DJ Ron Slomowicz: What inspired you to become a singer?
Jason Walker: I have always been drawn to music. My earliest memories are that of music and I have always wanted to be a singer. It's this insane need in me that I just have to fulfill, daily.
RS: What kind of training did you receive growing up?
Jason Walker: None, actually.
RS: That's amazing, you have such a big voice which you are able to control. Who are your musical influences?
Jason Walker: Off the top of my head: Kristine W, Chaka Khan, Patti Labelle, Celine Dion, Vernessa Mitchell, Sandy B, Aretha Franklin, Hannah Jones, Gisele Jackson, Joi Cardwell, Etta James, and Barbara Streisand
RS: A white boy inspired by soul diva music; that must make for some interesting stage performances. I ask because I play your records in the club and, seeing your picture, your voice doesn't seem to intuitively match your look.
Jason Walker: No! I do not sound like I look and I feel this is a blessing and also a curse. It is different but at the same time I do shows and people don't believe that it is me singing. That is quite cool and all, but I want them to know that it is me. I have had this "problem" from the very beginning but I don't know any other way to be. This is me, really.
RS: That is the only way to be. Tell me about you Showtime at the Apollo performance.
Jason Walker: This was one of the best nights of my life as well as one of the most frightening. I sang "Get Here" by Oleta Adams. When I walked onto the stage the crowd went berserk, booing and hissing. They shouted things like "go home white boy," "get off the stage," and "what is he doin' here? what can he do?" I never wanted to leave somewhere so badly in all of my life. Steve Harvey had to tell the audience to shut up and give me a chance. He put his arm around me and whispered in my ear, "I have been where you are right now, just relax and do your thing." None of this was aired on TV. I wish it had been but you just catch the tail end of the audience in an uproar. I walked over to the microphone and said to myself, "I will either have them after the first line or I will never sing again." Luckily it was an amazing performance. The crowd did a total 360 after the first line and I ended up winning. It was absolutely insane.
RS: Is this what led to you moving to New York City?
Jason Walker: Not completely, but it was the initial push. I did not move to NYC until a couple of years later.