, if you're gonna sing a song by a woman and you're a man, you better bring it!” No pressure, right? Well, I won! It was incredibly stressful, and the audience was NOT nice to me when I walked out, but after the first line, everything changed, and it turned out to be the catalyst for me moving to New York.

Dance, aspirations, and the future

MM: How did the Jason and Tony collaboration come about and why do you guys enjoy working together so much?

JW: Tony and I have been collaborating for a few years now. He and I totally think alike. We click. It’s like a match made in heaven. We have a wonderful working relationship, and I’m honored to consider him my friend.

MM: You have hit #1 on the dance charts an incredible five times, so what’s your secret?

JW: I don't think there's a secret. I’ve always just tried to make good music and have collaborated with amazing producers such as Junior Vasquez, Quentin Harris, Honey Dijon, and, of course, Tony Moran. It really is all about the music and the message.

MM: What are your primary aspirations for the future of your career in dance music and would you like to mention or discuss anything more?

JW: Honestly, I would like to grow my fan base a little. I want to be able to keep people's attention long enough that they take a look at my videos and listen to my music. Aren't we all just trying to matter a little?