Exclusive with Jay Stash and his planned industry assault

jaystashYour album Keep Marching is finally out. What are your plans for marketing and promotion ?

The road map sees us being more visible and in the social spotlight. My persona is not that of an ever-present person on the club or popular culture scene but going forward Jay Stash will take the music to the people where they may be. We are planning a full frontal assault on the industry through performances and showcases. We will be touching social media, radio, TV and using the album to be a voice for society through involvement in various causes that aim to inspire positive outcomes in peoples lives. 

You’re planning a showcase of the album at the World of Yamaha in March. Tell us a bit more about this decision and how it fits in line with your objectives.

Many people know the name Jay Stash but don’t intimately know what makes up the complex character that is Jay Stash and what leads to what is communicated through his music. The showcase is an opportunity to expose people to me at a leisurely pace and without the constraints of being limited by promoters at gigs. This is like a listening session on steroids at a spectacular venue with the view to enclose people in a cocoon of good music and vibes. 

The album is quite a lengthy one, with a range of features. Takes us through the concept of the album as well as the creative process. How long did it take to put together, because the concept of Keep Marching has been there for years now

This is a DREAM album. This is an album that makes everyone who has ever backed Jay Stash think “we did it” since I didn’t get this far alone. Some have sadly departed this earth and this album pays homage to everyone who has been part of this journey. I’m from an old-school era where MCs /artists really applied themselves in putting together a project. From the intro, skits and the songs I had to bring my A game hence even the collaborations had to be strong too. I’m not one to work with an artist based on the hype surrounding that artist and everyone featured on this album I’m a fan of. If you listen to the ‘10000’ skit you can hear that a lot of effort went into it and the same care and attention was taken when making the songs. CD sales have declined and we now believe that people don’t buy music anymore which I don’t believe is not true. I believe that people have become tired of being fed garbage and are not willing to part with their hard earned money for something with no value. I felt the need to correct that by producing this quality work which took three odd years to put together. The aim and objective in the creative process was to engage the listener on all levels. People fall in and out of love, and within those relationships people experience the best and worst which I talk about in the song ‘Game Of Love’ featuring Brickz and Qhawekazi which is currently doing well on radio. There are songs like ‘Oh Yeah’ which paints a picture of what guys get up to, and there is also ‘My Story’ which is a song I’ve wanted to do all my life. There is so much said on that song that many who know my journey will relate to. We Keep Marching has become a statement of defiance against obstacles that people face. Its gone way beyond Jay Stash but has taken on a life of hope and aspiration in three simple words.

Do you think you get the deserved recognition from the local industry?

I don’t feel I get the recognition I deserve from popular culture and society in the main[stream] who I believe generally gravitate towards substandard and  unimaginative music without much thought put into it. I do however feel I get massive recognition from my peers and others in the industry who make quality music and I’m comfortable with that as they sift through the bull and know what it takes to put a quality project together. I am getting good airplay throughout Southern Africa and there is a lot of room for growth going forward which I’m grateful for. Touching lives is the ultimate goal and if someone feels that I have helped them then that is recognition enough for me.

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