Jameel Jahmay

The new record “Ready 2 Serve U” is a sort of coming out party for Jameel Jahmay – the man behind the scenes and all the credentials that the scene seems to crave. The guy is a self taught pro, learning the ins and outs of production as well as studying voice, music theory, piano and guitar at Winston-Salem State University and the University of The District of Columbia.

We asked Jahmay about his time behind the scenes: “There were times when I developed music for an artist, but never worked out. A fellow musician heard some of the material and quickly said ‘you need to do this material yourself.’ The more I thought about it, he was right. The songs had a lot of conviction, so that led to my CD ‘Ready 2 Serve U’.” Jameel describes the sound of the new record as “sexy, swinging, smooth, swagger and cool.” He continues, “The reason why is because this is how I want the listener to feel and the gratification one might get while enjoying the music.” Keep an eye out on Jahmay as he looks into getting involved with film scoring and soundtracks. There’s more to read, so keep going for the answers to the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Jameel Jahmay

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How did you first get started in the music business?

Jameel Jahmay (JJ): My beginning in music started with playing drums in the high school marching band and progressed to learning Piano, guitar, singing and later receiving some formal training in Classical music and Jazz in college.

PEV: How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?

JJ: I would use a few words like sexy, swinging, smooth, swagger and cool. The reason why is because this is how I want the listener to feel and the gratification one might get while enjoying the music. There are several things that may stand out but I think its just purely arrangement and using catchy tricks with the musical phrases.

PEV: Tell us how you developed your musical journey.  Why did you decide to run with this?

JJ: I will speak mainly about being involved in writing and production.  There were times when music was developed for an artist but never worked out.  One fellow musician heard some of the material and quickly said "You need to do this material yourself".  The more I thought about it, he was right.  The songs had a lot of conviction, so that led to my CD "Ready 2 Serve U".

PEV: What can fans expect from a live show?

JJ: The fans can expect a lot of fun and a few surprises but that's a secret.  They will also get heartfelt songs from the "Ready 2 Serve U" CD uptempo, mid-tempo, ballads and maybe songs that they are familiar with by other artist.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you write a song?

JJ: It all starts with subject matter and sometimes fragments that are developed and completed later.

PEV: What is your creative process like?

JJ: This would probably go hand in hand with the previous question but for me it could start with a hum and quickly turn into a melody. I'll sit down at the piano, guitar and  play around with some ideas and progressions.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for you?

JJ: I have always enjoyed listening to music and many different genres.  I would often try to learn and play the songs.  After accomplishing learning the song I became intrigued with how songs were put together the formulas, ideas and tricks within the songs.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

JJ:  I think about how much I have learned about production, music theory, technology and the thirst to keep learning more about my craft and the industry because in all honesty you are constantly finding out more on a regular basis about the music industry good and bad.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

JJ: The one thing that many people might be surprised to hear about me is how much of  a fan I am  for television and movie theme songs and commercial jingles.  As a kid I wanted to watch programs on the television but I also knew I needed to practice. The solution was to sit down and play along with the theme songs. The teachers are probably not going for that idea but it kept my interest.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

JJ: I would probably say High School/first year of college. It definitely competed with sports - mainly basketball.

PEV: What one word best describes you?

JJ: Diverse.

PEV: How is life for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?

JJ: The beautiful thing about music is how self contained and independent many artist have become with their projects and the personal quality control involved within a project.  The downside of music in my opinion has not changed and that would be trust.  Everyone has to be held accountable.

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play?

JJ: There is not a specific area but the overseas market is always intriguing.  Music is a universal language.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?

JJ: My friends and family have supported me throughout my entire career.

PEV: What’s it like when you get to play in your hometown?

JJ: The opportunity to perform in the hometown is probably just as exciting as the class reunion because you want to look good and let your success shine through. You just can't wait to see some of your friends especially if they did not know that you were in the music industry.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time?

JJ: The one consistent thing for me is watching sports, ballroom and tap dancing. I am always watching movies that involve dancing and suspense.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

JJ: That is very tough but I always wanted to work with Deborah Cox or Shanice, mainly because of their vocal range.  It would be very interesting to have these ladies do my music but there are a host of others but I would  start with those two ladies.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

JJ: I believe it would be an injustice to many of the  talented  artist in the industry to name just one.

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think would be your career?

JJ: I would say it would be something in the arts like screenwriting.  There  was also a passion for being a  nutritionist one day.

PEV: So, what is next for you?

JJ: I want to continue to learn as much as I can in the music industry ,and get more involved in film scoring and movie soundtracks.

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