Interview: Jamie Kaye (The Cut)
Jamie Kaye, aka the frontman of The Cut has been heralding about KL for a while now. From being the most vocal judge on Astro’s Hitz Spin Master Quest to throwing down beats at Sultan Lounge, Jamie Kaye bred in North England, now based in Sydney is ripping up the decks with a whole new take on house music. After a hit single ‘Gimme Head’ back in 2008 which featured on compilation CDs by Ministry of Sound, Onelove, Pacha and Global Gathering, the DJ with swagger has been playing at clubs spanning the globe. We collected his thoughts on the Malaysian clubbing scene (which he thinks is suffering), his love of Kings of Leon and his all out performance at Sensation White.
How’s it going Jamie?
Has anyone told you that you look like Clive Owen?
He actually looks like me.
You’re a repeat offender here in KL, what keeps bringing you back and what drew you here in the first place?
Work. I got booked here and that’s it. I played for the King’s Inauguration, there was a big festival about 3 years ago called Live & Loud. It was a gig with Whitney Houston of all people.
How was your first Malaysian crowd experience?
You know what, it’s different wherever you go in the world. You have to be quite pragmatic. In Malaysia it’s a very alcohol driven environment, when the alcohol kicks in about 1, it gets very fun but prior to that, you have to kind of structure your sets differently. If you’re playing records too big it kind of ruins their ability to communicate, which is what people really want to do when they get pissed.
Are you based in England at the moment or are you in Australia?
I’m 100% Australian now, based in Bondi, Sydney.
What do you think about the KL dance scene?
I think it’s suffering, I think it’s really without an identity at the moment. I don’t often have to tailor the way I play and now I’ve learned from experience since I’ve been here that I need to go to the gigs the week before and see what the DJs are playing because there’s no latitude to go and play what you want to play. Australia and Europe, they’re kind of in a progressive dance scene, and you’re employed to go and play new music. It’s really frowned upon to play old, big classics. While here, it’s kind of dominated by that type of bleepy Dutch sound, which I really can’t stand. Or you’ve really got to hand it to your audience which isn’t a bad thing, but I think a lot of the DJs that are here play so many different styles in their sets, there is no tech house DJ, or techno DJ, everyone’s just kind of playing everything. Which is different.
How’d you get started DJing?
I’m old enough to have been there right at the very beginning, I had records. That was my entry. There was very few people who had records then, who had that style of music. I didn’t mean to do it, slowly but surely as the scene developed, there was no superstar DJs then. If you had records and you were close to the event, you got the gig. When I hit my 20s, it progressed to the point where the money was good. It was still the same money that builders would get, but for 3 hours a week of work, it’s a pretty cushy little job. Then it just got better and better and I was able to hang on to the tail end of it. I started off in the North of England, in Blackburn where there were all the illegal raves. I was there right when it happened, it was very good fun.
How would you describe your current sound?
I’m just going through a bit of a transition actually, we’ve been really pop like for the last year, which wasn’t a conscious decision. Our sound just became popular, so I’m trying to move away from it a little bit because now everybody’s making that sound. There’s a lot of people copying one another, it’s like that Dutch sound, it’s reaching it’s end point, it can’t really go anywhere so there’s a big traffic jam of Dutch sounding songs ready to come out. I’m kind of moving a little bit more house-y. Old, kind of American house, just a bit bigger.
Is The Cut just you or are there other people involved?
The Cut’s weird. I’ve always been the frontman for it, but there’s Jeremy my partner who likes to be in dark rooms. There’s probably about 4 of us who drift in and out, from the production point of view. I’m just the one Cut DJ.
What sort of music are you listening to these days?
Oh man, I never listen to dance music. I’m re-falling in love with Kings of Leon, kind of went off them for a little while. I love all their albums, but I really like their 2nd one. I’m more of a rocker than I am a house head.
What are some of the best events that you’ve played at?
Do you know what? I get asked that question every time, and the answer’s different every single time. The most impressive gig I’ve every played was the Sensation White party in Sydney last year. They flew me there on a private jet which was awesome, I’ve never been on before and I’ll never get on one again! It was really scary. Every gig is my best gig. They’re all awesome, the ones where people dance.
To hear some of his cutting edge music, visit www.myspace.com/thecut2010.