Producer Spotlight: Jay Orient

This series intends to shine light on the producers around Australia, praising and appreciating their hard work, this week, the spotlight is on producer Jay Orient, of Gratis Minds.

Jay Orient is an up-and-coming producer who is part of NSW Hip-Hop group Gratis Minds. We had a chat to the young artist on his production style, what to expect from him and Gratis Minds in 2017 and what producer will feature in next weeks Producer Spotlight.


How did you get into producing, and in particular, Hip-Hop production?

When I was a young fella I played Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 on my Sony PlayStation 2 heaps (shout out ps2). One of the tracks on there was Moment of Truth by Gang Starr. That shit resonated with me from there on, basically introducing me to Hip-Hop in general.

I used to tap my fingers a lot when was in high school, making rhythms on the desk and shit. I started taking drum lessons but never really stuck with it. I always knew I loved music though, as I grew up a bit I discovered all sorts of offshoots of Hip-Hop and began to fall in love with beats.

About 4 years ago a few of my mates were starting to write psy trance on FL Studio, which has never really been my type of shit to listen to. So I downloaded a copy of FL myself and started to mess around with beats, I barely knew how to use the program though so those beats were terrible.


How would you describe your style?

Unorthodox, raw and organic. I like to maintain a very loose and natural feel with my music by leaving all of the elements of the beat un-quantized. My 404 has contributed a lot to that mind state. In terms of mixing, I’m still learning heaps but my sound definitely retains the rawness. My style seems to be evolving into a very diverse vortex of things lately, sometimes drawing from old styles and sometimes drawing from the new. I’ve even been messing with some house-type vibes lately. Basically I love a snare that slaps hard, a real thick bass line and some weird dusty-ass sample chopped up in there.

What artists/producers inspire you and your production?

I’ve gotta give it up to DJ Premier cause he pretty much got me into beats. Slum Village, Quasimoto, Gang Starr, Jaylib too. I grew up on Outkast, and ATLiens/Aquemini is embedded into my life. My records are a massive source of inspiration for me simply for the fact I can find some random dope music from like Brazil or China in a dusty crate at some op-shop and draw from that.

J Dilla, pause. Samiyam, DIBIA$E and Earl Sweatshirt’ beats are crazy. Earthtone III, Kaytranada, Elaquent, Chuck Strangers, Larry Fisherman too. Flying Lotus’ beats blow my mind, that dude really inspired me to branch out and get weird with my music.

You’re a part of NSW Hip-Hop group Gratis Minds, how did you guys form?

Before I really even started properly writing beats Jon Doe and Tay D were rapping together as Free Minds. I had known Tay since I was a little snot-nose and I met Jon Doe over a conversation on Joey Badass’ 1999 about 5 years ago out the front of a coffee joint. Everything kind of clicked once we started working together.


How has the process been, working in a group as opposed to solo?

I think because of how long we have known each other and how tight we are, the process of writing comes really naturally, and once we catch that wave, we’re on one. I try to keep a more structured, less busy sound for the Gratis Minds stuff, whereas the Jay Orient beats are a bit more unpredictable and raw.

What can we expect from Gratis Minds in 2017?

More, more of everything. Music, shows, videos and merch. We’re really trying to move outside the box with our next few tracks so keep your ears out for some fresh Gratis Minds, bigs ups to Jon Doe and Tay D man, those dudes push me to better myself everyday, and they both also got some heaters cooking.

Are there any exciting projects you’re currently working on outside of Gratis Minds? 

There isn’t heaps I can share, but Ive been working on this 10-track instrumental tape for a while now and its pretty much done, I’m really keen to get that out I feel like it represents me really well. I’m sitting on heaps of beats, so you never know what might come out. Shout-out Leeze, we got a couple things in the works at the moment as well.

Quick-fire questions

Favourite Hip-Hop artists in Australia right now:
Gallus, Z Lewis, ELK, Tay D, Astro Travellers, Jesswar, Jon Doe, RARI, Midas.Gold

Favourite Australian Hip-Hop producers right now:
mgkrp ,Sensible J, tomtom, Yumo, Harvey, where two, Jangus, Nice Right Now

Favourite Australian producers right now (non Hip-Hop):
cool gamer2, Kraznov, Flume, my man Tysie, Wolf, Nice Right Now, Yumo

What Australian (Hip-Hop) producer have you selected for next weeks Producer Spotlight?
Im tagging in Yumo from BNE, the dude is supremely versatile, and he’s a lord.


Catch Brisbane producer Yumo on next weeks edition of Producer Spotlight.


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Written by Jarrod van der Staay

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