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Jimmy Jam: "Telling Thing" Is How Artists React To Their Break

"Up Close & Personal" conversation between Recording Academy past chairs at Google Fibre Austin gives audience an inside view of the successful artist/producer's outlook.

At this 2017 Texas Chapter "Up Close & Personal" event in Austin, Terry Lickona interviewed Jimmy Jam at Google Fiber. With 23 nominations and 5 GRAMMY wins, Jimmy Jam has made music with more than one generation of the greats as an artist/producer. Terry Lickona is the executive producer behind "Austin City Limits" on TV, and both men are past chairs of the Recording Academy's Board Of Trustees. "I think the thing that happens is people … use the word 'waiting' — 'I'm waiting for my break,'" Jimmy Jam explained in answer to a struggling songwriter's question from the audience. "I always say substitute the word 'waiting' with 'preparing' because you have your whole life to prepare for the break. Once the break happens, how you react to it from that moment on is the telling thing." He also looked back on younger days with Prince and said he is proudest of producing 1991's "Optimistic" by Sounds Of Blackness. He said Terry Lewis distinguished music that people want from music that people need, and he's been proud to hear "Optimistic" gives people what they need because it helps them wake up in the morning and look forward to life.

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