Industry Insiders: Jelly Jells, Jam Session

Singer, DJ, and magician Jelly Jells doesn’t consider himself a Renaissance Man. Instead, he modestly says that his many talents are just different forms of expression. “I’m all about bringing thoughts to fruition,” he says. “but those thoughts are never limited to one genre.” Through his production company, Little Fish Big Heart, Jells (born Giovanni James) records tracks with his band, The Harlem James Gang, and produces television shows and movies.

His latest project is a music video for his single, Downtown King, which featured legendary hip-hop artist Fab 5 Freddy. “It was specifically made for New Yorkers and all their hot spots in the city,” he says. And this is a man who knows his hot spots. Between working the door at Manhattan’s white-hot Top of the Standard, manning the turntables at La Esquina, and performing with his band at exclusive parties across the city, one could easily assume that Jelly is spread too thin, but he swears he’d have it no other way.

“As long as you’re alive,” he says, “you have to seize every opportunity that comes your way.”

Photo: Therese + Joel]