Interview: Five Minutes with Jay Wud

Jay Wud, a rising experimental producer based in Dubai, has just released his latest album, Dark Cinema via his own imprint. The album was recorded during lockdown and narrates different periods of his experience during the social isolation. Before this tumultuous year happened, Jay Wud was making waves in the industry. His music was used in the Ford Mustang campaign by Ford Middle East and he’s seen endorsement from the likes of Red Bull, ESP Guitars, EMG pickups, Orange amps and Dean Markley. However, it’s his unique way of dancing between genres that really caught our attention.

Curious about the man whose unusual experimental sound remains ingrained in our minds long after the album finishes, we sat down for an exclusive interview with Jay Wud.

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

What I love about the art of music is that you can’t see it, hold it in your hands or even hang it on a wall. You just feel it. And that transcends anything really.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Everything is always focused on a vision. I get there with experimenting with the idea and the palette of sounds I’m working with to shape that vision.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Not on ‘Dark Cinema’. I did that record entirely on my own during lockdown.

What’s on your current playlist?

Arca, Flume, Oneohtrix Point Never, Flying Lotus, FKA Twigs, Bjork, Nine Inch nails

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

It’s really about connecting with fans whether on stage or online. I’m always there for people that support my art.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

Pushing the boundaries and getting to a point where I create a sound I’ve never done before. Lately, my experimentation revolves around sampling, using synthesizers and making beats.  

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

I usually start working early in the morning, at around 9 am. I go through a practice routine at first, that could be my instrument the guitar, my synth, working on harmony, and rhythm. Then, I would sit and experiment with creating new sounds that could end up on current productions. Sometimes I spend my time mixing a track and fine-tuning elements. I tend to mix as I produce and I keep the fine-tuning part of the mix to the end. 

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

It all started with my love for the guitar. When I got into music production it just opened different doors and provided more palettes for me to utilize as an artist.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

My instruments (Guitar and synth)

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Not really but I’m enjoying Spotify recently and I tend to listen to different genres day in and out.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

A new instrument, whether it’s software or hardware. I sit down and learn it inside out and that inspires me to create new music.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I have an Oberheim OB6 as my main synthesizer, Tetra Davesmith, OP1 and OPZ, Maschine mikro, 0 coast from make noise, ESP Guitars, Kemper amp, and Ableton.

Any side projects you’re working on?

Not at the moment

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

By practising and learning new things daily. 

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

‘Dark Cinema’ which is set to release end Nov 2020, is my favourite record to date. During lockdown, I had a lot of time to sit down and really sculpt a sound that I’m proud of. 

Famous last words?

Stay focused and practice your art daily. 

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