Likkle Jay has had a passion for production since she was a little girl. Now, at just 23-years-old, she is working hard to pursue her dream job.
Hertfordshire based producer Likkle Jay has been creating and producing music since she was a young girl, her nickname sticking with her. She got into producing, or at the time making simple beats, when she was about nine years old. Her dad taught her how to sequence and use software such as Fruity Loops, sparking a childhood hobby and a passion for making music.
Up until she was 16, Likkle Jay was self-taught, practicing and creating with software at home. She then decided to do a Music Technology course, where she not only improved her composition skills but also learnt how to engineer, working on recording, with live sound and learning how to mix and master.
Likkle Jay is passionate about production because of the creative freedom it allows her. “I love being creative and being able to bring an idea to life from scratch” she says. When asked what inspired her to consider production as a career path, she is not short of answers. “What inspired me is the music I grew up listening to. My biggest inspirations include Timbaland, Michael Jackson and Missy Elliot, to name just a few,” says music lover Jay. She is determined for others to be as passionate about her own music. “I love an artist either because their music is unique, because it makes me want to dance or just because it makes me feel good,” she says “that’s what I want to do with my own music.”
In the Grammys 59-year history, only six women have ever been nominated for the Producer of the Year award. A 2017 survey by the Music Producers Guild in the UK found that only 6% of it’s members were women. The biggest issue is that women who work in technical fields, like production, are not seen or recognized nearly enough. “I think it is very important to encourage and support girls to get into the technical side of music,” Jay says, “so many girls have the talent to do so, they just don’t know how to or have never thought about it, as it is such a male dominated industry.”
However, steps are being taken in the industry to encourage and support young girls who want to produce, as Likkle Jay has experienced this year. “I’ve been to a few music networking events this year where I’ve met so many talented musicians, a lot of which are girls! I’ve been able to work with some of them too which has been great,” she says. One particular project has had a big impact on her career and confidence this year. She was involved in Nexxt Step: Women In Music, a project launched by Radio 1XTRA DJ Sian Anderson, managed by Emma Stephens and with Komali Scott-Jones as A&R. The project, aimed at supporting women of colour in the music industry, brought together a small group of 18-24 year olds to create and release an EP. “The EP we created, Behind Every Great City, which I contributed to production wise has definitely benefited my career,” says Jay “I’ve had my first radio plays and even playlisting on Apple Music and Spotify.”
Likkle Jay is planning to continue working hard next year. “I want to work with a lot of artists and really showcase my production more,” she says. In particular, Jay is excited about an upcoming project with singer-songwriter Josh Kai, saying that “it’s definitely one to look out for”.
Visit soundcloud.com/likklejay and listen to Behind Every Great City on Spotify and Apple Music now.