Dez Andrés on hearing his friend Jay Dee (aka J Dilla)’s beats for the first time

Sampling is a conversation between artists.

We’ve brought that conversation to life with “Fantastic Loops,” the companion pack series to “The Fantastic Sounds of Jay Dee aka J Dilla.” We invited some of today’s greats to take sounds from the pack and make them their own. A friend of Jay Dee (aka J Dilla) and a mainstay in the Detroit house music scene, legendary producer and drummer Dez Andrés speaks to us about Jay Dee’s unique musical style. Check out his companion pack here.

1. Tell us about hearing the Jay Dee pack for the first time. What kinds of sounds did it inspire? Walk us through the process of creating this companion pack. What direction you went in, what formulating ideas for it was like – give us an insight on crafting this work.

The first time I heard the Jay Dee pack, I was pretty excited to hear those sounds in this medium. It inspired some gritty hip hop and soulful energy that’s missing right now from the game. I kinda randomly grabbed some sounds and was like, “okay, what can I add to this or what can I do with this melodically to add a soundscape that’s missing right now,” something Jay Dee was so big on, but with my own twist.

2. Walk us through your personal history with Jay Dee’s music. What was the first record of his that you remember hearing? In what ways did his work influence yours?

I’ve always been a fan knowing him personally, him and his stuff before the public heard it or knew who he was. It’s interesting, you would know he was special when you heard it the first time, which was rare, the feeling of “okay wow, this is something.”

The first record I heard was the first Slum Village that the public hasn’t heard, like “Ghost Town Till the Break of Day” – so much early, early Slum stuff. My group that I was in at the time, we were the first to put out any of Jay Dee’s work, technically, so a lot of stuff before the public got to hear his stuff.

3. Where do you think Jay Dee’s influence fits within the current landscape of music? In what ways have you seen his legacy live on through new artists today?

His work influenced me in a lot of ways – he was very dedicated, very into what he did, and very much about the next level, being the new thing, the future. He was always into that and being progressive.

November 6, 2018