Jay Denes Interview
Jay Denes Interview
Jay Denes is a well-known producer who makes soulful house and electronic music. Jay Denes started an outfit Blue Six and released Beautiful Tomorrow as a debut album, Blue Six featured a collective vocalists such as Lisa Shaw and Aya to name a few and in 2007 released Aquarian Angel. Jay Denes is also founder of Naked Music based in New York. “I started plunking out bad tunes on my Aunt’s piano when I was in my teens. I can clank out the chords and play some funky stuff, unfortunately I’m no Virtuoso. I’ve tried to make up for it with writing and arranging. And my programming skills have gotten quite good after many years of work” He continues, “-My earliest memories of music? I was in love with records from my older Brother’s collection: Santana, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder. Lucky to have grown up around such LPs. When I got a little older I became some what obsessed with jazz, John McLaughlin, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, etc. After that came Roxy Music, XTC, and Talking Heads. I went about it some what backwards. I liked popular music more as I got older, I was not in step with my peers. They were going to see KISS and I was going to see Ornette Coleman”
“‘Resigned’ might be a better word! Having lived most of my adult life in the business I’d be lying if I said I like it” admits Jay Denes. “The music business is something one suffers through in order to be able to make music full time. That being said, most of what gets made is simply a result of economic conditions in a given time period. There’s been no artist development in the record biz for over 20 years now. So, of course music has suffered greatly. People didn’t suddenly get untalented or insincere, there’s just no economic infrastructure left to support the development of excellence. So when it occurs it tends to be a bit of good luck, a hit on a first record that allows an individual or group to have a long enough career to develop their skills. Having never had a major label hit, I’ve been lucky enough to survive on the ‘underground’ version of the same phenomenon. I’ve managed to sell enough records over my career, that I get to keep making them, and really, I just want to be better tomorrow than I am today. Things do appear to be turning around now. A new business model is emerging that’s scaled down to reflect a new Internet distribution reality. Hopefully they’ll be some good new artists that manage to hang around long enough to be great”
“I’ve known them all for years” says Jay Denes about his singers in Blue Six. “We’re all New Yorkers (or transplanted ones), we’re in the same musical circles. Obviously you gravitate towards people that have similar musical inclinations. I pride myself on my ability to work with singers, and get their best work out of them. It’s taken me some time to understand the nuance of vocal recording” Naked Music is Jay Denes founded music company, he says, “Originally it was a production company started by me and my partner Dave Boonshoft, the label just seemed like a sensible thing. We didn’t want to sell our music to third parties any more. We figured we could do it as well as they do. For the most part that’s been true. Also, I have marked a version to being told what to do, make, it’s a nice, a bit risky, way to control your musical destiny. It’s continued to evolve, gradually becoming more and more aligned to my truest inclinations”
Make sure you visit Naked Music’s website to check out his interesting compilations, and other talented signed artists.
Jay Denes confesses, “I don’t DJ. Never did. Boy I lost out on some easy money…” when asked what are his favorite places to DJ around the world, an error question. He speaks of being a multi-talent, “Well, over the years I’ve been forced to learn a lot of things. So I suppose I am now! I write music and lyrics, poetry, and essays on occasion. I’m a producer, engineer, and photographer. I’ve done these all professionally, so I suppose it wouldn’t be unfair to say I’m ‘multi-talented’. I’m also a pretty good cook!” And a Jay Denes confirms his multi-talents he says what talents he enjoys doing outside of music, “As I listed previously, I like writing and photography, and I love to cook. Though it’s no fun cooking for fewer than 6 people. I like to read. I’m the sort of person that other artsy types may find interesting but most people would probably find fairly boring”
“Uh, rough” says an honest Jay Denes about the making of Beautiful Tomorrow. I was at a turning point in my life, career, etc. I felt I needed to be myself without a filter and I was pretty scared that people would reject it for not being what they expect. I’d been put in a rather confined box by Naked’s fans, and I didn’t want to disappoint them, but at the same time, the last few records (Aya, and Lisa Shaw) have been steps on a path toward my own, and the label’s musical truth. Without the support of Dave, and a few of my closet friends, I would have never made it through this one. Making records of the type I’m interested in is very very draining. I’m meticulous, a lot of overdubs, editing, etc. I throw a lot of stuff out, I was trying only to complete the material that I felt was truest”
And are there any new singers involved in the latest Aquarian Angel — “Not on this one. I’m currently working on the new Naked Music NYC record for next year, that’s got some new voices on it. You’ll see, I hope” Jay Denes describes his worst personality trait, “I can be impatient, I don’t suffer fools gladly. This sometimes gets me into trouble” And what he would like to change about days world? “Man, what a question! Enlightenment for humanity would be nice, but short of that, a less corrupt administration over here would be helpful”
Jay Denes informs Naked Musics fans of its current happenings, “Making the new Naked Music NYC album, and then the new Aya album after that. We’ll see what else pops up along the way” Jay Denes continues, “Eric Stamile’s record will be out in the fall. More techy, he’s really great at that stuff. A couple 12’s end of summer. Mike Callahan’s working on his instrumental EP for us. Just trying to keep the quality consistent” Any tours? “No tours yet. Not sure what’s up for next year”
Thank-you Jay Denes for this exclusive Soulisms interview, your fully supported.