Jayd Soliar – aka J.A.S (Just A Star) is in the NEW LEASE MUSIC interview seat this month. His collaborative club filler, ‘Set Me Free’ stole the top spot back in April. So I think it’s about time we get to know this talented rapper/producer/songwriter from South Africa – after you read the full interview, you’ll know him better than you know yourself! Happy reading!
NLM: Hey how you doing? Thanks for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC
J.A.S: Hey, I am great! Thanks for the interview and thanks so much to New Lease Music for always showing love. Will definitely be giving you the exclusives on any new tracks I release.
NLM: So tell us a bit about yourself?
J.A.S: ‘ve been pursuing this music thing for about 15 years now. I started off as a songwriter, writing lyrics in primary school for both myself and others. It was very basic at the time, but it was a start. I began rapping soon after, my friends and I would form cyphers and just rap all day. Hip-Hop was in my blood due to my brother and neighbourhood friends introducing me to the genre at a very young age.
I moved to a new high school and met two guys who were also passionate about Hip-Hop and we formed a rap group. This is the point when I started making beats. I started off using beat making software such as FL Studio, then moved to Acid Pro and Reason. I invested in recording gear and we began to record our first project. We were together for two to three years recording and performing around Durban, South Africa.
After high school, I moved to Johannesburg, South Africa to study music production and this where I was introduced to the music software Logic Pro which I still use today. I began working with the amazing vocalist Nevita, who you will hear on many of my songs; she is the vocalist on my single, ‘The Moment’. We formed a group and produced an album together.
A few years later we met another talented producer/engineer and formed another group called Tiger.X. We began producing electronic music and had great success with it. Overtime I perfected my craft and created my own unique sound.
So jumping to 2015, I decided to pursue a solo career as a producer, engineer and rapper. My debut album, as J.A.S, is the embodiment of this whole journey and thus took at least 10 years to make.
NLM: Your collaborative house track, Set Me Free, went down a treat with the readers on NEW LEASE MUSIC. What was the public’s reception of the track beyond the blog?
J.A.S: Everyone loved the track. I received a lot of messages on my social medias from fans showing love. I’ve received a huge number of streams on various platforms. The House scene is big in South Africa, so Set Me Free took off well. The hard part is maintaining the hype.
NLM: Your discography comprises hip-hop and (of course) house music. Are there any plans to cover other genres in the future?
J.A.S Well I produce and engineer many different genres for other artists, such as, Rock, Blues, Jazz, etc. I produce music from emotion and feeling, so whatever I feel at any point in time I will produce. At the moment, I just completed my Hip-Hop album titled L.I.F.E: The CAUSE, I’m in the process of finishing up my collaborative House album with Mpho and I’m also producing Sy’Defect’s EP, who is the rapper on The Moment.
NLM: What’s your proudest work/track to date and why?
My entire album, L.I.F.E: The CAUSE is my proudest work. It’s a journey through different moments in life. When you listen to the album, all songs lead into one another to create one whole story. It is my life’s journey and everyone will be able to relate to it. It’s too hard to choose a single song that I am most proud of, as I am proud of them all in their own way, but my favourite song on the album is ‘Scattered’, because of the authentic emotion that I managed to capture and portray. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times and it doesn’t depreciate in its emotional value and impact.
NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be and why?
J.A.S: This is a tough question. If I had to choose any rapper to collaborate with, it would be Eminem. From the newer rappers, I would choose Kendrick Lamar. My dream, however, is just to be in studio with Dr.Dre.
NLM: If you had three wishes to change the music industry today, what would they be?
J.A.S:• Eradicate the corruption in the industry. Radio plays are being bought, awards are being bought, many other corrupt dealings are transpiring and it really needs to stop.
• A better way to consume music than online distribution and streaming because it has degraded the quality of music and devalued the time and effort that the artists, producers and engineers put in to create the music. I don’t have a solution, but I think there will be one within the next 5 years.
• Lastly, investing in artist development and mentorship is important. If record labels invest in mentoring and developing their artists, the artists would have longer lasting careers, not one-hit-wonders or one-year-wonders. The problem is that labels don’t want this, because to them artists are disposable objects that have a sell by date. They acquire the artist/s for 2 years or less and then dispose of them and move on to the next.
NlM: So what plans do you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album?
J.A.S: I plan to release my album this year, I am just working on the best marketing deals so that when I drop it, it’s an explosion that has a long-lasting effect and not just hype for one week. I’m also working on a few gigs, I think the last quarter of 2017 is going to be good for J.A.S.
NLM: How can potential fans reach you?
Fans can reach me on my social media pages or via email:
NLM: Finally, If music didn’t exist, what would you do?
J.A.S: I can’t see myself doing anything but music. I’ve always been fascinated by sound, I often record natures sound and produce music out of those sounds. I used to take a rock and throw it against another rock, record that, manipulate it a bit and that would be my kick drum. So basically, I construct different sound elements together to create ‘music’, so if music didn’t exist I would be the person who creates it.
Lol I just curved this question. Ok, if not music, I would be a sound therapist. I studied sound frequencies and brain waves, and sound frequency can be used to alter brainwaves and entrain the brain to follow a certain pattern, therefore, sound frequencies can be used to alter emotions and cure various illnesses.