Jay Wonder, a 21 year old rapper, producer and songwriter from England, kindly agreed to be interviewed by Essential Pop. Read on to find out about his upcoming mixtapes, production work he’s done for other artists and which modern day artists he looks up to.
Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or number of genres what would it be?
If I could classify my music in a number of genres, it would be Hip-Hop, R&B and Pop. When you put those genres together it pretty much sums up my style.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Catchy hooks, fresh beats, melodic raps.
Q: What is your musical background?
I don’t really have a strong musical background to be honest. I just remember that I used to play with one of those old Casio synths when I was like 7-8 years old. I really fell in love with composing melodies at that age and that’s how I got introduced to the world of music. It wasn’t then till when I was 15 I started getting into making beats on my computer. I was really struggling with the understanding of how to arrange, sequence and compose the melodies. These are really the basics of making a beat. At the age of 18 I was at level were I was able to decent sounding tracks. I started to upload my tracks to Myspace and that was the time where I really knew I had a shot in this as a career. My inbox was filling in with artists wanting to collaborate with me and I even got tips from some major A&Rs.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
The year 2010 was definitely the most beneficial year for me so far. I’ve learnt a lot and I’ve met a lot great people who think the same way as I do.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I produced a song for an artist by the name of Carlprit for the single “See You At The Top”. The single is featuring Bkay & Kazz who I work closely with. A big budget music video was shot for the single so this was a big step for me as a music producer.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
To be completely honest, there is not a specific artist that inspires me musically. When I generally hear good music it inspires me regardless of who the artist is.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
I really respect artists like Jay-Z. Not just because of the quality music he makes but mainly of his consistency of making good music. For instance Jay-Z has been in the game for a while and still is relevant in the mainstream scene. He has also proven that he is a successful business man and I think that has made him the artist he is today.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
At this moment of time I’m not really focusing too much on collaborations, not to say I wouldn’t collaborate with an artist. I’m just trying to achieve all my goals and establish myself as a better artist before I start collaborating with a lot of artists. When I do collaborate with an artist, it’s usually an artist I have already worked with. I prefer working in a small circle of artists that I know.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
I usually start by playing the keyboard before anything. I try to come up with at least four chords that would fit to one of my pre-made drums. This is my daily routine when I start on a track although it doesn’t always work! But I always try my best.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
In my opinion I believe they are both important when creating a song. If the lyrics don’t make any sense and the melody sounds great, it wouldn’t make a good song overall. You need one and other to be perfect to create that amazing sounding track.
Q: Where are you based?
I’m based in this small town called Milton Keynes in England. Not many people know where it is.
Q: What’s it like being from Milton Keynes?
It’s a very quiet area. It’s not the best place to be based when coming up as an artist compared to a bigger city like London for instance. The music community is very small but there are a few talented artists and producers doing their their thing.
Q: What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on my debut mixtape which will be on free download. I haven’t set a release date for it yet as I am busy working on some production placements for other artists. I always prioritise the placements because I can always find time to do my stuff on the side.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
To either produce or have one of my own singles to hit the charts would be the ultimate goal. It would be great to tour in the UK and sign a record deal would also be a great achievement but only time will tell.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
I haven’t got any dates set for shows yet, but I’m sure I will do some near the summer as I’m busy working on tracks!
Q: What do you do to relax?
I’m always busy working on music. When I’m not in the studio making music I’m probably at the gym. I wouldn’t really classify myself as an outgoing person but I do tend to enjoy going out for a movie with friends.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
For the readers, you can follow me on Twitter or hit me up on my Facebook page as I always update them with music, videos and shows.
Editor’s Note: Jay Wonder has that commercial hip-hop vibe! 2011 could be a very good year as he attempts to get into the charts.
If you’d like to learn about or contact Jay Wonder, use the links below:
myspace link: www.myspace.com/jaywondermusic
soundcloud Link: http://soundcloud.com/jaywondermusic