The tides of dance music have been taking a long-needed turn, and Jipsta is a stand-out artist riding the waves in the new movement. An openly gay dance artist, Jipsta successfully fuses traditional circuit music with a witty, hip-hop sensibility in his songs.
A New York City area native, Jipsta (born John Patrick Masterson) quickly fell in love with hip-hop music that he was first exposed to in Junior High. He cites artists such as Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Salt-N-Pepa, and Kid-N-Play as rap artists who influenced his style and taught him the importance of delivery, rhyme patterns, and witty lyrics. When asked about his favorite song of that era, he cited “Set it Off” from Kane’s “Long Live the Kane” album as he commented that he had never heard a hip-hop record that came alive to a dance influenced track in such a powerful way.
The early 90’s produced revolutionary songs in the “hip-house” movement which continued to nurture Jipsta’s musical style. Songs like K-Yze’s “Stomp,” Lidell Townsell’s “Nu Nu,” Doug Lazy’s “Let The Rhythm Pump,” and Techontronic’s “Get Up (Before the Night is Over)” are songs which Jipsta feels had the most impact on his career and made him determined to become an artist that could create a new breed of dance music. Today, Jipsta hopes to capitalize on the progress made by traditional hip-hop artists gaining a flood of acceptance in the gay community including Missy Elliot and Lil’ Kim.
Jipsta prides himself on his confident, outspoken, and infectious personality. His honest and no-holds-barred approach to song writing has helped break down some walls in the relatively homophobic musical landscape. His debut single on Juiced Up Records: “Don’t Act like You Don’t Know,” which tackles the subject of being in a gay relationship and being tempted by seeing other attractive men in a club, received a flood of positive attention and fan support from all age groups. The song quickly became a breakout and spent 4 weeks on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart in February and March of 2008, peaking at #42. Remixes by Edson Pride, Diva Nation, and Orangefuzzz fueled the success of the single. “Don’t Act Like You Don’t Know” was chosen to be part of the legendary “Promo Only” Mainstream Club series on the February 2008 edition. The song has charted in the Top 10 on DJ Record Pools across the United States and in Australia and was been played on several XM Radio mixshows as well.
The success of "Don't Act" caught the attention of Ranny and Mike Cruz, who both eagerly contributed remixes for the single. Ranny believed in the single so strongly that he signed "Middle of the Dancefloor" as the first single to his label, RockBerry Records. In addition to the mixes by Ranny and Mike Cruz and Micky Friedmann, the Diva Nation and Edson Pride mixes began to catch fire in the clubs. Featuring the catch phrase “Make your way to the dance floor!” the song began drawing significant attention and requests to DJ’s in both straight and gay clubs across the country and overseas. It soon became a highly requested song and dancefloor staple in the resurgence of the "Ballroom" culture movement. "Middle of the Dancefloor" surged up to #3 on Perfect Beat's Top 10 Best Seller list in its second week, garnering acclaim and tons of positive feedback from fans and DJ's. As the song began growing in popularity, the legendary Billboard Dance Club promoter Dave Henney was excited to take on the project. In a short time, "Middle of the Dancefloor" rapidly jumped up the chart, peaking at #6 for two weeks, making it Jipsta's first Billboard Top 10 single. The song spent a total of 14 weeks on the Billboard Dance Chart, and is also noteworthy as it is the first time an openly gay white rapper earned a Billboard Top 10 single on the Club Play chart.
The success of "Middle of the Dancefloor" paved the way for Jipsta to work with big name remixers and producers for his third single, which is going to be a progressive, genre-bending cover of the George Michael classic 80's single, "I Want Your Sex." Chris Cox (one half of the legendary Thunderpuss remixing duo, who has done remixes for the likes of Madonna, Whitney Houston, Rihanna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera) signed "I Want Your Sex" to his Provocative Music label. Released in February of 2009, "I Want Your Sex" features the original mix by Mike Rizzo, as well as a plethora of remixes from such A-list names as Manny Lehman and Twisted Dee as well as Alexander and Mark VDH, Ranny, Oscar Velazquez, Edson Pride, and the After 6 UK team of Ministry of Sound fame. "I Want Your Sex" quickly hit the Billboard Dance Chart with a vengeance, as it was the Hot Shot Debut, and then Power Pick in its first two weeks of release, and eventually climbed to the #4 position, making it Jipsta's first Top 5 Billboard single. The single also did well in the international market, making its impact on Billboard's "Global Dance Tracks" chart based on worldwide club play alone. "I Want Your Sex" was recently licensed to Germany on the Dance Street label, and also reached #1 on the Hot 100 Brasil chart. Jipsta recently filmed his first official music video in support of the single, which features cameos by famed Logo Television artists Adam Barta and Josh Zuckerman. The video can be found on YouTube but will also be available on iTunes soon.
Jipsta has been receiving high praise and support for his songwriting ability and sensibility of fusing hip-hop with the hottest sounds in tribal dance music. He has been featured in HX magazine and recently completed a well-received interview for the Muzophile Blog. Jipsta recently attended the prestigious HX awards in NYC.
Jipsta recently recorded his follow-up single called "Party of the Year" with legendary dance diva Sandy B of "Make the World Go 'Round" fame with Chris Cox. The song is expected to be released in the 4th Quarter of 2009 along with Jipsta's album tentatively entitled "Too New York."