For The Hood: Interview with Jaycek (UK)

This spring’s best bass music events will take place already on this Friday at ETK Tartu and on Saturday at Von Krahl, presented by Europe’s best club music label Top Billin Music in cooperation with Hooligan Hamlet.

At the moment UK based sounds are the hottest thing in the worldwide club scene, grime is in the charts and on the radio, so therefore it’s just the right moment to celebrate this with UK based guest DJs and local heroes at a proper event.

We made a short interview with James Cooke aka Jaycek, who is one of the two producers visiting Tartu and Tallinn this weekend.

For The Hood: Interview with Jaycek (UK)

Tell us a little about yourself?

Yo, I’m James. I’m a producer and DJ originally from Oxford, but now living in East London. I’ve been making music for a few years now and I like melodic sounding stuff and synths that give me goosebumps.

I read your Q&A with Top Billin from 3 years ago and noticed that you didn’t have a vinyl collection at the time. What 12” can we find from your collection today?

Oh, I see. Yes well, my selection has slowly grown since then – not massively but grown non-the-less. I’m big on movie soundtracks so you’ll most likely find me in a dark room listening to the It Follows soundtrack by Disasterpeace. I do however have a Grand Canyon-sized soft spot for Phil Collins – ‘Easy Lover’, which I have on vinyl and listen to almost all the time. Apart from that a friend recently sent me Pharoahe Monch – ‘Simon Says’ on wax and I still think the instrumental for that is dope as fuck.

What is your most memorable event from the past few years?

The past few years have been strange for me. Musically, I have been making bits here and there, which I’m really excited about – but an event that has stood out dramatically would have to be moving down to London and starting work in the music industry. You don’t sleep much but you learn a lot about what happens behind the scenes.

What is your favourite part when producing music?

It’s always been the synth lines. Always trying out new sounds until you find something so weird you don’t even know if it sounds good – then playing around with it. I particularly like just laying down something simple than playing over it until I find what I’m looking for. All the music I’ve ever made could have sounded so different considering all of the different melodies I make before I bring myself back to the purpose of the track. I do however still like to mess around with vocals, then write underneath them to make whatever I’ve sampled sound exactly how I want It to.

What would you tell your 16 years old self now that you’re more experienced?

Wow, 16 –year-old me. That’s a difficult one. It’s easy to think about what I’d say to myself 3 years ago, but 10 is hard. Probably just not to worry about everything as much and just do whatever you want as long as you’re having fun. If you find something you love doing, which luckily I did, just have fun with it and don’t make it a chore.

How did your latest banger “Coming Up” with 4BZ come about?

Basically, I was trying out Ableton for the first time, playing around with stuff, and ended up making a beat I was pretty into. My friend Calvin and I, whom I met in Southampton, had been talking about making music together for a while – so I sent it his way. I completely forgot about the track until one day he sent me the beat back fully finished. I thought wow 4BZ went in on this so I sent it over to Sami and Heikki. So since then, we’ve been working on a few other things. There is one new beat I’m really excited to show people when It’s finished – but you’ll just have to wait and see.


Come and listen to Jaycek’s selection in Tartu and Tallinn.

Friday ETK Tartu
Saturday Von Krahl Tallinn