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Music of Sunday, 23 May 2004


Jay Q, The Guru Of Beats

Jay Q It came as no surprise when Jay Q was adjudged the Sound Engineer of the Year at the 5th edition of the Ghana Music Awards because he really deserved it. The other forms of beats and especially the 'jama' beats have been accepted into the Ghanaian music industry with ease and alot of musicians are trooping to Jay Q for good quality beats.
Jeffery Tennyson Quaye aka Jay Q attended the New Charter Preparatory School and then proceeded to Wesley Grammar School from form one (1) to form five (5) in the year 1989 where he offered Arts. He then continued his 6th form education at the Extra Moral Academy, where he completed in 1996. He used to attend the Oriental School of Music at Orion whilst in school.

He started his main studio work in 6th form at the Studio Fredimah in Adabraka. His parents Comfort Agyin Tetteh and Jeffery Tennyson Quaye didn?t like the idea. His mum was then working with SNNIT whiles the Dad was a psychiatrist so they thought of helping him further his education in order for him to be in a better position.

Later on, the renounced house of Music in Ghana known as the CHM studio at Mataheko where top sound engineers like Zapp Mallet and Zola were operating handpicked him because Zapp left in 1998. Jay Q was therefore taking to replace him and that was when he did the 'Komi Ke Kena' instrumental for Buk Bak which was an instant hit in the 90's.

That same year, he made tremendous instrumentals for the group VIP who were then coming out with their first album  titled 'Rana Sala'. That album made noise on the airwaves and received massive airplay partly due to the works of Jay Q. In the year 2000, CHM was closed down due to the fact that the place was going to be renovated but it was never done till today.

He then moved to Virtual Sound Lab which is opposite the Spacefon office on the graphic road. There, he did the 'Klu brofu' instrumental for the group Buk Bak, 'Monkey chop banana' beat for Nkasei and many more artistes. During that same period, he started recording VIP?s hit album 'Ahomka Womu', an album of Tripple M, King David and more.

"I decided to be a freelance sound engineer due to the money being given to me by the studio owners and some other reasons I will keep to myself" Jay Q said. Later on, when he left the Virtual Sound Lab, the place was sold. He then moved to Hush Hush Studios. Hush Hush studios uses the best and  most expensive software called the pro-tools which no other studio in Ghana has. So, he decided to stay there and do all his recordings because the pro-tools is a software that can be used to do marvelous instrumentals. "It gives me the best beats and enables me to bring the best in me" he added. 

"This software has kept me as a permanent worker in Hush Hush Studios despite the fact that I am a freelance sound engineer". One unique thing about that software is that it is used not  only for music but also for movies especially in America. ?In fact it gives me what I want and also creates the environment for me to bring out what is in me? Jay Q said.

Jay Q uses a lot of machines in the studio but he likes the NS10 studio monitor when mixing. He also likes the S500 sampler digital sampler which gives him the chance to sample sounds he doesn?t have in his sound library and when it comes to vocals, he likes the Clarel in the box. He has made many hits but the magic all started at Hush Hush studios where he did beats for artistes like 4x4 (Siklitele), Castro (Sradinam), Asaase Aban (Sokode), VIP (Ahomka Wo Mu), Mr. Oduro and many more.
Jay Q happens to have a lot of guys who come around for help so that they can also come out with an album but he is unable to meet their needs at the same time due to financial constraints. So, he decided to come out with a compilation album where he will bring together both the upcoming and old artistes for the new or upcoming artistes to get the opportunity to be known.

Some artistes on the compilation are guys like Castro, Dr Poh, Taliban, Mega Shuta, Chicago, Pop skini, Buk Bak, 4x4, Toyota, King Shaka, Shilo and Triple M. Jay Q was the producer of this album as well as the owner of the record label known as the Q-lex entertainment.

Q-lex entertainment is trying to team up with RST entertainment and come out with 'BBA' which is the Bad Boys Agency. They will not focus on only music but also in other things.

?I am really for Africa? says Jay Q. Jay Q talking to Ghana music said "if we don?t try our possible best, a time will come that Ghana won?t be known for a particular rhythm and that is what I am trying to fight against now. Jay Q calls his instrumentals the Afro pop. No wonder in most of his songs you could hear the xylophone, the shakers, the claps, konkers etc. to the extent that almost every Ghanaian who hears his instrumental describes it as the jama beat.

Jay Q started with gospel initially but had to switch from that angle due to reasons best kept to himself.  He did Suzzie and Matt's first album, he also recorded an album for Jane and Bernice, Osuani Afrifa, Owusu Akya and some other Choirs. He also recorded some albums for cultural bands like Wulomei and others. Jay Q says he has no plan to work for the whites but rather prefers staying in Africa and working for Africa. He added that some white engineers call him on his phone wanting to know more about him and work with him.

Jay Q won the Best Engineer of the Year award during the recent Ghana Music Awards. Most of the artistes who won the awards are boys from his camp and an example is the group VIP who won as many as six awards.

This year he is coming out with new albums from Kokoveli, Obuor, Dr Poh, Kwaade and many more. His word to everybody out there is that "stay tuned for this is just the beginning" and you can also email me at or call him on this phone number 233 24 4281621.