Jason King (journalist)

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Jason King
Also known as Company Freak
Origin Canada
Genres Pop, Soul, Disco, Electronic, Hip-Hop, EDM, Dance
Occupation(s) Musician, DJ, Scholar, Writer, Filmmaker, Producer, Creative Director
Years active 1990s-Present
Labels Superlatude
Website http://jasonkingonline.com/

Jason King is a Canadian-born singer, journalist, professor, producer, curator, and filmmaker. He has worked as both an executive and in artistic roles in the music industry.

King is the co-founder of The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University[1] and has been the creative director and founder of music programs at both the Berlin and NYU Abhu Dabi campuses. He has also taught at international NYU campuses including in the MFA program in International Media Producing at Tisch School of the Arts Asia.

King writes on a number of salient pop culture issues. King is also a consultant for seasoned and aspiring artists on branding, visual presentation, and musical consistency. He has been recruited as a music marketing and branding expert in high-profile legal cases on behalf of pop superstars Jay-Z, Madonna and Lady Gaga. He is the CEO of his own music and film production company, Superlatude. King is also an NPR contributor, where he hosts and curates NPRandB, a 24/7 streaming radio channel devoted to R&B and soul music.[2]

Early life[edit]

King left his hometown of Edmonton at 16 to attend Carlton University in Ottawa, where he studied Mass Communications and Journalism for a year. He attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where he studied musical theater and music theory. King delved into Broadway musicals with a particular interest in those with a connection to African-American culture.

King obtained an actor's equity card, and motivated by his parents, decided to enroll in an advanced program for the study of performance, pop culture, and music.

He applied to the Tisch school at New York University with the intent to study popular music from a scholarly angle with a concentration in hip-hop, pop, rock, and R&B. At the same time, King began writing musicals, as well as a play entitled, The Story of My Father. Carl Hall played the grandfather; Vivian Reed played the mother.

King earned his big break in music journalism while on a panel with Emil Wilbekin, then-editor of Vibe. He was impressed with King's perspective and background, and gave him the opportunity to write for the magazine.[2]


His June 2003 Village Voice essay on the down-low phenomenon in black communities is considered by some a pioneering piece on the subject.

King was music manager for Indian pop recording artist Asha Puthli and for electronic music artist Jimmy Edgar and R&B-gospel group The Craig Lewis Band. He has co-written and co-produced songs with electronic soul artist Selan and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest.

King was the inaugural and founding full-time faculty member of The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University and acted as Associate Chair and Artistic Director. He continues to teach classes in branding, marketing, music history, emergent media, and technology. He is currently director of the Clive Davis Institute's Writing, History & Emergent Media and has been instrumental in developing its music journalism and technology curriculum. He also teaches approaches to recording and producing global music at New York University's campuses in Singapore and in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. [1]

He is currently writing a biography of rock star Freddie Mercury. [2]. King also manages and sings in his own disco ensemble band, Company Freak, which features performers Asha Puthli and Broadway singer Vivian Reed, Shayna Steel, Matia Washington, and Melissa Musique.

Michael Jackson[edit]

His October 2009 book The Michael Jackson Treasures: Celebrating the King of Pop in Memorabilia and Photos, published by Barnes and Noble's Fall River Press, was one of the first full-length written biographies published about the pop superstar in the aftermath of his death. He is a featured member of the cast of director Spike Lee's 2013 full-length feature film documentary Bad 25 (film), on the making of Michael Jackson's classic 1987 album Bad.


As the Director of The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, King produced a tribute conference to hip-hop group Public Enemy called The Making of Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions.[3] The large-scale event was covered extensively in the mainstream press. It featured Chuck D, Fab 5 Freddy, producer Hank Shocklee, Daddy-O of Stetsasonic, Vernon Reid, and Will Calhoun of the rock group Living Colour, photographer Glen E. Friedman, and journalists including Robert Christgau, Greg Tate, and Armond White.[4] King produced a tribute to Roc-a-Fella Records featuring hip-hop CEO Damon Dash[3] with performances by Def Jam artists Nicole Wray and Rell.

King was also one of the organizers of the conference entitled Sylvester: The Life and Work of a Musical Icon, on disco artist Sylvester, which included performers Martha Wash of C&C Music Factory and Billboard dance artist Kevin Aviance[3] with scholars and journalists Jim Fouratt, Barry Walters of Rolling Stone, and Joshua Gamson (who wrote the biography entitled The Fabulous Sylvester).

King produced the 2012 Experience Music Project "EMP" Pop Conference, featuring a keynote plenary by alternative soul artist Santigold, jazz virtuoso Esperanza Spalding, hip-hop MC Himanshu Suri, and global pop recording artist Angelique Kidjo. [3]

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ "NYU Tisch School of the Arts". tisch.nyu.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  2. ^ a b "Interview: Jason King – Music Scholar, Professor, and Industry Force". Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  3. ^ a b c Jason King, Artistic Director, Recorded Music; Associate Professor on the site of the Tisch School. Accessed 2009-04-25.
  4. ^ "Jason King". tisch.nyu.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-05.