It's that time again when I get to share my thoughts and feelings about Life and what moves me. I thought about my circle and the people that are really out there living and going after their dreams. Jay Stilla came to mind. He was my younger cousins friend from high school. The kid was crazy, funny and so full of energy. At one point I hired him at a retail chain I was working for, he drove me nuts calling out sick from partying all night, coming to work with crazy hairstyles and just DIFFERENT! Aside from his craziness, Jay was a great guy. He always made everyone laugh and put in extra hours for me when I needed him at work. One thing that stood out more than his hair was his love for music. I remember he was messing around with his friend Marlon (MDot) rapping and playing with his keyboard, creating beats, writing lyrics and having fun doing it. That was more than 17 years ago. Today Jay Stilla is a respected Music Producer, well known in the Bay Area for his underground sound, unique mixes and eclectic style. He's a self-made entrepreneur and his empire continues to thrive. I have so much love and respect for Jay. Despite his accomplishments he stays humble and grateful, always giving back to his community and supporting so many different charities. By sharing his story I hope to inspire all the young people out there who need positive roll models, especially the ones from our neighborhood in San Francisco! Thank you Jay for sharing your talent and your dreams.
If you want to learn more about Jay Stilla and his music please visit his websitewww.thebeatcellar.com, follow him on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram@jaystilla.
What inspired you to start The Beat Cellar?
I was initially inspired to start The Beat Cellar to create a platform of sorts to use as a tool for my team of artists to gain exposure in the music/entertainment industry. The Beat Cellar was, and still is, in essence, an independent music label. But through my experiences (successes and failures) and growth (industry savviness) in what I, along with my artists' and team members have built, The Beat Cellar has evolved into much more than a music conglomerate - we've become a brand that represents creativity, community togetherness and outreach, unity amongst our peers, and a connection we all share (if we allow to do so) in this line of work. We constantly challenge ourselves to become better at our crafts, create better music while maintaining out own musical identity, and we also try to make a difference in our community when and wherever we can. I'm thankful and proud of my team and I hope our bodies of works, both in community outreach and music production, influence those who follow us to do the same.
Who in your life was your biggest influence?
I don't have one specific influence I have many. In my childhood years, I credit a lot of my family members for influencing me to become involved with music. My older brother Rene, who has been playing the drums (double bass kit) and guitar ever since I can remember, planted a seed in me at around 5 years old. My Uncle Rich (RIP) and Uncle Arthur played the piano and guitar at every family gathering during the holidays, playing oldies like The Commodores, a lot of Earth, Wind, and Fire, Santana, Van Halen (early years), Lionel Richie, The Stylistics, and The O' Jays, which definitely inspired me to play instruments. Other influences I had later on in my teenage years when I started producing my own music were producers like Black C (RBL), Khayree, JT (Figg Panamera), then on to E-A-SKI, Dr. Dre, Mannie Fresh, The Neptunes, (early) Kanye, and Timbaland (along with Missy Elliot) among others.
Tell me about a time where you wanted to give up your dream… What helped you to continue?
There were a few times I felt discouraged and no longer wanted to continue working in the music/entertainment industry, but family, friends, and prayers kept me going. There was a time in my life when I was serving in the US Military, I felt disconnected from music and my friends (music group), I stopped making music for a couple of months - maybe 7 months or so. I prayed to GOD about what I was doing and what I should be doing with music many nights, and at the end of that 7-month stint, I somehow was drawn back to making music. I realized then that I couldn't stop (making music). Being involved in music is who I am and if I had music removed from my life, I wouldn't be happy. My faith drives me, my physical form allows me to do what I do, and GOD guides me to where I need to go. Nowadays, I do a lot more than produce music, I manage the business, I help develop artists, I dabble in merchandising, I oversee projects, and I collaborate with others to put together fundraisers and other events. Everything I mentioned helps me keep going because there is so much to do and so much ground to cover.
What legacy do you want to leave?
My legacy? I want to be remembered as someone who followed their dreams, someone who dedicated their life to perfecting their craft, a GOD fearing man who tried to make a difference when and where he could within the community, and someone who tried to influence others to do better and be better than they thought possible. I would like to be an example for future generations to see what I've done, see my accomplishments, what I've tried to accomplish, take that, and bring it to the next level being an inspiration to others.