Rising British creative Jay Lewn has engineered for a bit of everyone from Gucci Mane to Machine Gun Kelly. Gifted with the talent of songwriting and creating music, he exists in a lane of its own. Last year, Jay left his digital footprint across the globe upon the release of his FORM 01 project. With standout cuts like “Zone 9” and “House in the Hills,” Jay Lewn proved to be someone interesting both behind the scenes and in front of the mic.
This year, Jay Lewn is gearing up for the release of his upcoming project Loverboy, said to explore the multi-faceted, twisted perceptions of love. With singles like “Topdown” and “Glitter Ain’t Gold” released in anticipation of the LP, Jay Lewn is on track to have his most fruitful and electrifying year yet.
Working on many preeminent projects and festivities over the years, Jay Lewn stops by Raydar Magazine to break down his engineering placements on records with Che Lingo, Harve, and more. Read our conversation with Jay Lewn below.
Che Lingo — “The Worst Generation” feat. Samm Henshaw
Che and I have been working together for the best part of three years so there is an ever-growing number of demos that may or may not see the light of day on my hard drives. Towards to end of Lockdown 1.0, Che called on me to come down to the Qube, a West-London studio, to work with executive producer Manon Dave on what would become Che’s debut album.
The title track features Samm Henshaw and all of us spent the session writing the track and laying down basic production. Che and Samm are powerhouse performers and laid down their vocals in no more than a couple of takes. I took the session home that week and added new drums and a string arrangement. Once it was locked I gave it a proper mix and we had the first record finished for Che’s debut album.
Jay Lewn — “Topdown”
“Topdown” was the first track I wrote and finished on the up-coming project, LOVERBOY. I was in New York for a couple of shows early last year and I wrote Topdown with writers LIIV and Jonah Shy. Once we had finished the session I went back to my Airbnb in Brooklyn and recorded the vocals there and then; something about this record felt so good! From New York, I flew to LA for another show and more writing sessions where I linked up with artist-producer, Elujay who programmed the drums and Kiefer Shackleford who blessed Topdown with the most incredible piano part.
Back in London, I was still working remotely with some musicians from New York and Bari Grant sent over his bassline. Despite the amazing team behind the record, there was still something missing so I asked GG to add additional guitars and the cherry on top was the beautiful horn arrangement by Mike Lesirge. It was definitely a lot of work to write, record, produce and mix “Topdown” but the final outcome was worth it in the end.
Harve — “Anything” feat. Fatima
Harve was introduced to me by a good friend of mine and we immediately hit it off. I’ve worked with them as a co-writer and producer, but for “Anything,” I took on the role of mixing engineer. Ofter overlooked, but mixing can be a very creative part of the record-making process especially when the artist lets you explore ideas you have when listening to the record. Harve was very open-minded with my approach and we spent a couple of sessions working through the mix trailing different effects and arrangements to really bring the most of the record. And of course, any record that has a Fatima feature is a real blessing to work on.
88Rising — “Asia Rising Forever”
88Rising has been one of my favorite labels and media platforms for a minute so when I was asked to mix the live performances for the Asia Rising Forever Digital Festival last year I was so gassed! All artists involved performed one of their singles and a cover of their choice so it was amazing to hear some of my favorites reimagine songs they had never played before.
Personal highlights were Beabadoobee covering Elliot Smith’s “Between the Bars” and Yuna covering “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee. I was able to work remotely from London the entire time as a large amount of the preparation was during the early stages of lockdown. It really was a testament to the team demonstrating what could be achieved despite all that was going on globally.
Check out our previous Behind The Records with Maliyah here!