Producer JAE5 has told Music Week that “keeping it simple” is the key to making hit records, a lesson he took from working on J Hus’ Did You See, which recently passed the one million sales mark.
Taken from the East London rapper’s debut album Common Sense, which peaked at No.6 last year and has sold 192,237 copies to date, Did You See has shifted 1,022,535 copies, according to the Official Charts Company.
“For me, it’s about keeping it simple,” said the producer, who was speaking to Music Week for our latest Hitmakers feature.
“The radio really loves simple music. I just find the lead sounds that matter in a song for me now, the ones everyone’s going to catch onto, the vocal, and the bass and the drums. Everything else is just sprinkles, to make things look flowery. But those elements are the most important ones. If I’m aiming for a single, I try and keep it simple; as clean as possible.”
Did You See is J Hus’ biggest-selling single, with Bouff Daddy in second place on 476,622 sales. But JAE5, who produced the majority of Common Sense, said the rapper and his team spare little time for reflection.
“I don’t know if we’ve had a proper reflection, more like little moments. But we’ve not really sat down and had a conversation about it, we’re not really like that,” he said.
“It’s always about what’s next. We’re so hungry, we don’t feel like we’ve done anything. We’re grateful, but there are people that have had hits back to back – this feels like nothing. We haven’t even got a No.1 yet.”
The producer said he hopes that landmark will come when J Hus releases his second album, which is well underway.
“We can’t be sitting here talking about how big our song is, because we haven’t really done anything.”
For more on J Hus’ second album, stay tuned to musicweek.com in the coming days.
Click here to read our J Hus cover story from 2017, and click here to revisit what Black Butter Records co-president Joe Gossa had to say about the rapper’s talent.
Read a Rising Star interview with J Hus’ managers Moe Bah and Kilo Jalloh here.
Subscribers can read the full interview with JAE5 here.
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