Sup y’all? =) It’s the middle of the month so it’s time for another Hoodie Highlights interview! Today, I’m sharing a chat with another overly talented good friend that I’ve known since before any of this craziness started. And the dude is leveling up his achievements from gig to gig! Definitely a dude to watch out for in the coming years. Welcome to the blog Jameson Sutton aka Jogurt! Enjoy!
Hoodie: Heya Jameson! Welcome to the blog! First up, give us a quick rundown of who you are and what you’re about.
Jogurt: I’m a sound designer and composer for games, and a musician that goes by the name of JOGURT. I’ve worked on games like Job Simulator and games involving cats, and am famously known for being a professional Kubbi fangirl.
Hoodie: Hey man, Kubbi fangirling is a tough job, but *someone’s* gotta do it!
Starting off with a big question, what started you down this varied path? Both general musicianship & sound design.
Jogurt: It all started with this really sus event up northeast called MAGFest.
I used to work with a fan event called “SAGE” (Sonic Amateur Games Expo), which was like an online fangame showcase. At some point, I was referred to this dude named “Dom”, who performed videogame improv shows out of his apartment, and allowing people to take requests from the chat. He was a hit with our audience, and we cross-promoted MAGFest. I had always been a bedroom composer, writing fat beats in FL Studio, and the event seemed like a good way to start meeting people with similar interests. I met SO MANY nice people because of MAGFest, and eventually discovered that the legendary composer, Alexander Brandon, lived right next to my parents house. I was in college for Audio Engineering at the time and decided to email him. He happened to be looking for someone who could take on some small gigs here and there with his firm Funky Rustic, and we started meeting up and discussing things. The rest is sort of history, as he has been a terrific mentor me and got me grounded into working on game audio.
Hoodie: Whoa! I actually had no clue about the Alexander Brandon proximity! haha Wow.
Seriously, that’s a trip, man!
Jogurt: It was a trip when it happened. I learned about it reading through his guest bio in the MAGFest guide.
“Georgetown, TX”, no way. I had always thought that any career in audio would restrict you to a major metropolitan area like LA or New York, but apparently Austin had always had a game development scene.
Hoodie: I think I do actually remember you mentioning that to me back then. We’ve, uh, had one or two adventures together and apart since then though. They kinda blur together at this point. haha
Jogurt: I still remember the PAX East hug pile.
Hoodie: hahahahaha That’s because it was an unforgettable experience.
Jogurt: The population boom in Austin and its comparatively low cost of living has really helped out the local scene in the past couple of years, I feel.
Hoodie: Yeah, no doubt about it.
Tell me a little about the process of getting started working with Alexander Brandon and how that’s worked out for you.
Jogurt: It started out with me making visits his house and he would teach me about various tools related to sound design. We had a surprising amount in common, as the school I was going was the place where he tracked the theme song for Deus Ex: Invisible War. I was still in school, so it worked out pretty well. Worked on a couple mobile games. He’d give me hands on experience and provide feedback. Over time the scale of the gigs I was taking went up, and I found myself doing bits of work here and there for titles like Wasteland 2 and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.
Hoodie: That’s one helluva start, man! haha
What’s it been like working with and learning from someone as experienced as Alexander Brandon?
Jogurt: It has been incredible. He’s a very knowledgeable guy and has a very good sense of what clients find important in this industry. I think his best quality though is that he is incredibly humble and is always striving to help his colleagues out however he can. Game audio can be a daunting place, and I consider myself very lucky for getting to work for someone as admirable as Alex.
Hoodie: He really is as awesome of a dude as he seems, isn’t he?
Jogurt: Totally. He’s the real deal.
Hoodie: I got that vibe as soon as you introduced me to him in Austin a few years back. And definitely confirmed it from interactions after the fact, both irl and online. Dude is also wonderfully ridiculous, which further ingratiates him to me, of course. hahaha
Jogurt: Yeah must be something about you two both having “Brandon” in your name. You two have more than a few things in common. =P
Hoodie: Most of us Brandons are awesome, it’s true. ;)
Let’s diverge a bit before catching up to your current doings. How’d you personally get started making music? Tell me a bit about that adventure and how it progressed.
Jogurt: I started when I was 16, doodling around with music in FL Studio. I always wanted to write music, but without strong technical chops at the time discovering sequencers opened an insane world for me to express myself. I kinda kept most of my music endeavors to myself, until one day I was discovered by Mega Ran while trying to get feedback on a Splash Woman mix on OCR. We ended up working together and the track was featured as a physical exclusive on his Megaran 9 album. The track itself definitely isn’t up to my current standards, but it really ignited confidence that I could pursue creating music professionally (it also helped me get into university). I spent the following years working tirelessly to hone my craft while attending Texas State University for Sound Recording Technology. Eventually I started getting pulled into projects like Spectrum of Mana and Chiptunes = WIN by my friends, and currently, I am working on music for several under wraps projects.
Hoodie: Any main inspirations, then and now?
Jogurt: This one’s tricky. I’ve probably gone through a phase of just about everything at this point. Early on when I got started I really wanted to make pop music. I was really into New Jack Swing and Michael Jackson at the time, and would listen to pretty much any jazz and funk I could get my hands on. I was always really influenced by game soundtracks, particularly Phantasy Star and Sonic. As time went on I dabbled into other styles, being really inspired by rock\prog bands like Reign of Kindo and Frost*, as well as orchestral composers like Joe Hisaishi, Yasunori Mitsuda, and Masashi Hamauzu.
As of currently, JOGURT is an attempt to synthesize all of my influences over the years into a style that rings true to the music that influences me. I was always really into EDM and fusion, so I’m taking those influences and trying to synthesize it with my original goal of creating music with more of a pop structure. I’m absolutely in love with acts like Disclosure, Knower, The Weeknd, Clean Bandit, and Madeon, foreign works like Sasakure.uk, Hideki Naganuma, TSQUARE, TAK, and vocaloid music, and chiptune work like SEGA soundtracks. Ristar, Outrun, Kubbi, Virt, and especially the Soundshock Compilations on Ubiktune.
Hoodie: Somehow I knew this would be your longest reply yet. ;) With good reason, of course.
Jogurt: I like music. A lot. Heh.
Hoodie: Music love hi5. o/
Jogurt: Hi5 back \o
Hoodie: So, how in the world do you feel about all of that craziness coalescing into you creating a song that’s featured in an official VR launch title for three different platforms?
Jogurt: Alex and I were brought on the project to work on audio, mostly. In Job Simulator, you are visiting a museum in the future, where robots attempt to recall the intricacies of working various human jobs. However, due to being machines, the jobs are interpretted incredibly literally and the result is some rather humorous circumstances. The team was really witty with the writing and seemed incredibly passionate about what they were making. We had a lot of fun playtesting the game and see the project grow and mature. At one point, I saw an opportunity to write a bit of music and tried to throw together something I felt matched the vibe of the game. The team really seemed to like it, and the piece eventually got featured in the gourmet chef job for the game, on a cd entitled “Totally Disco”. Lol
Hoodie: hahaha That’s actually completely amazing.
Jogurt: It was a lot of fun, and I wish Owlchemy the best.
Hoodie: Most definitely!
Anything squared away for future projects yet? Anything you can talk about or at least hint at that is? ;)
Jogurt: There are BIG things in store. ;)
I’m also working on an album, will be dropping the first single in the next few months, along with some other tracks. Right now Soundcloud and Twitter is probably the best way to stay up to date.
Hoodie: Awesome! Should I watch out for a Volume 5 submission as well? ;)
Jogurt: Hahaha we’ll see!
I want to focus on releasing my album, but when ChipWIN comes up things have a habit of spontaneously manifesting.
Hoodie: Absolutely fair! And that is kinda how this seems to work all around for the project. haha
Jogurt: And it all comes out sounding amazing.
Hoodie: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ᕙ( •̀ ︿•́ )ᕗ ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ
Alright, now that all that’s out of the way, time for the *REAL* questions…..
Favorite pizza topping(s)?
Jogurt: Pepperoni and Mushroom. Occasionally jalapeños, a staple of Texas cuisine. ;)
Hoodie: Favorite brew(s)?
Jogurt: I’m not much of a drinker, but thanks to Brandon, when I do drink, I prefer wheat ales.
Hoodie: THEY’RE YUMMY.
Jogurt: I’ll go hard though if the situation calls for it. Just usually good with a few beers and a nice buzz.
Hoodie: Rock, paper, or scissors?
Hoodie: GOOD ANSWER. I usually go with steamshovel.
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Please say that three times fast as well.
Jogurt: woodchuck woodchuck chuckwood chuck chuck chuck chuck *feints*
Hoodie: Already, enough of that already.
Got any parting thoughts before we wrap this up?
Jogurt: Just I want to thank everyone, including you, who has supported me up until now, and hope you guys stick around to see where this ride goes next. I have my music up on jogurt.fm and you can keep up with me on twitter at @jogurtfm.
Hoodie: You’re more than welcome. <3
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me!
Jogurt: You too buddy. Keep doing the chip sphere proud my man, and I can’t wait for vol. 5. \m|<3|m/