“Hit the Floor's” Jonathan McDaniel Takes Aim at More Than Just Acting

You might recognize Long Beach native Jonathan McDaniel from his role back in the day on Disney Channel's That's So Raven (It's OK to admit that you watched it) or from one of his songs as recording artist “Lil' J” but these days, you're about to know him for something different all together. McDaniel has a starring role playing “German Vega” on VH-1's smash show Hit the Floor and a new EP called A Geniuschild Unknown that was released from his independent production company “Geniuschild.” So basically, pay attention because Jonathan McDaniel is straight up hotter then ever in more ways than one.


OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I know it might not be geared for my “age range” but, I'm obsessed with Hit the Floor! I'm so glad it got picked up for a second season.

Jonathan McDaniel: [Laughs.] Me too! We feel so blessed to be a part of it. The way the fans have responded and received it, we are just so overwhelmed. Honestly, we just do the work and hope for the best!

I assume that you are a fan of basketball since the show is geared around it.

Yeah of course I love basketball! Los Angeles Lakers! Kobe Bryant is my favorite player and I feel so bad right now because he's out but, hopefully he makes a comeback and does something phenomenal before he retires. I would hate to see him go out like this right now.

Yeah I'm not so much a fan of the Lakers so this interview is pretty much over. Kidding. Sort of. OK last question and I'll stop obsessing over your show. Can you give me any scoop on next season? I promise I won't tell anyone…

[Laughs.] Just give you the scoop right? I can't really say what is going to happen but I know season two is going to be a great one. I think there'll be a lot of things that people are drawn to. I look forward to it and I definitely can't wait.

Me too, trust me! So I love the new album but of course, I wish it was a little longer.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate the support. We were going to do more songs but I was like, let's just do a four song EP to make sure that people know that the record is out there. It's really just to start the buzz back. I'm in the studio working on more songs now so I'm definitely going to drop a full album eventually. I just wanted people to know that I'm still doing music and it's still a passion of mine.

What made you want to do a remake of “Love you Down” with your song “Ima Love You Down?”

I'm a fan of old school music and I grew up on Ready for the World, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson is my favorite of all times, and my mom was a big Aretha Franklin fan so I listened to old school all day! My manger just happened to be working with Ready for the World so I asked him about remaking one of their hits and if Melvin could get on it. Luckily we were blessed to be able to get him to remake it! I'm just so happy that people are saying it's a great record and I'm happy that we made a dope remake. The response to it has been great.


I'm sure it was incredible to work with Melvin Riley. He's a legend.

Oh my god he is amazing! He flew all the way out to L.A. to record with us and we went out to some lounges and kicked it so I got to show him around my town. He's real humble and knowledgeable so he schooled me on a couple of things because he's been in it for so long. He has that hit makers touch so when we got into the studio, it was all love.

That's so cool. The song “Hit the Floor” with Kurupt is sooo good too!

Thank you! I just thought since I'm on the show and I do music, why not? I was definitely inspired. I mean, who wouldn't be being on the show and with all of the stuff that goes on with it? I've known Kurupt for years so we called him up because it's more of a party record and Kurupt is good on features like that. He came through like it was nothing, knocked it out, and made it hot! I was just so lucky to be able to work with so many people that have really well established careers in music and to have them come and share this journey with me. I can't be any more appreciative.

Check out Hit The Floor on VH-1 and pick up J's new album A Geniuschild Unknown on iTunes. You can get more info on Jonathan's website www.lilj4ever.com and follow him on Twitter @Liljsback.

Follow us on Twitter @OCWeeklyMusic and like us on Facebook at Heard Mentality and follow the author on Twitter @AliNotAlli.

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