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First arriving on German label Compost in 2007, Jay Shepheard has since become one of labels most treasured artists. Embodying a truly deep house sound rife with sumptuous synths, balmy percussion and protruding basslines; Jay Shepheard’s sound reeks of intimacy and sophistication. With the help of strong DJ support and a steady run of live performances following his initial releases, Jay took his involvement a step further in 2010 by launching his own imprint Retrofit. A&R’ing a plethora of modern disco and deep house releases from the likes of Matthew Burton, Tad Willy, Martin Dawson and more, Retrofit goes down as one our favourite labels at MEOKO. Hot on the heels of his latest release ‘Black Label 87’, Jay Shepheard is our guest this week for ‘The Not So Serious Sessions’.

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The Euro Crisis…

 

Is doing my head in! Turn on the radio or open the paper in the UK and its all you hear about these days. For the past four or five years it’s been recession this, doom and gloom that…It’s a horrible situation and it’s tough on those who’ve lost jobs and had debt issues. I’m no economist but seems like it’s just another rotation of the business cycle – international banking, government debt and the boom and bust economy. I can’t help feeling that there’s quite a bit of media hype and to some degree it’s being used to fill the newspapers – so to be honest the less I hear about it the better.

The soundtrack to my childhood…

 was a pretty mixed bag really. I think the 80s was a golden age for pop music, difficult to imagine lasting Icons like Bowie etc in the current climate. Also the biggest stars like Madonna and Jackson were in their prime too so I remember that being everywhere. Later in early 90s I was all about metal and rock – electronic, rave and house came later for me at the end of the 90s.

The first time I ever took a pill…

my mother had to massage it down my throat like you do with a cat. I used to hate taking pills as a child, don’t know why but I just couldn’t stand swallowing the things. Strangely enough the phobia seemed to almost instantaneously disappear when I got to my late teens.

Running my own label…

 is a continuous spree of unadulterated bliss. From XL metadata sheets to digital royalty statements, I love it all… 😉 I think it’s very important for a label to have a strong identity and building that up from scratch is a great creative process, I have really enjoyed it so far. For me as a recording artist running a label alongside is another way to express what I want to without just releasing my own stuff…(although I do release quite a few of my own actually) 

The happiest day of my life…

 Is a bit of cliché but the one that leaps to mind is my wedding day about a month ago. To have so many friends and family together in one place, some of them meeting for the first time is something that will bring fond memories for the rest of my life. 

The first piece of equipment I bought for my studio…

 were actually few items at once. A friend of my sister was getting rid of some old bits so I took a few of them off him. There was a [now] very rare and old school Akai X700 sampling keyboard expanded to 2meg of Ram, a beaten up Atari ST running midi only Cubase, and everyone’s favourite cheap but genuine analogue synth of the era, the Novation Bassstation – rack version!