This project is really just an experimental phase of my production, where I was working with new sounds and just really having fun!
-JayDottCee, Musician (UK)
JayDottCee's music is incredibly intimate to me. All the sounds feel close to the listener, and seem to hit boldly with a sense of romanticism or reflection. I feel this is why Viewfinder Party's photography matches nicely with the visual identity here - a photograph probably feels more 'real' than an illustration in this instance. The title Twilight Terminal suggests the listener is placed into this physical location, ready to take flight to a new land.
-Damon Broussard, Twilight Grooves
If you know how something’s going to look or sound before you create it, that can take away the fun and magic of the creative process. The creative process should be an adventure, curious, playful, like following unseen pathways that you can feel or sense, but not fully knowing where they will lead. All the while trusting your experience, creative instincts, and need to connect with others will see the project through the various twists, bumps, and turns along the way. Twilight Terminal by JayDottCee is one such project that leads the way in this kind of joyful, explorative style of creation.
My creative process varies a lot depending on what I'm working on, but I usually start with either the drums or laying down the chords first. I find myself starting with drums a lot lately, and I enjoy it the most. Then I move on to the bass, because the bass player and drummer are usually like best friends when playing in a band. I approach my production like a live band performing music. -JayDottCee
JayDottCee explored new sounds, textures, and techniques during the making of Twilight Terminal, and as if to say, ‘Hey man, we got you - you’re not gonna hang in the breeze all by yourself…’ the creative team at Behind Walls Media followed suit. We didn’t stick to the script on this one and we weren’t afraid of trying new things:
Damon's thoughts on the project:
The most challenging aspect was the typography. We usually don't do much typographic work as it's not yet a strength, but with this project we stepped into the challenge. As for "what" font to use, my first references were fonts you would see at airports, for obvious reasons. After some research I noticed Sans Serif, plain-style fonts were common in these areas. Luckily our label's default branding font, "Raleway", was a great natural candidate for that (laughs). And the composition of the photo made it easy to decide the placement, using the rule of thirds a bit to find the sweet spot. I also decided to abbreviate "Terminal" for aesthetic reasons. These decisions were hard to make due to a lack of experience in the area, but overall we feel it came out excellently.
Calling on the artistic design familiarity of the graphic designer, Viewfinder Party, we felt confident taking risks and exploring the creative process a bit more:
JayDotCee's first project with our label back in July of 2021, “Grapefruit”, first featured artwork by Viewfinder Party. We really liked his design ideas and it seemed to help push JayDotCee's emerging brand identity. Vague, romantic concepts, bold colors, wrapped in photorealism felt like the right balance for not only JayDottCee’s music, but for the emerging label, Twilight Grooves, as well.
-Damon Broussard, Twilight Grooves
Some of my biggest inspirations are other talented producers I look up to, such as: Nujabes, J Dilla, Kanye West, IAmNobodi, Gravez, J-Louis, J.Robb & Monte Booker. They all inspire me in different ways and for different reasons - which is evident in my music. Nujabes inspires me because of the storytelling in his music, and the way his music captures you and takes you on a journey. J Dilla does the same, but the bounce and soul in his music inspires most producers and musicians. Kanye West's sampling and genuis production speaks for itself and has been an inspiration for me in how I approach sampling and producing. IAmNobodi, Gravez, J-Louis, J.Robb and Monte Booker are producers I listened to a lot of when I first started producing and have been a fan of a lot of their work ever since. They are renowned producers in the industry that all have their own unique individual styles that have inspired me in many ways as I have progressed and developed my own sound. I have taken notes from all of these producers and still continue to learn every day from them and more.
You can hear the way JayDottCee takes his cues from hip hop, jazz, and 70’s retro funk, but is exploring them from his perspective, his background in grime, drill, UK garage, and his take on what music should feel like, sound like. Check it:
“Aim high” is upbeat, funky, & stripped down - sounds like a band is playing together - with piano, funky expressive bass, sharp drums living tightly on the holy downbeat, and guitar magically appearing in the middle section, adding a little lightness to the groove.
“Streets” is a grimy, playful, romp in the alleyway. This groove indeed carries the ‘streets’ in with it, some broken glass on the bottom of the shoe, or perhaps a slightly nervous glance over the shoulder, make sure nobody’s following me…
“Eden” has an ethereal, retro (think 70’s late night movie vibe), and rhythmic layering intro to this head-bobbing, punchy ballad. Yes, a punchy ballad. Tons of downbeat when the bass/drum combo hit into it, the vibe just takes off, like the airplane in the artwork…
“Heaven” is jazzy, concise, and flowing. This feels like a late-night walk down a hotel hallway. Is this my floor? Bouncy beats and watery bass runs live nicely beside the smooth chord progression, reminiscent of late 70’s jazz grooves of Steely Dan or Weather Report.
“Love or Lust” - The eternal question, which one is it? This upbeat and direct study of the two feelings showcases JayDottCee’s sophisticated bass playing and dynamic production chops. The drums and bass create an urgency, a raw drive created by rhythmic accuracy and melodic ingenuity. His bass playing is fluid, saucy, percussive, melodic, and the tone is somewhere between “growly” and “golden” - such a great sound! “Love or Lust” is a gorgeous pendulum swinging between the gradual vibe and warm flow of ‘love’, and the raw, urgent, and necessary grind of ‘lust’ - well done, JayDottCee. Dude nails it -
Sometimes we don’t know what we’re making when we set out to make it. The creative process isn’t a cookie-cutter experience, it’s a journey. We feel the need to say something, we martial our resources, and we get to work. We get on a figurative plane. We may have an idea of what we want to the outcome to sound or feel like, but the exact destination is not known. With Twilight Terminal the journey is the thing. That goes for both JayDottCee the musician and Behind Walls Media the creative agency. Knowing where we want to land can limit our approach or our outcome, and through this project we reinforced the idea that it’s best sometimes just to explore the creative process and land where we land.
This project is probably my best project to date and I'm excited to share it with the world. This was a journey for me and I love the idea of me flying through so we called this project 'Twilight Terminal' as a reflection of my journey and release with 'Twilight Grooves'. I had a lot of fun making this one too, and the inspiration when making this is evident throughout the project. There are a lot of Hip Hop elements in this project and it just shows how much experimenting I did. -JayDottCee