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Interview

Jae Mac…the man behind it all

Joshua Makoni (Jae Mac)

They say behind every great man is an even greater woman; I echo the same sentiments in musical circles. Behind every great musician is an even greater producer. That man or woman who labours before and after your favourite artist records. This is the person that creates the environment for any artist to shine. This is that person who brings together the ideas that an artist has, this is the person who smoothens the rough edges after the artist has finished their part. Today we have the pleasure of interviewing such a man. Josh “Jae Mac” Makoni. This is a man I have had the pleasure of working with on a couple of projects that are yet to be released. His instrumentals has a distinct difference from any other producer. He is a man who loves what he does and does it very well. All the way from Zimbabwe…I give you Jae Mak.

Me: Jae Mac, the pleasure is mine…let me start by thanking you for the time you have set aside to make this interview a reality. Tell us Mac, how long have you been producing?
Jae Mac:Well umm,I started making beats when I was 16.and I’m 21 now btw..lol..made my first proper beat,proper arrangement ad all when I was 16
Me: Obviously people are drawn to music for various different reasons. What would you say pulled you to making music? And nowadays everyone wants to be in the spotlight, what about being behind the deck brings you satisfaction?
Jae Mac:I have a brother who loves music so much and when I grew up he was connected to so many DJ’s and he used to DJ as well and so I just picked u the inspiration from there.always told myself I wanted to do better though.I started off making my own mixes of other tracks,went on to recording myself on international beats.however rapping wasn’t really my strength!lol..decided to move to making beats after I saw my brother installing Fruity Loops on our home computer.I just started playing around with the program and that’s when everything started
Me: What would you say makes the perfect instrumental for you?
Jae Mac: mmmm,id say the Piano.I love keys especially when being played by someone who really knows how to handles em scales!
Me: Obviously everyone would like to know what software and hardware do you use in your craft?
Jae Mac: for the software part I use FL Studio.just use it as a host though.all of my sounds aren’t the defaults that come with the software. Hardware I don’t got much.its just a MIDI controller and my laptop
Me: How did it all begin for you?
Jae Mac:it all started when I met up wit my boy Q Rigga!dude been my inspiration since day one.he really pushed me to be a better beat-maker.I can say my 1st track that was recognized by quite a number of people was a track called Testify I produced for Q rigga and it featured MetaPhysics.From then I just started making music and things just started happening.Meeting up with some of Zims best artists and getting to work with them
Me: I understand you are studying…what are you studying, and how do you strike a balance between your studies and the music?
Jae Mac:I’m doin IT..and well it is quite a challenge balancing the 2!lol..but I am managing.I just make music when I am free.when its time for the books I tend to forget bou the music thing completely
Me: What has been your greatest challenge to date…in your musical road?
Jae Mac:My greatest challenge has been people who be discouraging you and telling you African artists are irrelevant.Trust me,some of my own so called friends have told me that I’m wasting time because there is really no way I’m going to leave a mark in the industry.there are so many times id think of quitting but however Id just find the strength to keep on pushing and I am proving all those people wrong each and everyday that comes
Me: Considering those challenges you have faced, how would you say is the ideal way to overcome these challenges?
Jae Mac: Well,I just ignore all the challenges and move on..it has really been helping and that’s the reason why Jae Mac is here today
Me: I personally have opportunities that I have allowed to pass me by, that I often wonder how different things would have been had I captured them. Is there anything like that in Jae Mac’s life?
Jae Mac:mmmmmmm at the moment I cant think of any to be honest..if there are any situations like that I think they were too minor I cant even remember
Jae Mac

 

Me: You’ve obviously worked with a lot of artists in several different genres. Who have you worked with the most? And who have you enjoyed working with the most?
Jae Mac: I’ve worked wit Q Rigga the most.we have quite a number of unreleased tracks that we gon release I dont know when!lol..but when we do,u sure gon LOVE em..I always enjoy workin wit him too coz he is CRAZY..he just has this vibe that makes working on music fun!
Me: Which 5 artists and 5 producers would you like to work with in the future?
Jae Mac:Artists,id say Cindy.I thnk she got a beautiful voice.Roki,Carlprit and this new guy by the name Taps!dude is amazing! Producers id say Croft,Begotten Son,already workin on a track with Shayzar,T Collar,and KANYE WEST!!!Kanye is a music magician I tell u.
Me: Obviously a lot of people do not do music full-time because it doesnt pay the bills or they are conditioned by society’s diminished view of such careers, is this the case with you…if music pays the bills would you make a career of it?
Jae Mac:NO DOUBT!!if the music starts paying the studio is goin to be my second home!
Me: I find it amusing that most producers are fans of musical genres that they do not produce themselves? Is this the case with you?
Jae Mac:Yeah t is..I’m an Avicci fan!I’m ssoo in love with his music but I aint never tried making a euro-house type beat.
Me: Which artists do we find on Jae Mac’s ipod?
Jae Mac:eish a lot man!!I listen to everyone!I’m just a fan of good music.ul find local content,international content,number one hits,underground tracks by almost every artist!
Me: Out of all the genres that you could have been producing what would you say influenced your choice of genre?
Jae Mac:I major in HipHop and I think just the fact that I enjoy HipHop music so much influenced me into making HipHop music too.
Me: I get a lot of music links and links to beats and such everyday. However when I heard a track with one of your beats I was so captivated by the artistic mastery and how unique your production is. What I wanna know is what keeps Jae Mac distinctly original in an industry that is filled with copies of Timbaland, Dr. Dre, Swiss Beats and so on?
Jae Mac:wow,thanks a lot man! Haha..well I think my sound is a bit different because of the sounds I use.like I mentioned earlier,I use FL Studio but I do not use its default sounds.not at all.I hav so many VSTs and at the end of the day,I end up not having sounds and samples that everyone who uses the same software has.and for my style I always experiment a lot and I ges that’s what brings out the creativity.I discover something new almost everytime I made a beat.I just dont stick to what I know or what someone else would have shown me.
Me: How does a beat come by for you? How do you create your beats…from the idea to that time you sit back and say “This is good”?
Jae Mac:it all depends..sometimes I just sit and I start playing around with keys and if something nice comes out of it I will lay it down and sumtyms a melody just starts in my head,I grab the keyboard and I lay it down.it just comes in so many ways man.sometimes I cant even explain it!lol

Me: Let’s talk time wise…I mean personally I can not give an exact time frame of how long it takes me to complete a track, as it is never the same for any two track. How long does it take you to work on an instrumental?

Jae Mac:all depends on my mood man and how much I’ll be paying attention..sometimes I start on something,leave it and only finish it after a number of days.I finish some projects in a mater of minutes,some a matter of hours.
Me: So I’m sure many would like to know…is Jae Mac looking to be signed or is there something of that sort cooking in the background?
Jae Mac:well id wanna be signed if and only if I’m goin to be paid really good!!lol..
Me: I have learnt that it does not matter how good you are as a producer if you do not take your stuff out there. If you do not make it known…What methods are you using to get the music out?
Jae Mac:well the internet has been helping out a lot.social networks are really playin a major role in music distribution.and the songs I’ve produced been getting airplay too.
Me: I’ll make an inquiry on behalf of all artists out there who would like to work with you. What services does Jae Mac offer as a producer? Do you mix and master or are you focused merely on the instrumentals?
Jae Mac:I used to focus on instrumentals only but I’m moving into the mixing and mastering field too.its a field I really dont want to major in at the moment as it requires a lot of time.I dont want to push so much pressure on myself as I’m still studying.so if its just beats,feel free to holla anytime.
Me: As a producer what were your goals for 2012? And have you achieved everything you set out to achieve? If so congratulations…if not I would like to know what has hindered you from doing so?
Jae Mac:well I have achieved quite a lot.I so wanted to get frequent airplay and I been getting messages from family and friends telling me when my track is on radio and I been getting those messages quite a lot.however I feel I can even do better!.I managed to produce a track that made it on the Power Fm charts.last I heard it was on number 12 though.I worked with some artists I always used to look up to way before I started being serious with my music.an example is ill Ceey.I had 3 productions on his album and 2 on his mixtape.I also have a number of projects with Nox Guni who happens to be one of the top musicians in Zimbabwe at the moment.
Me: Finally what can we look forward to hearing from Jae Mac in the future? Any thing in the pipeline?
Jae Mac:well just expect good music!!lots and lots of good music coz that’s what I’m about!
Me: Many thanks for taking your time to let the world know more about Jae Mac. God speed with all your plans bro.
Jae Mac:Thank you!its been a pleasure!
If you would like to contact Jae Mac you can hit him up on
Twitter:@jaemacbeatz
Or to listen to his work: