Husayn Jay - Where The Flavor Is: Instrumental (CD,VINYL,DIGITAL)
Adamic Music released Where The Flavor is: Instrumentals on June 19th 2020. Where The Flavor Is: Instrumentals: Includes forthcoming September CD & Vinyl.
Have you always been known as Husayn Jay?
I haven’t always been known as Husyan Jay. When I first started rhymin I didn’t have a name. My roommate at the time (Abu Alfa) said I should be called Maintain, because he saw me struggle heavy with bi-polar issues while still maintaining my composure and character. I was Maintain up until the mid 2000’s, when a lot of newer guys started poppin up with the same name, even one in my own city. I changed my name to Internal for a short period of time, then landed on Husayn Jay.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Sacramento, California. Particularly on the East Side in a neighborhood called Lincoln Village. I’ve lived in several places including over seas, but none compare to home, which is why Im back in the house i grew up in.
What are your musical influences?
I went through my old school soul and R&B phase in middle school, so a lot of that. What people call lowrider music. My older brother introduced me to my first “rap” song, which was RUN DMC, “You Be Illin”. He gave me his Nucleus, “Jam On Revenge” tape, and i was hooked since then. I listened to a lot of Prince, Big band and Swing, Harry Connick Jr., and the P Funk. I Love Digable Planets, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, De La Soul, The Alkaholiks, Hieroglyphics, Boot Camp Clik, The Dogg Pound, Brotha Lynch Hung, The Cuf, Gangsta Dre, Wu Tang Clan, Fugees, Mos Def, Outkast, Brand Nubian, Common Sense, Goodie Mob, Jeru The Damaja, Group Home, Busta Rhymes, The Artifacts, Capone N Noreaga, Gravediggaz, Luneez, Pharcyde, and the list goes on and on. I started working at 16, and would spend my whole paycheck on music. I would buy this catalogue that had the months’ releases in it and plan my week and money for every Tuesday. Most of my influences are from the 90’s. Im also influenced by some of my peers (If one can say I qualify for them being my peers), some being Autolect, Fanatik onBEATS, Anas Cannon, 11:59, Ashabu Taqwa, Jihad al Naffs, and After Hijrah.
Do you care to disclose your age?
Im a young 41. Most of my musical peers are a little older than me, and they’ve been in the music game much longer than me, so I get to be an old dude that feels like the younger dude in the circle. Kinda cool.
Did you produce/rap in high school or college, if so...name the crew, any notable experiences you draw on?
I didn’t go to college, and I didn’t start rhymin until I was around 24, near 2003.I used to write poetry, and do a lot of journaling, so one of the homies (Halal Styles) thought I might fit in to what they were doing, so I started rhymin then. We ended up forming a crew called After Hijrah. Our music had a heavy focus on our shared faith, Islam.I also had the privilege of working with The Understudies Crew outa the Bay Area. Those two crews gave me my live, stage experience. I draw heavily on those times. I was learning a lot in a little space.
How did the name Husayn Jay come about?
My given name is Jason and they called me Jay growing up. Husayn is my name since I converted to Islam when I was 17 or 18. An Imam at a mosque just started calling me Husayn one day, and I liked the name.
Do you speak any other languages and why?
I read and write Arabic, but speak only a little. I spent a year in Damascus Syria in 1999, where I studied Arabic. I didn’t complete my studies, but retained enough to be able to read the Quran in Arabic, which is important to me. Im very thankful for that.
Is there any intent behind the album, any theme?
The main intent is to debut my beat maker side. I’ve probably got only 7 years behind me with the production, so Im a bit newer. The main theme behind the album is, “Hey! I make beats as well as rhyme, check me out”. I look forward to making a more conceptual instrumental album soon.
Can you discuss the production of starting the album and wrapping it up? Include key moments and breakthroughs (Aha moments)?
Simple answer, I picked from the vault, the beats I was feeling the most. My aha moment was probably hearing that the newer stuff sounded fine next to the older stuff. I think the album is a good display of my character behind the machine.
How did the content come about?
Up until maybe 2 years ago, I wouldn’t allow myself to sample any music from anything other than vinyl. I feel like I missed out on the good years of beat making, so I made a rule to learn the process of making beats the original way before I let myself go crazy with the digital realm. My exception was if I sampled from movies, commercials, and old TV shows, but all the music came from vinyl. Now I let myself indulge in the digital. Probably 80% of the beats on this album come from vinyl.
Is there a specific reason for the title?
Flavor has always been my favorite word to describe something dope. That and the vocal sample from the beat “Stations” inspired the title, “Where The Flavor Is”.
How does your intent to make the album match up with the actual project?
I think they matched up pretty well. I didn’t stress the sound quality too much and just let it be raw, so I hope that translates. Mostly, I feel I accomplished what I intended.
What production equipment or pieces did you use to construct the album?
MPC Renaissance, Numark portable turntable, Reason for mixing, MacBook for software, and Audio Hijack for sampling movies, ect.
From concept to finished product, are you satisfied with the results?
Very satisfied. I understand my beats won’t hit everyone, but the “those that know, know” crowd will understand, Im hoping. Personally very satisfied though.
How do you see future albums compared to past releases and now your debut “beat art” LP?
I see all love. By nature I should be improving as time goes, and I always look forward to new breakthroughs in skill and process, so I see the future of my music as excellent, insha Allah (God Willing). Peace.