Underground and BLACK Guest Mix 001: JAY SIMON

What better way to celebrate 4th of July than with this live awesome mix by label boss of Must Have Records and DJ, Jay Simon. Jay also lives in Atlanta, has been a friend of mine for the past few years, and one thing that has always been undeniable is his genuine love for the music. He’s the type of cat who’ll play you obscure records at his house accompanied by a full history of the artist, record, and how it came into his possession. This happened to me at his place yesterday actually, LOL. Aside from playing shows stateside and abroad he has a bi-monthly party here in Atlanta called “De Ja Vu”, where you catch him playing everything from Soul, Hip-Hop, Jazz, to Techno. He also was one of the people that was kind enough to help me learn how to DJ, and for that, of course, I am forever grateful. If you know Jay, you know he’s always got something to say, so in preparation for this mix Jay answered a few questions for us, thanks again Jay!

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your influences:  

My name is Jay Simon, I live in Atlanta, I DJ and run a record label called Must Have Records, and also produce a little bit. Influences could go on forever, I like to say I’m into and play soulful dance music, but I love hip-hop, jazz, reggae, new wave etc as well, anything that makes me feel something will influence me.

2. What is your view of the current state of underground dance music?

Depends on what you mean by underground, you don’t tend to hear about the real “underground” acts because they usually don’t pay for PR, or have powerful booking agencies behind them. When your name is all over all of the publications that cove “underground” dance music, and you’re touring internationally regularly, I’m not so sure how “underground” it is anymore. That being said, the nebulous “scene” isn’t in a great spot now. Great music and artists are still constantly being overlooked, and the popular cool thing to like isn’t actually good. There’s still good experiences to be had and music to listen to, if you know how to look, but most people don’t, and that’s a big issue.

3. How do you feel about Black representation in dance music?

Black people have been underrepresented given their creation of the art post rave days. As soon as it became popular and profitable in Europe, everything changed. The only people who seem to actually know house/techno are black forms of music that didn’t read a wikipedia article were the people who lived in the cities and eras where it was unquestionably a black thing. That being said, as long as white people control the money in dance music, e.g. the press, the venues, the booking agencies, the promoters etc, black people will always be underrepresented. New black/Latin kids into dance music tend not to be very interested in actually playing any older music at all, with few exceptions, leading white hipsters to dominate the impression of older black music on the new generation as well
4. What are you dreams, goals, aspirations for the future? 
Put out more records, play more gigs. Get in touch, I want to play your party.


Author: Ash Lauryn

Ash Lauryn is a DJ, Writer, and Radio Host from Detroit, currently based in Atlanta.

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