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Meet JAE5, the producer behind J Hus' Common Sense album

By Lola Mosanya
Newsbeat reporter

image copyrightIMRANMALIK.COM

Nominations for this year's Mobos are out with J Hus in the running for four awards.

The rapper's debut, Common Sense, is up for best album and Did You See was handpicked from the record as a contender for best song.

But neither would have been possible without one man. That's JAE5.

He's a 25-year-old producer from east London and J Hus says he wouldn't have managed the album without him. Newsbeat went to JAE5's studio to meet him.

"I went back home to Ghana and out of boredom I started playing on the computer DJing and trying to recreate grime music," he said.

He told us how he started producing beats in Africa where he lived from the age of 10 to 13.

"There wasn't a lot of internet access so I tried to recreate what we listened to back here [in England] once I got hold of Fruity Loops," he added.

He might have started by messing around on a computer but his tight production is now the soundtrack to a Mercury-nominated album.

image copyrightNewsbeat

Earlier this year Mobo suggested it could bring back its best producer category after a 20-year absence.

"Feedback is that we should bring back the best producer category," Mobo Tweeted back in August.

The category hasn't made the 2017 awards though but organisers insist it will return next year.

JAE5 supports the idea but says new producers need to get recognition in other ways too.

"I think British producers need more support from the artists. Like the love that the American artists give their producers," he said.

"You'll hear artists like Future shout-out to his producer on every song.

"With the UK, it was kind of a thing where you'd hide the producer and you wouldn't get a shout-out. We get much more love then we used to," he added.

He says he feels like he has found that support with J Hus.

"It's become more like a family friend kind of relationship.

"We started to spend a lot of time together to the point where he wouldn't go home for two weeks we'd just be in the studio together.

"I know what he likes musically and what he doesn't - it's nice to build a body of work with one person," he said.

But the connection didn't come easily. JAE5 put off his first session with the rapper for weeks.

"I didn't like sessions with rappers because they only wanted one type of beat, so they [J Hus' DJs] kind of forced me like, 'Yo, do the session'," he said.

"But then he [J Hus] was really open to doing anything, I'd play an indie beat and he would rap," he added.

image copyrightGetty Images

JAE5 says he wants to continue to work with more artists that will challenge him.

"I like artists and producers that are really far left from what I do, even indie artists so that I can learn some stuff.

"People with very unique voices. I like Maverick Sabre and there's the guy that sang Waves, Mr Probz , voices like that," he said.

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Related Topics

  • Music
  • Hip-hop