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  Offworld Music
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  JAY J INTERVIEW

 


 

  Click for our review
of Jay J's Loveslapped

 



 

 

 

WEB LINKS
- moultonstudios.com
- loveslap.com

 

 

  

  

 









 

 

10 QUESTIONS WITH DJ JAY-J
by Carl Noone, Jr.

What was your biggest influence musically when growing up? Was there an event or particular moment in your life when you can remember first deciding to make DJing your career?

I got started in music really early with my first instrument being the sax and then I switched to guitar. I would rewire speakers and make them work with my guitar amp. My friend and I would make songs and do performances for my parents dinner parties. Soon I started gathering music recording gear and dabbling in DJing. I never really thought DJing was going to be my career as I was more into producing music. But about 3 years ago I remember thinking that I could actually do this music thing for the rest of my life or at least a good portion of it.

With so much negativity and criticism in the dance community with regards to drug use, money-hungry promoters, and the advent of superstar, jet-setting DJ culture, how do you remain positive and focused?? What's the secret to longevity in this guess-who's-hot-today society??

I try and remember that I am lucky to have created this opportunity to travel the world and DJ as well as sit in the studio and make music. I try and keep a positive head about myself and be grateful being able to make music my living. I sometimes have to say to myself that "there are worse ways to make a living" and that helps me stay positive through the trials of traveling, cancelled gigs, or crazy hours in the studio. If I remember that I am Living the dream nothing seems to bother me as much. I know there are thousands of young people who dream about doing what I do. This mind set help keep me grounded. In terms of competing with the guess who's hot society i try and remember that this industry is cyclical and therefore if your on top now you'll be on the bottom at sometime. It doesn't mean that the cycle can't continue and with reinventing yourself you can complete another cycle but I have to remember this is not going to last. I try and take all the work I can right now because I am not fooled into thinking it is gonna last forever. Hopefully I will get to continue this way of making a living for a while but who knows.

What do you look for in an artist you want to produce? What qualities do you look for in that "next big single" that makes into your crate??

As far as artist go I look for talented vocalist. I take working with Singers really seriously so its not a simple answer. I look for ones that treat the voice as an instrument and practice and get trained and take it seriously. If you ask any serious and good musician they all still practice. Most vocalists (or shall I say people who think they can sing) don't do this. They just sing along to the radio and think they got it. They never strive to break the bad habits and push themselves. So I am looking for ones that are not afraid to learn about their bad habits and will allow me to challenge them to break those.

Usually once this is met I don't have to worry about pitch cause most serious singers have gotten to the point of being well trained enough to know when they are are sharp of flat at least most of the time. Its the ones that have no idea that scare me.

If they are serious and trained vocal musicians, have good sense of pitch. Then I listen for the tonal qualities of their voice and how they sound singing soft and loud, high and low. But if a signer is talented I can help bring out the tonal qualities by coaching the performance. I can't change the tone of some ones voice but usually there is a range that sound great with a singer and I'll try and work with in that as much as possible.

The key for me is that once the Pitch control is there and tone is right then I get o focus on the performance. This is how it is for me working with Latrice Barnett cause she is the most trained and talented singer I have worked with. With her I know the notes are going to be cool so I can work on getting a good performance for the song. I usually end up with too much good stuff and have to choose.

What makes it into my crate??? Well the song has to have energy and soul. that is what makes a record work for me. If I can feel it and it works on the dance floor as well then I consider it a good record. A hit has to have a great song and vocal performance!!

Do you consider yourself a musician as well as a DJ and producer? Do you play any instruments? Have you received any formal instruction (musically or in the studio)?

I always say "I play computers" That is my instrument. I am a producer first musician second. On many of my productions I play all the musical parts but on the ones with very full instrumentation I bring in Musicians. I have had musical training in the form of, Guitar lessons, vocal lessons, voice training lessons, and music theory. I have a little bit of background in all those so I know just enough to be dangerous : )

What makes San Francisco so special to House music and to yourself?

Soulful House is very much a San Francisco thing at the moment. There are several of us here in town who have been supporting this style for many years and the scene is stronger because of it. The scene in San Francisco is very strong at the moment and the crowds are really energetic and very into the music. Probably like NY was a few years ago or at least like I used to hear people describe it in the mid 90's. It seems the strong house nights are in clubs that hold about 700-1000 (packed). The two main places I play regularly (The End Up and DNA Lounge) have fairly good sound systems and the vibe of those who attend is great.

If you could give an aspiring DJ one single best piece of advice, what would it be ?? What advice could you give to bedroom-studio "whiz" that can't find the BIG break yet??

Produce good records cause its really hard to get DJ gigs without the exposure that your productions will bring you. Most importantly keep at it.

Please explain your stance on the issue of internet downloading.

Providing musical entertainment for people is how many of us make a living. When you steal music you are hurting the very people who's music you like and therefore who know how long they will still be able to make it. No one can work and give away their time to those that want it. Isn't this the same concept.

Will CDs and MP3 player technology cause the eventual extinction of true vinyl as predicted by Sharam of Deep Dish??

Of course I agree with Sharam. What I am wondering is if he can predict a few things for me as well.

What are some of the goodies planned for 2004 from both yourself as an artist and Moulton/Loveslapped??

Well I can only speak for myself and this year plans on being a huge year for me as 2004 marks 10 years of producing house music and over 100 record out. I am putting together a CD compilation and DVD and will be touring extensively for the 10/100 project. Not to mention the CD release parties for the Loveslapped CD which have me booked through April.

How is the tour going? Any memorable stories to tell??

The first CD release party was in LA last weekend and if I was to tell the stories there would be evidence... we don't want that, do we??

Who do you like in the Presidential race (please say Kerry!)?

I try and keep my professional life and my political religious view separate.

Congratulations on the new CD, loved it. Best of luck on tour.

Thank you.

 

 

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