St. Louis-born record producer and DJ. Jay E is best known as the main producer of rapper and entrepreneur Nelly‘s multi-platinum 2000 album “Country Grammar“, which has sold more than 10 million units worldwide.
Jay E‘s DJ started working at a local St. Louis roller skating rink where he met future St. Lunatics member Ali. It was Ali who introduced Jay E to the St. Lunatics, which finally led to Jay E producing St. Lunatic’s member Nelly’s first solo album Country Grammar.
In the December 2000 issue of Billboard magazine listedJay E as number 16 of the Top 100 Producers and number 19 of the Top 100 R&B/Hip-Hop Producers of 2000. On June 7, 2001, Jay E was presented with two awards from ASCAP for co-writing Nelly’s single “Country Grammar (Hot Shit)”.
Jay E has since gone on to work with other artists such as Joss Stone, Murphy Lee, Three 6 Mafia, Krazy Bone, and more.
RESPECT. Recently, had the opportunity to speak with the Diamond selling and Grammy- Nominated Producer about his upcoming complication project featuring Nelly, Chingy, Krayzie Bone, Huey, J-Kwon and more. He, also, share with us what inspires him as a producer and much more.
RESPECT.: You diamond selling and Grammy Nominated producer who is currently working on a project entitled “Jay-E Presents.” Can you tell us the type of sound we can expect from you on this project?
The project is going to be entirely hip-hop with a Midwest sound. I will be working with all the top St.Louis artists, and we will be providing traditional hip-hop, trap, east coast, west coast. I am looking to blend all those sounds into this one project instead of creating one sound style.
RESPECT.: You mentioned that you would be working with several artists from St. Louis on this project. How were you able to get Nelly and Chingy to work together on this album?
The process was not as complicated as you might think, Nelly wanted to work with Chingy on a song and vice versa it was just the matter of making it happen. It just so happens that I was with both artists while they were out in Vegas and I think they did a couple of shows together. At the time Nelly and I were working on some new songs and thought it would be the right situation for Chingy to be a part of.
RESPECT.: Some people see you as the DJ Khaled of the Midwest what are your thoughts on that and do feel it is accurate?
I would not say too much of a Dj Khaled, but I am a music producer, and a DJ and a lot of credit get mentioned now because no one is buying CDs anymore. There is no meta-data on iTunes to show who are the producers, so I decided that I need to be in the forefront like a Dj Khaled or Metro Boomin. Kind of like artists, but I’m a music producer and a DJ. As far as the comparison, it will be a compilation album like DJ Khaled is known to make.
RESPECT.: You have received multiple Grammy-nominations throughout your career, but have yet to win the award, however, what thoughts about Metro-Booming not being nominated this year are?
I am disappointed that he did not receive nominations because he has contributed a lot to the hip-hop industry. I feel that he should have been nominated this year because the last couple of years he had music in the top ten every year. Time will tell, and I feel that he will be recognized for his talent one day.
RESPECT.: Where do you draw your inspiration as a producer?
I am always trying to listen to different genre’s of music, and I’m consistently looking new tempo. I see this technique as a way to keep music fresh where that is using a west coast or east coast sound, Eastern European, etc. I am always looking to improve my tone in some form or fashion. I have learned to appreciate a variety of different genres of music throughout my career. It might not be my cup of tea, but I know I can learn from any style.
RESPECT.: As a Dj, you had the opportunity to provide entertainment at numerous events throughout your career. What are some of the events you enjoy the most and why?
Most people like to entertain a big crowd in Las Vegas, but I, on the other hand, I enjoy the smaller groups. If you DJ in lounges, you have more freedom to play a variety of genres, but if you are in a huge venue, you are required to perform a lot of the top 40 or EDM. You cannot experiment with a lot of music. I had the opportunity to perform all around the world, but I enjoy the smaller venues.
RESPECT.: How did you get your start in the music industry?
I did not have any professional training before entering the music industry. I was a big hip-hop head, I listened to a lot of Run DMC, and then I came across two turntables and a mixer. At the time I was out of my element, but I knew the music sounded amazing. I would go home and recorded television programs like MTV Raps, and teach myself how to do the DJ sequences backward because that’s the way I learned how to DJ and even to this day I still DJ backward. I taught myself how to DJ by watching a lot of old VHS tapes and rewinding and playing until I mastered the technique. As I got older I would hang out at the local record store and work with other DJs in the neighborhood.
We would teach each other different techniques, and there I started to gravitate towards other genres of music like funk, soul, and jazz. I reach appoint where I thought I had mastered the art of DJing and I wanted to transition into producing beats, and I decided to get a job at this roller rink that had a studio in it. I took the job at the roller rink to see how this recording studio was run and for about a year or two I was studying. One day the opportunity was presented to me that mess around with the drum machine and mastered the MPC for a year. Then I started to sample records, which led to me learning the process of other pieces of equipment in the studio. During this time frame, two St. Lunatics members come into the studio to work with one of the producers, but he focused more on R&B, and they were looking for something edgier. They heard some of the beats that I have been working on and decided that we should work together. They introduced me to the rest of the crew, which was Nelly, Murphy Lee and the rest was history.
RESPECT.: What does the future hold for your company Bassmen Beatz?
Anything is possible right now we are all Grammy Nominated producers, and we are focused on making more music and releasing projects.
RESPECT.: You are one of a few individuals to produce a Project that has gone Diamond. Can you describe what that means to you as a creator?
I feel it is just like another day for me, please do not get me wrong, I am very grateful for all the things that have happened throughout my career, but “Country Grammer” was my very first record that was released to the public. As a producer, I have a lot more music to share with a creator.
RESPECT.: Is there any other project outside of your project that you are currently working on?
I have been working with all of the St. Louis artists, Krazy Bone, and Plies in the studio on a variety of different projects outside of this upcoming compilation.
RESPECT.: What are some of the business the ventures you are currently involved in outside of the entertainment business?
Murphy Lee, KyJuan, and I own our own line of wine and we are involved in vape juice line.
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