Feature photo was taken by Andy White (facebook).
Kash Jay: The Interview Begins…
1. When and why did you start playing?
Kash Jay: I started when I was around 12 years old because I just loved the way it made me feel and I was artistic as a child. I was into art and design from a young age and music is another outlet for me to express myself.
2. Which instruments do you play?
Kash Jay: The guitar was my first instrument until I changed to the keyboard.
3. What was the first tune(s) you learned?
Kash Jay: Too many – but the first song I learned on the keyboard was Lionel Richie – Hello.
4. Is your family musical?
Kash Jay: My dad was very musical but he didn’t play any instruments. He loved singing & dancing.
5. Describe your family member’s musical interests and abilities.
Kash Jay: Not applicable, lol.
6. Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Kash Jay: Prince is one the ultimate musician I admire. His single focus in creating his vision both in the studio and on stage.
7. Which famous musicians have you learned from?
Kash Jay: Prince, because he was very versatile and he tried different styles and was not afraid to push the envelope. On the other hand, there are other individuals that have shaped my understanding and approach to music production (i.e. Bob Clearmountain an amazing sound engineer; Trevor Horn – production for Seal and all the projects he’s been involved is just impressive, from a songwriting and vocalist Seal; Sade & Bjork has been my go-to artists for inspiration.
Graham Massey (808 State), Massive Attack, Nellee Hooper, Bomb Da Bass produced by Tim Simenon (Winter In July) the most amazing British record in my opinion and the production was phenomenal. I’m sure there are more on the list; however, If I listen to my production such Dancing Warriors, I can tell where I have drawn my inspiration and as any producer will tell you – I am not satisfied so I strive to do better with each production, it just never stops.
8. Who was your first teacher? Other teachers?
Kash Jay: I had several but I would have to say my dad – singing.
9. Describe your first instrument. Other instruments.
Kash Jay: The guitar was my first instrument, but I didn’t like how the metal strings dug into my fingers and the pain afterward so I tried the keyboard, I did try nylon strings at different stages. With the advance of music tech with the Atari computers and the software, I really went for the keyboard/midi production, because, I felt it allowed me to go beyond the chords and enable me to shape and mold my ideas.
10. What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
Kash Jay: The hours I spent listening to Nat King Cole, Count Basie, Shirley Bassey on reel-to-reel tapes with my dad – those are my fondest memories.
11. Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
Yes, where do I start?? Half the stuff I don’t even remember all the vinyl. I started listening to my brother’s records such as Bob James, Earl Klugh, Najee, George Benson and of course through my breakdancing I discovered other styles of electronic music and it was just awesome to be able to absorb all the different styles so my vinyl collection at that time was eclectic.
12. Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CDs?
Kash Jay: Oh dear – not enough space Prince, Michael Jackson, Dynasty, Earth, Wind & Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Run DMC, George Benson, David Bowie, Sting.. and the list goes on.
13. Have you been in competitions? Fleadh’s? Any prizes?
Kash Jay: No.
14. Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions?
Kash Jay: Concerts, radio, TV? I used to perform for several groups – Boys’r’Us, Massive Joy and other projects I voiced.
15. Do you play for dances? Step-dancers?
Kash Jay: Describe the differences – please clarify.
16. How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
Kash Jay: Hope no one else noticed and carry on as much as possible. If in doubt get the crowd to sing along lol.
17. Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?
Always, but it passes after a while. The adrenalin is good though and it can help with the focus
18. What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
No one is going to die from your performance (hopefully) and try as much as possible to enjoy the moment – breath slowly
19. Do you attend sessions? What makes a good session?
Kash Jay: I haven’t had a session in a while since I have focused on production.
20. How often and for how long do you practice?
Kash Jay: It’s a bit difficult at the moment. I think my process is more about finishing a production rather than practicing.
21. What do you practice – exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?
Kash Jay: I learn new songs when I have the time but not as much as I would like.
22. Do you teach music?
Kash Jay: No.
23. How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?
Kash Jay: That is a very good question. I’m still working on it and I just do what I can at the moment. What is a good balance – I’m not sure because something will have to give in the end. Hopefully, there is a positive outcome in the end and most of my friends and family know what I do anyway.