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Interview: Jaytech

Hannah Davies catches up with one of the stars of Above and Beyond's Anjunadeep imprint James Cayzer aka Jaytech.

Chosen to support none other than Above & Beyond during their UK Group Therapy tour kicking off in April, Jaytech definitely has his finger firmly on the music scene pulse. A classically trained musician, DJ and producer he tells us all about his melodic sound, success and how it feels to be one of the lads on tour with the infamous trance trio.

What is your background? Tell us how you got into DJ'ing and producing?

Ever since I was a child I had always been involved with music. Before I got into production I was a pretty keen piano player, and used to play in competitions back in Australia. They were pretty nerve wracking at the time, but they also helped me get over any kind of stage fright quite early on. When I was 14 I had already been writing scores for more traditional music on computers, and then one day I discovered that I could hook my parents' old hi-fi speakers up through the sound card and play around with a broader range of sounds. From that point on I was mad about electronic music.

Although you are not a stranger to supporting Above and Beyond you have just been announced to do so for their biggest UK tour to date, how excited are you about this? And how will you prepare for it?

It's gonna be great! I love travelling with the Above & Beyond guys and their crew, we've been on many adventures together and it just happens like clockwork now. It's such a finely tuned show and great fun to be a part of. This year I'm moving towards doing more solo stuff and travelling on my own but as I now live in Berlin and the tour is so close to home it'd be criminal not to be a part of something so cool.

Your ‘Anjunadeep 04' mix is out now; do you have any more releases or collaborations that you can tell us about?

Well, it's no secret my second artist album is well underway. Actually, it's nearly finished. We moved it a bit further back in the release schedule to space it out from Deep 04, although I've been spending a lot of time in my studio getting everything sounding really good and stress-listening to the whole thing. Very excited about it and really looking forward to unveiling it in the summer. When it's good to go, we'll be making some noise about it for sure.

As a classically trained pianist do you think that this has influenced your style of music? Your sound to me combines uplifting electro with deep melodic house and even embraces a jazz vibe, how would you best describe it?

Being classically trained has definitely helped a lot, though I think in this day an age you can live without it. For example, you could write a killer record by sampling really cool riffs from, say, older funk records or something like that, and then you wouldn't necessarily need the music theory smarts.

Being a composer means being able to recreate your musical idea in your head on paper, and this has never been a problem for me. Being a good producer means doing the same thing with sound, something I think everyone is always working to perfect. Overall I'd say my style is storytelling club music with, hopefully, a more intelligent depth to it. My favourite records are the ones that are simple and catchy in their approach, with a more subtle deeper meaning as well.

You produce very unique melodies and one of my favourites is your track New Vibe, what was the concept behind this particular track?

It's a kitchen table anthem! I was at home one night nerding it up on the internet in my kitchen and just started keying in the piano notes, and the rest just happened around that. When you break it down that piano line it's just three separate, simple melodies all playing together. I love when stuff comes together like that. The name comes from the fact that it's a bit of a different direction for me, musically it's a very “fun” record and doesn't take itself too seriously.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Things I see, mostly, also I guess from my friends. Sometimes from architecture or art and sometimes just seeing a cool building or place will conjure up lots of ideas in my head. Also from other producers! When other people ask for good ways to get inspired, I usually tell them to go and find some new sounds to play with, whether it be a new synth or a new sample pack. Places like have loads of royalty-free sample packs that you can download for free. Having tons of new material to play around with is always fun, and having fun is usually a good start to writing a track.

What treats will you be bringing to the dance floor this summer?

I've got a bunch of new vocal material which is very new for me, as my main love is pure electronic sounds. It's hard to find decent vocal dance out there that doesn't overdo it. There's also loads of great new Anjunadeep material which I'll be testing out over the summer.

Your monthly mix show ‘Jaytech Music' is aired globally and is highly popular, how important is it to keep up the more intimate connections with your fans?

The show has been vital to my career over the last few years, as it's been a way to give people new music on a regular basis between the releases. It's also an important platform for me as a producer, as a dance single often only finds a home in the sets of DJs playing in clubs. Whereas a mix can be great for driving, or playing in the background at home. I love being able to talk at the beginning of each show and let fans know what I've been up to. In this day and age it's probably a little bit cheesy, but that's part of why I enjoy it.

Your Anjunadeep 02 and 03 compilations topped the iTunes dance charts for two years running, how does it feel to get this kind of recognition?

It's a great feeling, but I think it's also important to remember that these compilations are built on the success of the Anjunadeep label itself, and the musical ideology it represents. In that sense it's a great honour to be a presenter for this sound, as I think it ties in very well with everything I'm doing.

Describe for us what we can expect from Jaytech in 2012

From this point on I'll be jet-setting around for pretty much the rest of the year, including tours in the USA and Australia and the ever-explosive European summer festival season. Apart from that, looking forward to continuing to expand my studio in the quest to write the perfect record!

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