And it seems as if Jonsin has the right mindset. The tracks he has worked on have sold millions of copies: Lollipop had more than 6 million downloads, Nelly’s Just A Dream sold more than 5 million, Beyonce’s Sweet Dreams has more than 3 millions and was No. 1 in more than 10 countries, and T.I.’s Whatever You Like sold more than 5 million downloads. It’s safe to say Jonsin knows what he’s doing.
“He has discovered the elusive magic formula for finding a talented artist, producing a hit track for them, and then effectively marketing the artist and their music,” said Serona Elton, an associate professor and director of the music business and entertainment industries program at the University of Miami.
And where does most of the magic happen? Jonsin often works out of his South Florida studio, Parkland Playhouse, where he has recorded well-known musicians including Usher, Akon, Rick Ross and Nelly.
Record plaques decorate the walls of this converted house; almost every room has recording studio equipment.
The one-time family room gives guests a taste of his second passion: racing. A racing simulator sits next to the couch. As he swerves through the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course he says: “I’d say I practice with it about an hour a day. It’s not like a video game, it’s so much harder.”
His car mania led to the launch of his team, Rebel Rock Racing, in 2010. Rappers Pitbull and Rick Ross, along with others, sponsor the team.
Jonsin started off in club racing. But after competing with co-driver Bucky Lasek for a year, he decided to go pro.
“I’ve been putting together a solid team,” he said. “I’ve been applying the same business model I apply to music. I want to develop drivers the way I work with musicians.”
Although he’s relatively new to the industry, those who have worked with him acknowledge his commitment.
“He’s definitely getting competitive,” said JJ O’Malley, GRAND-AM’s manager of communications. “He’s building his team up and taking the right steps forward.”
Racing driver Joel Miller, who is part of Rebel Rock Racing, agrees. “Saying he’s a hard worker is an understatement,” Miller said. “We did a race in Miami and I remember he got there at 7 a.m., then worked with an artist until the early morning, and the next day he met up with us early. He’s really taking racing on full grasp.”
Jonsin made his pro-racing debut in the 2012 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition at Daytona Speedway in late January. The race made Jonsin the music industry’s only team owner and professional driver to compete in a division of NASCAR.
Although Jonsin makes family a priority (he has three children), managing his time can be difficult.
“Even though it can be hard, my wife and my kids are supportive,” he said. “And my team, both in music and racing, is also great.”
Jonsin is also working on a health shot with Buchulife.com and creating video games. Ask him for the reason behind all the madness and he’ll laugh: “I’m a Gemini. I get bored and I can’t sit still.”