Almost-forgotten 90’s R&B B-sides, dusty ’45s, a blissful midday nap and the sting of not-quite realized romance are just some of the rich textures and colours that Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist Silentjay – the project of Alejandro Jay Abapo – captures with his unique production, soulfully understated voice and phone book of friends and collaborators that he creates the perfect foil for.
Having studied jazz improvisation, playing no less than the saxophone, piano and keyboard, drums and flute, Silentjay soon turned his ear for music to production after his uncle, a DJ, gave him his record collection. He brought his own sampler and combined his talents as a trained musician and a life time sized collection of hip-hop, soul, funk and footwork, finding his signature sound in instrumental beats and frequently led by his searching, jazz background.
It’s little wonder given his inimitable musical-leanings that Silentjay’s productions soon pricked the ears around the world – first at home as the backing vocalist for Hiatus Kayiote, encouragement from Los Angeles’ Brainfeeder label-head Flying Lotus, who Jay has supported twice on national tours of Australia, to London’s Rhythm Section director Bradley Zero, who invited him and his frequent collaborator Jace XL to release their debut EP ‘Sacrifice’ through his label.
It’s seems impossible that Silentjay, amidst touring, recording, remixing and featuring with numerous other projects, would have time to craft as much music as he’d like – but the prolific producer is now set to release ‘Come Fly With Me’ – a collection of 27 instrumental tracks on September 14th through his own label Nap King Cole Records. Whilst Michael Jordan’s 1989 documentary of the same name includes rare footage of the basketball legend, Jay’s beat tape includes just as many slam dunks, gravity defying moves and is likewise set to showcase a young artist just about to burst into the next stage of his career.
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