Them Jeans Keeps Your Girl Happy In The Club And In The Kitchen
Jason Stewart might be the tallest person I’ve ever seen. I watched him DJ last weekend at Los Globos, a landmark hip-hop club in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles. I mean it when I say that I watched him; I stood in the front of the stage, gawking, astounded by the lack of cover charge to enter this awesome party and Jason’s ability to play exactly what people want to hear. I didn’t know anything about him before I arrived, but 3 Drake songs in, when all the Filipino club attendees were grinding heavily, by the time my boyfriend was so drunkenly excited by the new Kanye song that he dropped his full Corona on the floor, I was sold on Them Jeans.
“I like drug dealer music when I’m in the club,” he told me, a week and a half later. After recovering from my Corona hangover the previous Sunday, I stalked him on Instagram to discover that Them Jeans is a DJ who posts a lot of pictures of delicious looking food. Them Jeans is a DJ who is also kind of a chef, and he hosts a weekly podcast discussing food, titled “The Stew” with his brother Chris Stewart and friend Andre Canaparo. He also has another podcast,“Tall Tales”, where he chats with his co-host Nikki Jaegerman and features various guests, usually some other member of the Los Angeles music scene. Everybody cool in L.A. seems to knows each other. I contacted him because I like the idea of somebody who works in multiple creative fields, and is good at what they do.
“I started doing podcasts maybe like 3 years ago,” he said. “I’ve always been into podcasts and comedy. I’ve always been a fan of stand up. I just decided one day to have an outlet for the side of me interested in comedy.”
The conversations recorded in the Tall Tales feel natural in the sense that you feel they might occur regardless of whether they’re being recorded. At the same time, each week’s topics feel curated and relevant. Last week’s were: “scientology, vine, snapchat, dating, societal norms, gender issues, and even some jokes.” Their most recent episode summary:
Coachella episode!…Nikki and I are running thru the list with our guests, discussing and judging most of the acts playing, and talking about what drake might wear.
I’d been recently fascinated in how Drake’s persona has become so incendiary; Aubrey Graham is a conversation that too easily becomes emotionally charged. I told Jason my theory: “It’s because Drake’s created such a relatable persona for himself in hip-hop that everybody feels so much ownership over their Drake opinions.” He agreed. “Every white person in the world knows everything about hip-hop now that Drake exists and everybody has a very specific opinion about hip-hop now. And what rapper or song you like says so much about you as a person, so people take it very seriously.”
I asked him about the dynamic between him and his co-host, Nikki. “She brings female energy, which I feel everything needs to be balanced,” he said. “That way the whole thing isn’t like three dudes just f***ing talking about like…knob-twiddling and chicks on Instagram. It’s always good to have a girl there. You know, like how Howard Stern has Robin Quivers. Nikki’s also good at telling me when I’m being an idiot, which I think is important.”
Does he prefer working with women in general?
“I find that it’s easier, because women are more likely to get down to business. With guys, it kind of just turns out to be a lot of hanging—with a guy and a girl it’s more like, ‘okay, we had lunch, let’s create a song and get on with our lives. It’s more productive. With guys, it’s much easier to slack off. You kind of just end up looking at Youtube videos.”
I gravely recounted the awful experience of being forced to watch a Youtube of a ketchup robot squirting ketchup sloppily onto a table. “I hate Youtube videos,” I told him. He laughed, then shared some wisdom: “You’ve got to treat Youtube like a dessert. After you’ve done everything productive you need to do, then you can go on Youtube.”
“How have your endeavors overlapped? What do you take from food, to music, to podcasts and back?” I asked.
“I’ve found that food is very similar to DJing, in that if the girls and gay guys are happy with what’s going on, everything else will work itself out. I always try to cook in a way that I think will please the women in attendance, and I always try to play music that I think the girls will be into. The guys don’t care about the music as much as they do about having sex with the girls—”
“Is that really true?”
“Yeah! So the only thing that’s going to get guys on a dance floor is if they can rub up against a girl’s butt and then maybe go home with her. Same thing like, if a girlfriend or boyfriend are like where should we go for lunch, and the girl says, ‘I want a quinoa salad from Cafe Gratitude,’ and the guy says, ‘Let’s get a Subway sandwich,’ then what the girl wants always wins out.
“Okay, so if you had to choose one of these jobs, like if you could only cook, or only DJ, or only do podcasts, which would it be?”
“I couldn’t choose right now.”
That seemed fair. “I guess what’s kind of interesting is how you maybe shouldn’t do only one of these things. Maybe you need all of these in order to be better at each of them.”
“It actually probably just makes me worse at all of them,” he laughed. “They kind of take time away from each other. I should probably just choose one, or something. Maybe I will eventually. DJing is a young man’s game, you know? Like I don’t feel cool when I go to dinner parties with friends my age and tell people I’m a DJ.”
“Really? What if you’re David Guetta?”
“True. You can be an old DJ if you’re David Guetta. I’m working on a cookbook right now though, that’ll be cool.”