John ‘Jay’ Shepheard’s interest in music began as a toddler with a passion for percussion – banging pots and pans with wooded spoons! To combat this most anti social of hobbies his parents presented him with a percussion practice pad and drums sticks. 10 yeas down the line as a young teenager he was drumming for two of his high school bands.
The drumming continued after school and Jay began gigging on the London pub circuit with a jazz funk band and a heavy metal band on alternate weekends. It was around this time in the mid nineties that Jays older sisters ‘rave tapes’ recorded from the London pirates began finding there way onto the bedroom cassette deck and love affair with electronic music was born.
From the tail end of the Rave scene and with a love of percussion still strong in his bones it was a logical progression (no puns) into the booming world of the Jungle movement taking over London at the time. Naturally decks and sampler came next as Jay become immersed in this fascinating new world of sounds.
The clubs and night life soon opened the door to the early UK garage scene and not long after that the discovery of house undoubtedly shaped his musical direction for the future.
At around age 19 Jay got his first experience of the industry side of music working as unior press officer at Brixton based music PR company Reverb. Here he worked along side labels such as Atlantic Jaxx, Roule, Chilly Funk and ironically Compost!
It was also around this time that Jay, with his sister and a few other friends co-founded the infamous London underground party ‘Push It’ – witch subsequently shook various east London basements for the next 6 years.
At age 21 and with a love of DJing in full swing, Jay took a year out of London to complete a DJ residency in the Cayman Islands – a job hooked up by a chance meeting with a Caymanian promoter in an all night diner the year before…
On returning to London Jay was itching to express the music in his own mind and quickly got a Job as studio hand at south London based ‘Studio 207′ used by, amongst others, Basement Jaxx and Mutiny.
It was also around this time that Jay first began working part time at the on line record store Juno, recording sound clips for the website in the evenings to make ends meet.
Jays studio skills soon benefited form the exposure at ’207′ and a year or so later his first releases came out under the name John Julian (first and middle names) on the Sounds Like Soul imprint run by fellow Juno employee Adam ‘The Doc’ Roberts.
At the time his productions were Deep House to the core and along side the SSL releases Jay also put out a string of white labels that he produced, manufactured and distributed himself.
In the years that followed Jay moved through the ranks at Juno and with 5 years record shop work experience under his belt Jay now has a broad influence base for his current productions. These mainly focus on classic, itaol and nu disco, US, deep, and acid House right through vintage Techno and the modern minimal sounds. Jays recent productions combine many of these influences but always lean toward the warm, retro, vintage electronic sounds that first time around he was too young to experience…