Artist Interview: Clayjay Unveils Debut EP, ‘GÜD’

Clayjay may be relatively new to the game, but his remixes have already seen some success. The young producer already has a firm grasp on his style, and with his new EP GÜD, he’s ready to make his mark on the music industry. Clayjay’s EP takes the listener on a sonic journey of crisp percussion and wavy synths, placing the producer’s substantial versatility on display.

The opening track “Terrace” provides the perfect introduction to Clayjay’s sound. The intricate attention to detail in every beat creates a delicate yet powerful wave that provides easy listening, but also holds its own weight under closer supervision. This is paired additionally with the very different flow of “Come Over,” which comes across as a true lightning in a bottle version of contained chaos, Clayjay walks the tightrope maneuver of saturating the ears with plenty to listen to without being overwhelming. As an experience that will leave you floating in ethereal waves, GÜD is a true treat.

Stream and purchase GÜD below, and once that’s done, check our interview with Clayjay below.

For all those out there who don’t know, introduce yourself—who is Clayjay?

I grew up in San Francisco and lived there until I was 18, but I’m currently out in LA now at USC’s Thornton Music School. Around the end of middle school, I formed this growing obsession with producers after watching tons of videos Kanye, Just Blaze and other producers making beats. I decided to try it out for myself and here I am about six years later. Lately I really noticed an increasing lack of creativity in the music scene as almost every song began to sound like a knock-off Flume track. Because of this, I strive to create songs that sound like nothing people have heard before rather than hopping on the latest trend in the music scene. In my more recent work, I’ve put a heavy emphasis on incorporating samples of live instruments and other sounds that I record myself or find online. Over the past year, I’ve tried to perfect the ability to pull the most seemingly random sounds together and combine them in a way that works beautifully.

How would you classify the music you create?

I honestly never know what to tell people when they ask what kind of music I make. I really don’t like saying electronic music because of the stigma associated with it. I think people tend to assume something about you or the kind of music you make if you say electronic music so I usually just tell them I don’t have a great way to describe it and they should just listen.

Musically, who are your inspirations, and what, if anything, have you learned or tried to emulate from them?

Baauer has always been a huge inspiration since I started producing. He’s always been taking music in new directions and isn’t afraid to try out new things musically regardless of whether it will appeal to the masses or not. Hot Sugar has also been a huge inspiration for a similar reason, especially his creativity when it comes to sample use.

Being from the Bay Area, can you identify differences in music tastes between Northern and Southern California?

Definitely, at least where I’ve been here in LA, although I can’t speak for all of LA. At USC there’s definitely a huge gravitation towards the corny/poppy EDM tracks which I’m not really a fan of, but it’s all about finding the right people. I’m sure you can find similar scenes in the Bay and LA.

GÜD is your debut EP, can you tell us a bit about the inspiration and thought process behind the creation of this project?  

I wanted to capture a crisp, organic sound inspired by samples from nature and the lack of originality that I’ve been noticing in the music scene (particularly the electronic scene) lately. A lot of artists are making “future bass” or whatever you want to call it and just biting someone else’s style, but people to continue to eat that shit up. In GÜD, samples such as a girl laughing, monkey howls and birds chirping were turned into instruments or percussion and blended together to create these eight songs.

What lessons have you learned coming out of undertaking a project this large for the first time?

I learned how much time and planning goes into creating something like this. For the most part, I did all the behind the scenes work for this EP entirely by myself. I created all the artwork, edited the promo video, created my own website and much more. When I take on a project this size in the future I definitely won’t do everything entirely on my own, even though that was a really useful and fun experience.

What kind of personal growth do you feel like you’ve experienced from the process of creating GÜD?

I think this EP really forced me to pay attention to every single detail of each track. Because it was in the works for so long and I had put so much of my time and own money into this, I needed it to be perfect. After the EP was roughly finished, I spent almost the next four months listening over the tracks and making minor changes to polish them all.

What would you like listeners to take out of this EP?

I hope that people hear the intricacy of every track and take time to listen to every little detail. There are so many weird sounds in there that you would never expect to hear that fit perfectly in every track.

Coming from someone that’s hustling in the thick of it, do you have any advice for any aspiring artists out there?

Take more time to sit on things and make them as perfect as possible before putting them out because it definitely shows. Also, there is a fine line between being influenced by an artist and copying an artist. It is important to develop your own unique sound that people really haven’t heard before, something that I’ve tried to spend the past year doing.

Keep up with Clayjay on SoundCloudFacebook, and Twitter.