Under the alias j.viewz, he has collaborated with numerous guest vocalists and musicians. His production often incorporates nostalgic elements through the use of samples, analog tapes and synthesizers, and is often described as multilayered and detailed. NPR’s All Songs Considered said, "j.viewz writes songs that whirl and clatter like tiny Rube Goldberg devices."
j.viewz’s visual presentations (including live performances and produced albums and videos) have received international recognition. In 2012, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for the unique package design of his album rivers and homes. The title video off of rivers and homes was nominated for an MTV O Music Award ("Most Innovative Video") and a UK Music Video Award ("The Innovation Award").
Dagan worked on the first j.viewz demo with vocalist Noa Lembersky in 2004. Soon after, tracks from that demo caught the attention of several record labels, and, in the following months, the first j.viewz songs were released in over 50 compilations worldwide.
In April 2005, the debut album of j.viewz, Muse Breaks, was released by Deeplay Music (Sweden). Just before its release, the trance duo Infected Mushroom released a remix of the single “Muse Breaks” on their album IM the Supervisor. This album sold close to 90,000 copies and made the remix a dance floor hit.
In 2008, j.viewz, along with Lembersky and members from the j.viewz live band recorded a cover version of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” The song got the attention of some prominent radio stations, such as Kiss 100FM, Ministry of Sound Radio, and BBC Radio 1, and entered the “A-list” of the famous Jazz FM in the UK.
The DNA Project
In November 2014, Dagan launched The DNA Project, a website presenting the step-by-step making of the next j.viewz album in real-time.
The concept was originally presented as a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Dagan had a vision to create a multi-layered player for his next album, allowing listeners to access the origins and creative processes behind every song. The campaign quickly raised $65,234 with the backing of over 1,000 fans, and with the help of digital agency, Hello Monday, the website was launched.
With the DNA Project, j.viewz invites his fans to follow his creative process in its entirety, providing access to the people, places, and sounds that inspired each song, as well as exclusive videos of j.viewz’s writing process, recording sessions, and innermost thoughts during the creation of each song.
Since its launch, the DNA Project has generated buzz in digital and music communities, with over one million views. In June 2015, the DNA Project won the Cannes Silver Lion Award in the Design Category. Other awards include the Site of the Day Awards from FWA and Awwwards, as well as The Webby Awards Music Website Nominee and Awwwards & Internet Explorer Site of the Year Nominee.
The album is set to be completed in December 2015. Until then, fans are encouraged to interact with the DNA Project by commenting, adding sounds and images of their own, and downloading samples for use in their own music.
rivers and homes
The second j.viewz full-length album, rivers and homes, was released in 2011. It originated as an idea Dagan dubbed "Work In Progress." Dagan began developing it in the spring of 2010. The plan was to make an album available for pre-order, and then record and release tracks gradually over the course of a year to fans who subscribed to the process.
From early on, the project drew subscribers in, and allowed the album to be financed through pre-orders. Each song was recorded and released in the same period in which it had been conceived, giving fans an intimate real-time look at the artistic evolution of the album.
Once completed, Dagan distributed the finished album in physical form to his subscribers, and only later made it available to the general public. In 2012, rivers and homes was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package.
Fan interaction and collaborative work
j.viewz has advocated interacting and collaborating with fans in the artistic process. While making rivers and homes, Dagan created a sample library made of processed spoken word recordings sent by fans from around the world. The sample technique was named The Pad of Luvin' and used as an intro of a song it later inspired called “Oh, Something's Quiet,” featuring vocalist Kelli Scarr.
In 2012, along with a production team headed by film directors Eran Amir and Shelly Carmel, j.viewz shot a video to the title track off rivers and homes. They then printed out every frame of the video and handed images out to fans in the audience during a tour. 2,000 images and 300 fans were used in the making of the video. The frames were then assembled together to create a stop motion video which presented a unique Taggable Player, in which fans could Tag themselves on individual frames of the video. This video was nominated for an MTV O Music Award ("Most Innovative Video") and a UK Music Video Award ("The Innovation Award").
After releasing the fan-funded album, j.viewz created a “backstage site” which consisted of all the content created in the album-making process, including artwork by the various visual artists who took part in the process, fan mixes, and demo versions. The content was made available to fans as part of the album purchase.
The band tours in different lineups. In 2012 it toured as a 3-piece band in the United States and Europe, featuring Noa Lembersky (vocals), Ofer Levy (drums) and Dagan on laptops and controllers, and as a 5-piece band in Israel, featuring Lembersky, Dagan, Tal Ronen (drums), Yakir Ben-Tov (keyboards), and Urijah (MC, trumpet). Other musicians such as Kelli Scarr and Geva Alon have occasionally joined the touring lineups.
- The Besides EP (2008)
- Moby – The Day (j.viewz remix) (Mute Records)
- Nina Simone – Seeline Woman (j.viewz remix) (Rock River Music)
- Dido - No Freedom (j.viewz remix) (RCA Records/Sony Music)
- Depeche Mode – Peace (j.viewz remix) (White Label)
- Walk the Moon - Tightrope (j.viewz remix) (RCA Records/Sony Music)
- Kings of Leon – Birthday (j.viewz remix) (White Label)
- Infected Mushroom & Jonathan Davis – Smashing the Opponent (j.viewz remix) (Adrenaline Music)
- Easy Star All-Stars – On the Run (j.viewz remix) (Easy Star Records)
- Yasmin Levy – Naci en Alamo (j.viewz remix) (Adama Music)
- Bluetech – “Prayers for Rain” (j.viewz remix) (Aleph Zero Records)
- Thompson, Stephen (Sept. 27, 2012). “First Watch: j.viewz.” All Songs Considered (NPR). Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- “NH7 Premiere: ‘Rivers And Homes’ – j.viewz.” NH7, May 21, 2012. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- Eisen, Benjy (Mar. 11, 2010). “j.viewz: ‘Come Back Down,’ Featuring Joshua James -Video Premiere.” AOL Music. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- Grammy nominee page for Jonathan Dagan. The Recording Academy. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- Nominee page for j.viewz. O Music Awards. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- “UK Music Video Awards 2012: Here are the Nominations!” PromoNews. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- Fusilli, Jim (Sept. 14, 2011) “Out of His Funk, Music as Therapy.” Wall Street Journal. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- “j.viewz Takes Jazz to New Heights, Playing The Blue Note Jazz Club, November 6th.” CWG Magazine. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- "j.viewz- The DNA Project". Kickstarter. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- "Winners :: Cannes Lions Archives". Cannes Lions Archive. Cannes Lions Archive. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- "FWA Winner The DNA Project". The FWA. The FWA. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- "The DNA Project - Site of the Day December 01 2014". Awwwards. Awwwards. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- "The DNA Project The Webby Awards". The Webby Awards. The Webby Awards. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- Dagan, Jonathan. "j.viewz- The DNA Project by j.viewz- Kickstarter Updates". Kickstarter. Jonathan Dagan. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- “j.viewz on 'World Cafe: Next.'” NPR Music, Sept.12, 2011. Retrieved Dec. 20, 2012.
- Andujar, Carlos (Aug. 29, 2011). “Song of the Day: j.viewz ‘Salty Air.’” Synconation. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- Cowling, Rosie (Sep. 27, 2011). “Music: j.viewz.” OhDearism. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- Kirn, Peter (May 2012). “2000 Photos, Held by 300 Fans, Make a Stop-Action Music Video for j.viewz.” Create Digital Motion. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- Ehrlich, Brenna (May 2012). “Fan-Packed Stop Motion Music Video Lets Participants Tag Themselves.” O Music Awards. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- j.viewz official website. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- “j.viewz in Israel.” The Israeli Scene, May 26, 2010. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- Fischer, Alison M. (Nov. 25, 2009). “j.viewz Hits Up Brooklyn Bowl Tonight along with Electric Morocco and Hank & Cupcakes.” NYC Grind. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2012.
- Grewal, Samar (April 2008). “Desert Vibe: Here’s an Eclectic Bunch We Should Be Hearing More From.” Rolling Stone Magazine.