JASON CLARKSON-SWIFT

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From a little village in Michigan emerged Jason.  After being allowed to listen to “secular” music in middle school, he knew music was his life.  Originally, Jason went to school to become a choir teacher but realized that his personality best deserves to be in front of the audience instead of behind the scenes.  Since then, he has moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams of producing his own shows and has interviewed some of music’s biggest stars.  Music is his religion, and he buys at least 3 albums a week.  He’s also starting a blog titled “My Big Gay Music Blog.”  So, naturally I had to flip the script and turn the mic on him.

On life in Michigan:  I grew up in a cornfield in Ortonville in the middle of, literally, nowhere. I was obsessed with pop culture and music.  I started hosting the news in college, like the morning news, and I loved doing the entertainment sections.  Then I changed to a regular music major instead of teaching and I added on a communication minor.  I went on to grad school for broadcasting.  I was raised like super, super religious. My eldest brother’s a pastor. I went to Christian school.  I have a good relationship with my parents but I’m very outspoken and vulgar around them. I like to shock my mom.  I’m like someone has to be fun!

How did you get into [hosting]?  I’ve been here for 2.5 years. I was a personal assistant. I worked at a clothing store on Melrose. I worked at Urban Outfitters. I was a PA on a bunch of shows. I write for Examiner and Thought Catalog.  When I interned at Extra they had me write questions for the hosts, and I think that helped a lot.  [So finally] I watched AfterbuzzTV’s The Duets after show cause I love Kelly Clarkson. It was that music show she was on, on ABC.  I loved it.  I just emailed [AfterbuzzTV] and said I was an intern at Extra, because Maria Menounos [AfterbuzzTV’s cofounder] was with Extra at that time.

Through all that, you’ve been able to interview everyone it seems like!  It’s been really crazy. The main thing I want to do for hosting is music. Carson Daly and Andy Cohen are two that I’d like to emulate their careers.  I’ve interviewed Demi Lovato, Usher, Shakira, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Ke$ha, Ludacris, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Fifth Harmony, Alex and Sierra… I love them. Mary Lambert.  I’m trying to think.  Carson Daly… Anybody associated with any music show.

I had a moment the other night… this sounds so corny, but I was driving home and my iPod was on shuffle.  4 songs played in a row, and I’m like, these are all artists I’ve interviewed!  This is so weird!  It’s like very surreal.  I love music. There’s only been one or two experiences where the artist is not as nice as you imagined them.  [But overall,] it’s been pretty good.

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What’s the craziest/embarrasing thing that’s happened in an interview?  I interviewed a girl on Rising Star, an ABC music competition show.  I thought she got voted off that night.  I did the whole interview like she got voted off.  I thought she was just confused as to how the competition worked cause it’s a little bit confusing.  She was like “when I’m back next week” and I’m like, “oh sweetie!  You just got to keep going at it.”  Then I got to AfterbuzzTV to do the after show for it and [my cohost’s were] like “we’re so happy she made it!”  I’m like, “wait? She made it?”  I think we ended up not posting that interview. So embarrassing!

And crazy… The first time I interviewed [Ludacris], when he walked up, he was like “man, I’m excited to see what you’re going to say.”  He has seen my things before.  So that was like a very like “what!” moment.  I forget what he said exactly but it was like, “man, I’m excited to hear what you’re going to say.” I’m like, okay this is cool!  Also, I always suggest songs for [the contestants on Rising Star] to sing and [one girl] sang my song that I picked for her on the show. So I thought that was cool!

Who’s the ultimate person you would want to interview?  Kelly Clarkson!  I’ve met her cause I’m in her fan club (laughs).  And/or Taylor Swift.  Those two.  My music taste is like a cross of a lesbian and a 12 year old girl.

What’s your dream job?  I would love to have my own talk show about music.  I like the idea of having a round panel, like Chelsea Handler.  Just about music and doing fun things with people. I think its fun to shock people. In all my interviews I do a “F**k, Marry, Kill” or a “Would You Rather.”  I feel it’s way more interesting to watch then…

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Do you ever get nervous interviewing people?  I get nervous for the most random people. If it’s someone who I listen to a lot I get nervous.  I got nervous interviewing this person From Justin to Kelly, the Kelly Clarkson musical. I interviewed this girl from that and I was so nervous. But like other things, I’m fine.  I used to get nervous a lot, but now it’s just like… I guess the most nerve-racking thing is when you’re at a red carpet and you don’t really know who the person is.  Their publisist will just say “will you interview my client?”

Where do you get your questions?  Musicians are the easiest to do because I care about their writing process and that sort of thing. If it is an event, I usually cater the questions towards the event, but make them more fun. If it’s a one on one interview, obviously it can be more in-depth and you can do more research for that. If it’s a red carpet, I just do bullet points, or like Google news and see if there is any controversy you can talk about. I like to find random facts about people. I guess I’m a good Internet stalker.  I pretty much say whatever pops into my head. But I don’t want to be mean. But I want to be a little raunchy. I feel like I get away with it more than most people do, I don’t know why. Like family friendly raunchy, I like to push the envelope.  My first interviews, I’m like, can you take those down!  Cause I’ve never taken hosting classes or anything.  I’ve learned by doing it.  So some of that [old footage] is cringe worthy.

Family friendly raunchy?  Is that a thing?  (We both laugh)  I have no idea. My blog… I just got the graphics done. I told [the designer] I wanted it to look like Lisa Frank threw up.

How do you feel about social media?  I did this American Idol interview and the guy called his fans retards in the interview (watch it here).  It was on Perez [Hilton], TV, Hollywood Reporter.  There’s a blog written about how bad I am at hosting.  Someone sent me a podcast about how I have a lisp the whole time.  But I honestly thought it was funny, cause I’m like, “that’s so cool. They’re talking about me.”  It doesn’t happen a lot.  But I’m such an IG and twitter whore.  That’s all I do.  I feel it’s good; you have to have a following, a brand, an image… I see both sides, cause for AfterbuzzTV, on The Voice, I’m the harsher critic.  I’m a little mean so I should be able to take it.

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Last but not least, tell me about your tattoos:  All my tattoos are spur of the moment.  My mom hates tattoos so I got her name tattooed on me.  A couple of my friends and I went to Nashville so we got a couple of different feathers.  These are my old roommates (points to lip prints).  She has my lips on her, too.  My cousin turned 18 and we said we would always get a tattoo together (points to an arrow). Brandi Carlile wrote this on my chest (it says Dreams, which is a title of one of her songs).  I just have so many random ones.  Most are with friends.  I just have so many random.  I feel like everyone’s going to be ugly when they’re old anyways, so you might as well have fun when you’re young.

 

Make sure to follow Jason on:

IG: @jasonikeler

Twitter: @jasonikeler

 

Check out his F Stop fun facts, too!

 

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