SAE London Audio student and the story behind the Tamil Rap Game

12 Jan 2018

From the age of 11, SAE London Audio student Jay Jeyananthan has been interested in music production. This passion has developed from learning how to play the keyboard in music lessons on the weekend, to crafting a hip hop track from the creative recesses of his bedroom.

It was, in fact, in his music lessons that he learnt about SAE. “One of the teachers there was an SAE Student who studied Audio. Before meeting him I didn’t even know that studying Audio Engineering was an option, he was the one that told me about SAE and the course and I have wanted to attend ever since. And now I’m here!”

Now studying at SAE London, Jay is showcasing his talent through his work on various projects. The music video for his latest project has recently been released (see below), receiving almost 12,000 views on YouTube in a matter of weeks.

While throwing various ideas around for a new track with his close mates, Jay suggested the idea of a rap battle and from there they all embarked on the musical project that became the Tamil Rap Game.

Featuring Kuruji, MC Starboy and Saf Weezy, Jay produced the entire track in his home studio, taking on the role of composer, instrumentalist, arranger, recording engineer, mixing engineer and mastering engineer.

He comments: “This is something that all ‘bedroom producers’ have to do as we like to be locked up in our dark rooms trying to avoid as much human contact as possible.”

Jokes aside, Jay had a clear vision for the track. Not wanting it to be infused with a pop sound - a style that an increasing number of other rappers are adopting - instead, Jay wanted the talent of each rapper to shine through. Looking back at the roots of hip hop, Jay took inspiration from old-school Scott Storch tracks such as Still D.R.E and Westside Story by The Game. As a result, the sound is focused on the lyrics and the rap instead of being overly produced.

As well as in Tamil Rap Game, Scott Storch’s influence can be heard in elements of Jay’s other tracks, as well as Timbaland - both of them being his favourite producers. When it comes to musical inspiration Jay’s piano-playing childhood resonates as he still classes Ludovico Einaudi a key role model.

Jay’s time on the Audio Production degree at SAE has taught him various skills, one of the main ones being that ‘less is more’ when it comes to engineering and mixing a track.

He explains: “With modern DAWs it allows us to go crazy when it comes to processing audio, which results in us overlooking the main aspect of the project which is the music. Just because something can be done, it doesn’t mean that you need to do it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Unless the singer you are working with can’t hold a note, then you do have to fix it I’m afraid.”

With Jay’s clear drive and knowledge, he is unsurprisingly already getting recognised for his talent. His current project, which is a fellow SAE student’s (Chloe Louise) debut EP ‘Incorrect’, has stimulated the support of AEI group, who are willing to distribute it on all digital platforms once it’s completed.