Latest posts by Liya Swift (see all)
- Recording Connection mentor Don Heru on Having the Right Vibe - March 9, 2018
- Dax Liniere on Micing Up Drum Kits, Finding his Way, and Learning from the Greats - February 27, 2018
- Preparation Meets Opportunity for Recording Connection grad Diego Ayala - February 20, 2018
Jamaal Taylor aka Cy Kosis went from dropping out of college in New York to relocating to Los Angeles with the ambition of becoming a successful artist. Through Recording Connection and the time he spent with his former mentor Drew Kapner (Madonna, 21 Pilots, Jason Derulo), Jamaal was able to hone both his audio engineering and music production skills, going from a guy who liked to make songs on Garage Band, to a skilled, employable, musician and engineer. After graduating, Jamaal landed the coveted position as a DJ Tech and Front of House Engineer at Avalon Hollywood.
When he isn’t working at Avalon, Jamaal’s working on his own projects, making his own samples, and composing new songs with collaborator AmirSaysNothing. Being entrenched in the Hollywood music scene enables him to constantly make new connections. An offhand conversation one night in front of the club led to an opportunity which culminated in two of his songs in Sleight, the new Blumhouse Productions film (Get Out, Insidious, Oculus, Split). The two songs that landed on the Sleight soundtrack are named “Stick Up” and “S.O.G.” both of which are co-created by Jamaal and his constant collaborator and longtime friend AmirSaysNothing. When asked what his experience was like in the program Jamaal says:
My main intention coming in was learning more about the craft of being a music producer in the first place, because I had already been producing music and I had already recorded and I had already made random songs with my friends and stuff, but I wanted to take it to a more serious level and actually start making money from it and be able to make this what my life is. So I was like, ‘I need some sort of direction to go in because there are so many different directions to go in, in the music industry.’ So I needed to have someone be like, ‘This is what you should do, this is what you’re good at, this is what you’re not good at, this is what you need to work on.’ Eventually I think learning how to be a better music producer helped inform my decisions that I make now…I think learning the technical stuff and learning how to be an engineer in a studio setting definitely helped inform my job now, but also just being a music producer and learning how to deal with people and making certain connections in the industry is what’s gotten me that job in the first place. So I learned a lot.”
The fact that Jamaal makes his own samples made his music especially attractive for the music supervisor on the Blumhouse production. “When they found out that I didn’t use any samples and I made everything from scratch, that was when they sort of freaked out and were like, ‘Yes, we want this in the movie because we don’t have do clear anything.'”
So what’s next? Jamaal is still composing and creating new samples to add to his extensive library and he and AmirSaysNothing have a new management deal that promises more sync deals and soundtrack work in the near future. As Cy Kosis, Jamaal continues creating his own lush tracks and “cross-pollinating” various sounds and influences in his music.
Being a hybrid of artist, tech, beatmaker, and savvy connector has enabled Jamaal to go far, fast. Word to the wise: follow your bliss and develop a rich, multi-faceted skillset that makes you someone who can get the work that will sustain you while you push forward and create your art.