KAY YOUNG

GETTING CREDIT

The Roc Nation signee talks about her latest project 'Middle Matters', being scouted for Jay-Z by Jay Electronica and taking inspiration for her music from Anime.

How does it feel to have ‘Middle Matters’ out and what were the main themes you wanted to  explore on the project? 


mix bag of emotions in the run up to the release so it’s a bit of relief to finally have it out. The theme for this project was unintentional - I was recording a bunch of songs towards the end  of 2018/2019 and I guess.


What was the process of creating the project like and who did you work with in creating it?

 

Production wise, the approach was very different. I would lay down my harmonies first and then produce around that. There is so many things you can do with your voice and I tend to rely heavily on that as a base. Nick Briggs and Gavin Fitzjohn added some live horns on ‘Giving Thanks’ and Krzysztof Syposz played bass on some of the tracks to give it more of a groove.
 

How do you find the process of working as both a producer and a writer and do you feel it helps your ability to tell a story more authentically being in control of both aspects of your sound? 

 

It’s definitely a blessing to be able to lay an idea down from start to finish and it’s a process that I love - it's more of a release for me. It’s easier for me to express how I am feeling.

"He had been sending some of my beat videos to Jay-Z and he loved what he heard."

Is there a track on the EP that you feel best encapsulates the overall tone of the project?


I would have to say ‘Giving Thanks’ as I touch upon my faith, knowing that I could do better with the  foundation that my late grandma laid down for me, pushing through life despite the knock-backs. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m getting there.


How do you feel your sound has grown or changed since your debut ‘actually.’?

‘Middle Matters’ is a lot more personal, you are getting to know a little more about Kay. My beliefs, my struggles and desires. 

 

How did you first get discovered by Roc Nation and how has working with them been?

Jay Electronica found me through Instagram. He had been sending some of my beat videos to Jay-Z and he loved what he heard...I’m still processing it all haha! It has been dope working with them, they allow me to be myself and to have creative control which is a blessing in this day and age. 

"...get into the habit of creating every day, doesn't have to be perfect – it's good practice."

How do you feel being an instrumentalist aids your production?


It definitely helps to be able to play an instrument. You hear the difference in the music, there’s a different type of groove.


What would be your top three tips for producers starting out?

 

Trust your sound,  don’t spend money on equipment hoping that it will make you sound better - master what you have first and go from there and get into the habit of creating every day, doesn't have to be perfect – it's good practice. 

 

"I definitely draw inspiration from films, especially Anime as it plays on your imagination."

Do you find inspiration in artistic mediums other than music? e.g. film/fashion etc.


I definitely draw inspiration from films, especially Anime as it plays on your imagination. Also, photography as one picture can tell a thousand stories.


If you had to choose two songs that best show your range as a producer, what would you choose and why?

 

'Ego' - Shows that I am able to cross genres on one track.

'Giving Thanks' - Shows my ability to take it all the way back to 60’s soul.

 

What inspires your music, lyrically?


Life experiences and conversations.

 

Which artists inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?


It would have to be Prince & Michael Jackson - I saw them and was like...I want to do that! And then my mind was definitely made up when Missy Elliot came on the scene. Kendrick Lamar and Solange has kept me inspired. 

If you had to recommend five artists to your listeners who would they be?

Joel Culpepper, Ego Ella May, Jungle, Cleo Sol, Chaos In The CBD.

 What’s coming up for the rest of 2020?

More music, live recordings and beat making videos.

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