1. What’s your name: Jayd Soliar aka J.A.S
2. Where are you from? I was born and raised in Durban, but have been living in Johannesburg for the past 8 years.
3. How long have you been composing? I have been composing music for 15 years. I started off as a songwriter, writing lyrics in primary school for both myself and others. It was very basic at the time, but it was a start. I began rapping soon after, my friends and I would form cyphers and just rap all day. I started composing music in high school with software such as FL Studio, Acid Pro and Reason. I then invested in recording gear and worked out how to record myself. After high school, I moved to Johannesburg to study music production and this is where I was introduced to the music software Logic Pro which I still use today.
4. What is your creative process? How do you start creating a beat? / How do you start writing lyrics to a beat? My creative process is very spontaneous. An idea could spark from something I’ve just seen or heard or it could be inspired by nature. I may have a certain melody or groove ringing in my head and that’s when I will take out my keyboard and computer to play it out and record it. I often start with a chord progression or bass line, however, it varies depending on my mood and the environment.
When it comes to lyrics, it is also very spontaneous. I often randomly think of a few sentences or rhyme schemes, write them down on my phone and then continue with whatever I was doing. I prefer to write to the beat as the composition gives the feel and emotion of the song, and in this way I can build on that emotion with the lyrics. When writing for a vocalist, I prefer to sit with them in the studio and feel their emotion and presence. This allows me to write specifically for them and their emotional needs and consequently brings out the best possible performance from them.
5. What made you chose a career in this field? I was born with music in my blood. There was and is no other route or option for me. I’ve always been fascinated by sound, I often record natures sound and produce music out of those sounds. I used to take a rock and throw it against another rock, record that, manipulate it a bit and that would be my kick drum. If I wasn’t a composer or songwriter, I would be a sound therapist. I studied sound frequencies and brain waves, and sound frequency can be used to alter brainwaves and entrain the brain to follow a certain pattern, therefore, sound frequencies can be used to alter emotions and cure various illnesses, so this intrigues me a lot.
6. Did you do any courses for your career field? Yes. I have a BA Honours Degree in Music Production and I was a music production lecturer for a few years.
7. What advice can you give to aspiring composers? Firstly, find your purpose in composing music. Who are you composing for and why are you composing music? Secondly, never stop studying and learning. You do not need any institution, college or university to do so, Google and YouTube are your best friends. You should be a better composer today than you were yesterday. Thirdly, and most importantly, do what you do, but don’t let your happiness be dependent on the end result/goal. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the journey. Don’t have expectations, just create and keep on creating. Only those with a true passion for music will succeed.
8. Which other composer’s or artists have you worked with? As a lecturer I enjoyed finding new talent amongst my students who I could mentor and develop into amazing artists, so I work with a lot of upcoming artists, such as Sy’Defect, M!ss!on, Palesa Blossom and many others. I have also worked with some big international rappers by the names of Twisted Insane, Mickey Factz, Emilio Rojas and Oswin Benjamin. I currently have a few big collaborations up my sleeves which I cannot talk about just yet. I have also worked with Grammy award winning engineers on some of my songs.
9. What has been the highlight of your career so far? My album, L.I.F.E: The CAUSE is the highlight of my career and actually the embodiment of my entire career. It is a journey through different moments in life. When you listen to the album, all songs lead into one another to create one whole story. It is my life’s journey and everyone will be able to relate to it. The album will be released later this year.