The self-taught London DJ will take part in a year-long Music Production & DJ Diploma course.
We announced details of the Young Producers scholarship back in February. Valued at £14,000, it focuses on the Middlesex University-accredited Music Production & DJ Diploma course at Point Blank's London studios, and also offers mentoring and gig opportunities, with the goal of developing a new generation of electronic music talent.
Tailor Jae, real name Jess Boateng, is a self-taught DJ with a penchant for bass-heavy sounds. She's played London venues including The Nest and Village Underground, while also appearing with guest mixes on Rinse FM and Radar Radio. Read the Q&A below to learn more about her.
Tell us a bit about your musical background.
I don't have any formal musical training. I almost learnt the piano when I was around 8 but that didn't work out. I am a self-taught DJ, so a lot of what I've picked up has been through trial and error as well as watching other DJs on nights out or online.
As I began to learn, I started playing a mixture of dance music, mainly club-friendly tunes, then slowly detoured into mostly house. Moving onto university I found that my choice in music wasn't being received well, and that's when I conformed and learnt to play hip-hop and R'n'B. I didn't like the act of conforming but that seemed to be the only way to get a few sets.
I continued on the house path but I was losing love for the sound. It started to become monotonous to me. So I reached a breaking point and said I'm going to go back to being myself and playing what I truly love, which is a mixture of everything, and play it how I want.
How would you describe yourself as a DJ right now?
Raw. I say that in a sense where, as a DJ, my approach is very raw. It's not exactly neat, where everything makes sense. I'll often listen to tunes and try and find ways to link them in a non-obvious way. I like to be surprised by DJs and so I like to try and do the same thing.
What have been the highlights for you so far in your development and career as a DJ?
I guess [one highlight is] going from hardly getting opportunities to play, to winning a major DJ competition (Mixmag's DJ Quest 2017) that was judged on skill and ability. It gave me confidence in myself and the sounds and vibes I enjoy. I was finally able to completely be myself and see a reward from it. Another major highlight was being able to play alongside Jaguar Skills and have great feedback from him on my set. I love his fearless approach to DJing, so to get nice feedback from him was super cool.
What do you hope to get out of the scholarship?
I hope to get a new perspective. I love the fact that now I actually get to study things I genuinely enjoy, so I hope that I'll see an improvement in my skills, but also in the belief that I can actually fulfill the visions I have in my mind of going global. I think this will help me find the missing links to make that happen.
Are there any areas in particular that you’re looking forward to focusing on?
Being a DJ only and studying the industry, it's clear that having a knowledge of production is helping to propel artists to new levels. So I'm very excited to get to grips with production and in particular sound design, and understanding how to create sounds and the technical details behind that will definitely open up my creativity. I'm also looking forward to [learning about] the music business, in particular branding. I think it will help me to solidify myself in a professional aspect.
What are your aspirations in music?
I just aspire to be the best DJ I can be and to show others that sticking to who you are in every aspect, from the music you enjoy to your style of DJing, is enough. I also definitely want to teach to some degree, or mentor people that seek to not only get into the industry but dominate the industry, which is my plan. If I could make one sick tune, that makes you want to fly-kick your Grandma that would be amazing, haha. I'm so open to whatever comes my way, I don't want to state too much, I just want to see what happens.
I have to play Ultra Miami one day too, haha!