Have you seen this viral video yet? The producer, Clark Jaman, was gracious enough to share some thoughts with you, dear readers. I’m excited to continue spotlighting fellow young adults who are putting their gifts to work for the New Evangelization! Enjoy meeting this inspiring individual.
Clark, can you introduce yourself a bit? What’s your musical background, and why is your faith important to you?
Well, I am 23 years old, from Canada. I am a university student, majoring in English and minoring in Catholic studies, but my real passion is for the proper use of media and technology (particularly music production) for the new evangelization. When I am not in school, I work as a music producer/engineer.
I began taking music lessons at a very young age, but didn’t really identify as a musician until grade 7, when I started playing bass in my school’s jazz band. The program there was exceptional, and it inspired an interest in music which found an outlet when my parents bought me my first Strat in grade eight. In high school, music got me into trouble as I started playing in a screamo band with bandmates who had less than admirable interests. The band broke up in grade twelve, around the same time as everything else in my life came crashing down. I slipped into deep anger and depression, but God’s mercy saved me the summer after I graduated at NET ministries training camp.The rest is history.
What is JungleHeart Productions, and why did you start it?
I never planned on becoming a music producer; it was just a hobby until people started calling me and offering me jobs. After I produced my first full-length album, I decided to form JungleHeart as an entity that could eventually grow and become bigger than just myself. Right now, JungleHeart Productions isn’t much. It’s basically the name that I operate under for my music production projects.
The name is based on an analogy I heard while in the midst of my conversion at NET training. According to the analogy, every human heart is like a jungle island with a precious jewel in the centre, symbolic of that person coming to know Christ. You don’t have to hack all the way through the jungle to get to that jewel in one shot; it usually happens much more gradually. Many people, places and events will take hacks at the foliage from different angles until something eventually breaks through.
I feel that it is unrealistic to instantaneously convert somebody with one of my songs or music videos, but I want every “JungleHeart Production” to take a hack at the foliage that separates individuals from their creator.
You just released your first video in a possible Autotune the Clergy series, “John Paul II Singing Dynamite” – which has over 15,000 views as of now. What was the inspiration behind this video / the idea for the series?
Autotuning is a really strange thing. It is very controversial, but all the people who bicker about it don’t have a clue what it is or how to use it. Everyone in the music industry just accepts it as a necessary tool which has to be used for professional work to sound professional, just like compression, reverb etc. For some reason, people never get hung up on things like compression, which is abused much more than tuning.
Nonetheless, “autotuning” has become very popular. When I saw the success of other auto tuning videos on YouTube, it was my natural response to baptize it and try it out on the gospel. It seems to have worked pretty good so far.
Tell us about your experience producing the video.
I started working on the project in March, I think. I dragged JP II’s speech into my audio workstation one night and started chopping out the parts that could possibly be autotuned to fit Dynamite. I chose the song Dynamite because it’s a really catchy song that just about everyone on YouTube would recognize. I didn’t finish editing the video until the night before I posted it, so I guess in total it took about 7 or 8 months to complete. I could have done it much quicker, though, if I wasn’t so busy with my client projects and school.
What kinds of reactions have you gotten to this video, and what is your response to those reactions?
I wasn’t sure what kind of feedback I would get on the video. I was worried that people might be offended by it. But so far I have read over 100 comments on the video, and only one of them was negative. I’m really happy with all the good cheer. People really appreciate that I use my gifts as an engineer to glorify God, and I’ve recieved a lot of support.
My favourite comment on YouTube so far: “I’m an atheist but for some reason I feel like like going back to Christianity just because of this video.” The 7 months of work I put into this video is worth it, just to read that.
People have also been downloading the song from my website, JungleHeartProductions.com, and some have paid money for it. That’s never happened before, and it’s so exciting for me!
What are your plans / hopes / aspirations for Auto-Tune the Clergy? For JungleHeart?
I would like to do another episode soon. I am finishing up a huge production project that I’ve been working on since July; a 10-track praise and worship album. As soon as I finish, I am going to autotune another speech. I’ve been getting lots of requests, so we’ll see what I can come up with.
I have big plans for JungleHeart Productions, but most of them are many years down the road. Right now I am starting to focus on building an online audience, especially through YouTube. I am posting a video every week on my channel, ClarkJaman. I also have a second channel, ClarkJaman2 and another one called ChristianPrayers.