eLAY interview with ITG
eLAY interview with ITG
This issue I am pairing up with talented music artist êLAY from the Birmingham area in the UK. êLAY has managed to strike up his own unique sound which I quite proudly say his genre or should I say genres. Today I get up close and personal with not only a new solo artist but the session musician world, so if there’s any musicians out there looking for a break. This is the article to read. êLAY has done everything from the USA to London, Europe and back to Birmingham. There is so much to tell but not enough time, but please read on folks and take a glimpse into the world of êLAY.
êLAY LOVES TO FLIRT
Music artist êLAY brought up in the heart of Birmingham City, UK, treading the boards, growing up listening to a wide spectrum of musical genre.
My father got me into music from an early age. I had a difficult decision to make in my teens. Either go into playing soccer or go into music! It ended up being an easy choice.
êLAY was always out buying records. He loved teaming up with friends playing music back & forth to each other. He started getting into instruments. êLAY got the flavour for music, jamming with musicians and performing with bands in his local area, like Jazz fusion Band Medium Wave. He went on to do sessions from europe to the USA, with artists like the once reputed, fastest rapper in the World ‘JC 001’, soul singing star ‘Jackie Graham ‘to original vocalist ‘Shara Nelson’ who was lead vocals from the brilliant band ‘Massive Attack’ Trip Hop band ‘Earthling’ He got involved playing Bangera music, Drum + Bass, irish music and many more.
Doing these sessions has allowed êLAY to flirt through all many styles of music & keep learning. He’s now out with a bang. He’s about to let himself go with his brand new EP album creating 2 tracks giving a indie funk, rock, grungy commercial vibe êLAY loves the idea of experimenting with beats and sounds.
ITG: “How did you become a solo artist?”
êLAY: “I was on stage in Germany. Someone came up after my performance & commented that my drumming was really, really, good, but my mind looked far away. I didn’t understand what that meant! It was said I looked as though I had no emotion in my face but my playing was fantastic. Later I kinda thought I got it ! I love to play more than drums. I was doing so much session work. I took a few months away from music. I’d been performing at Glastonbury. T In The Park, to the Reading Festival, as a drummer & percussionist.
ITG: “How did you get to play at ’ T In the Park’ & ‘Glastonbury’ ?
êLAY: “ I moved to London. I joined with a band called Quasar, which is a progressive rock band. I did a number of events with them. Glastonbury festival was one of them. I worked with other bands & artist that got me all over the place. So every step of the way with each band, doing sessions I was always in the process of learning. I have never been afraid of different music & different genre’s. That’s how I landed into many musical styles. There were times where I was in a combination of being in a steady band & doing session work at the same time. As a session drummer I have had many stints playing percussions or backing vocals.
ITG: “How did you become a session musician?”
“Everyone knows it’s called the Music Business, but I call it Business Music. With everything in the Industry, you need a business mind approach. You are the product, and you have to be able to market yourself.
Before computers were born in the music industry. This is how I programmed myself. Imagine for a moment there’s a Silver tin can on the table. You have to be able to put a label on it, brand it & be able to find a way to sell it. When I traveled to London I had to establish clientele. So what I did was I sussed out what was going on. I came from a musical background and grown into being an entrepreneur. I could play anything on the drums. I realized I had to get an image approach so I shaved all my hair off and got myself with a music agency. It even got to the point where the agency would call me up, not just for my ability to play the drums but also for my image. So I made sure I had fifty percent of the package each way.
I also delivered business cards all around London to as many rehearsal & studio facilities as possible. I was given the opportunity to teach students in a major facility called Talking Drums, based in London. At the time it was the biggest shop in Europe! The shop always did put on shows from drummers for drummers, like Earth Wind & Fire’s drummers to the drummer from Black Sabbath. I was the Head Teacher there. At the time, it had grown so popular I was sometimes teaching four separate students per room per hour each doing 8 hours a day 6 days a week. It went nuts.
Given today’s technology. What I tend to do is reinvent myself as many times as possible.
Musically what I am trying to create is something that is unique for me musically, personally I wouldn’t say I am a singer. I use what I have effectively for the songs which I write. I’ve always looked at other singers for inspirational input. Before. I used to particularly get jealous of the vocalist when the crowd’s reaction gravitate towards them. I still got recognition from the crowd when I did my drumming and percussion solos, but there was something about being a Lead Singer.
I suffered a nasty injury, that put me out for a while. Still recovering, but I’m resurfacing & focusing on the positives.
I love clothes and imagery and the whole business aspect & thought how to wrap all these things together & try to create something unique that people may like and enjoy.”
I Want You-Crazy