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In The Studio: Sharam Jey

Following our coverstar feature in the magazine, catches up with Sharam Jey to discuss some tricks of the trade, and his favourite production gadgets.

Sharam Jey's debut artist album '4 Da Loverz' is a slice of pure funk, and has real crossover potential.

The album is a mixture of smooth beats, snazzy vocals, guitars, and 80s influenced electronica.

Sharam Jey is the coverstar of DJmag issue no.94/vol.3, out 8 July, and there's a special feature about him and his new album.

Here speaks to him about production values, cool gadgets, and self-congratulating.

Questions and Answers

1. What's your favourite production tool?

The Roland Juno 60 – it rocks.

2. What was your latest purchase for the studio?

I recently repaired my old Mks, the 80/Super Jupiter. It's a good bit of kit, and fun to use.

3. What's the most important thing to consider when making music?

To have good ideas and to be in a good mood. Your music reflects your emotions, so if you're in a bad mood, you're going to make bad music.

4. If we lived in a world where anything was possible, what piece of studio technology (real or not) would you like to own?

Technology moves so quickly these days, and there really isn't much that you can't do now. I'm actually really happy with the way things are, and my studio fulfills my production needs.

5. Briefly outline the beginning process you go through when producing a new track - how does it start?

It always starts differently. Sometimes it's a cool, funk driven bassline that moves into a track, or another time I'll start with the vocals. It's all about the process, and where it takes you. The beginning of the track always starts differently. Inspiration comes from one idea.

6. If someone wants to start producing, but can't afford much, what kit would you suggest they buy?

It is always good to start with a programme that you can stay with for a while so I suggest Logic. You can learn and improve with the software, and real professionals use it too. You also need a powerful computer, and a good soundcard. That's it. But in the end, it's all about the ideas.

7. Guitars feature quite heavily on your new album. What are your musical and production influences?

Rock 'n' roll baby! I love it, and guitars.

8. Any tips for aspiring producers?

Believe in what you do and finish what you started. There's nothing worse than working on a track for weeks, and then giving up on it at the last hurdle.

9. You sing on a couple of tracks on your album, and you roped your mates in too. Why didn't you use big names?

Why not sing? I saw it as another challenge, and it's something that I've always wanted to do. For years I've been thinking about it, in fact. In the end though, I just wanted to make good music, and I wanted to bring in new talent.

10. Who was the last person to criticise your music to your face, and what was your response?

It was me! I gave myself a hug and said I have to do it better next time. I think as an artist, you have to always strive to be better, and pushing yourself leads to greater things.