You are both a DJ and producer. If you had to choose one, which one would you pick and why?
I would say producer as it’s where my creativity shines, although it can be hard work at times. I just love evolving a track from a simple beat to a full blown song.
Tell us more about the Toolroom Academy where you studied music production.
Toolroom Academy was an amazing experience, I’ve been a huge fan of Toolroom for many years. They’ve been a great support to me, I was even given the opportunity to spend a day in the studio with Mark Knight back in 2014 through a competition they ran.
So unquestionably, as soon as I discovered this course I had to get myself signed up. Ben Remember was an amazing tutor with a great knowledge of production and I find now that even the simplest of tip has gone a very long way in my own production.
When it comes to searching for samples, what is your to go to method?
When I find myself hitting a dead end or require something I don’t have in my own sample library, Splice is my go-to site. You can always source great ideas from their catalogue and I love dipping into all kinds of genres to find the right vibe for my track. Most of my sampling is for my drums- for me, getting the beat right is always my first priority.
What would you like to tell people who don’t like tech house?
Tech House is like all other dance music, it’s about the vibe, it’s what makes you feel good when you hear a track come on. That’s what music is all about and Tech House is no different.
Should more DJs learn the music theory, or doesn’t it matter that much when it comes to dance music?
I hear a lot of criticism towards DJ’s not knowing music theory, but I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that. I know many great producers that create amazing music and openly admit their theory knowledge is small. In my eyes, if you can create a vibe or something that’s going to make your audience dance, you’re an artist and art doesn’t have rules.
Where does your artist name come from?
‘Jay’ is actually my middle name, my parents gave me that name as they wanted to call me CJ. I wasn’t a fan of that, but I liked the uniqueness of ‘Curtis Jay’.
Would you recommend a career as a DJ to young kids? What are the pros and cons?
If it’s something they have an interest in, totally! I wholeheartedly believe in the saying, ‘follow your heart’, and it’s important for everyone to input that into their lives and enjoy what they do. Being a DJ lets you express yourself and it’s a lot of fun. The cons can be the antisocial hours you spend in the studio trying to find the right kick drum for you track! Haha!
Did you ever get shy in the presence of someone famous?
All the time, sometimes I fan girl too much and can’t find any words!
Do you prefer DJing at large scale festivals or would you rather DJ at intimate clubs?
I’m yet to play a large scale festival. I’ve heard it’s a whole other kind of energy, so I look forward to experiencing that- but for now, I love playing intimate clubs!
How long does it take you to finish a production on average?
If I don’t hit a creative block, I can get a track finished in 1-2 weeks.
Is there a final thing you would like to say to our readers?
Thanks for reading and watch this space for new music coming over the next few months!
Where can people find you online?
Website: curtisjaymusic.com | Instagram, Facebook, Twitter: @curtisjaymusic