The Good Life
text + photography
Jason Everage aka High Degree is a 26 year-old Hip-Hop/Rap/R&B artist, born and raised in Palm Springs. He recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream, touring the Southern United States and working on a new album. His music journey began at at a young age, from 8-12 he took piano and guitar lessons and saxophone from 12-17 years old. At 16 Jason attended a month-long workshop in Ontario, California and practiced his craft, “It showed me how to work the stage — projecting on stage.” Jason sings, dances, writes his own lyrics and puts authenticity at the forefront of his music. He recored his first album, “Good Life” to show that everyone is equal and respect for women. The lyrics are autobiographical and inspired by stories in the Coachella Valley.
What are you currently working on?
I’m Currently working on revamping my sound. I’m moving more into the R&B category while still performing my album “Maneuver” and planning the release date. I am closely being mentored by Garrett Clark, owner at SMG Records/Whatevaok Entertainment. He is a Sony Red Distribution partner. I am being prepared for signing with artist development, as I am touring.
How is your tour going so far?
I am touring the Southern states and it has been an amazing experience. I am still all about getting out and representing myself, so I’ve mostly been selling my merchandise by hand, as I always have. Also, I am working on a DVD documentary of my touring/journey from California to the South. The fans are the definition of “interesting” because when they see me recording, or I ask for video footage, they are more then excited to be apart of it.
What artists have inspired you?
Tupac and Aaliyah. Because of their diverse styles, I feel it progressed them to be more successful. She [Aaliyah] was so truthful and real. She expressed loyalty.
Is there anything personal you’ve been inspired by lately?
I been inspired by the people, the fans. They have such big hearts and strong spirits. Anybody that can stand up against a tornado, and keep a straight face, is inspirational to me. All in all, I’m inspired by the brotherly love and unity. When they say southern hospitality, they mean it.
Do you have a favorite city or venue to play and what has the reception towards your music been like?
The reception is great. The vibes are always very positive. Since the towns are small, I can say, I am considered the neighborhood celebrity. Club Heat is one of the venues that has been very good to me but I am just getting started on this tour. So we will see!
What’s it like when you are on stage performing?
When I’m performing, I feel like time stops. I feel amazing. I feel like, I let my soul illuminate to others. I watch them [the audience] and feel their energy. I can feel people and the differences. I love making them happy. It’s happy music.
If you could play Coachella what would your show be like and who would you bring as a special guest?
My show would be power driven, the energy would be very high, the presentation would be astonishing, and the performance would be one you could never forget. If I were to bring out a special guest, it would be my good friend Noah Ayala, radio personality at radio station U92.7 FM.
What is most challenging about being an artist on tour?
It’s not being able to wake up and hug your kids or even missing a phone call.
What do you enjoy the most about touring?
I enjoy knowing the my music is making more people in the world happy. It’s spreading in places that an artist hopes for. Seeing smiles on fans faces, while dancing to my music, is a great feeling.
Do you pay much attention to lyrics in music?
I listen to the lyrics, but the way they say it. I take things that I have experienced in my life and try to express it more truthfully. I’ve had many experiences in my life. I’ve been a single father for five years. It makes me want to work a little bit harder because I want to provide for her.
What do you miss the most about the Coachella Valley?
I miss the palm trees, the cool breeze, and the summer time heat. Most of all, I miss my family and all my promoter friends.