Live in the Garden was created by J. Braye after years of wanting to showcase his friends to the world. It happened now here we are.
About J. Braye (@iamjbraye)
J. Braye is a music executive located in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Born and raised in Chesapeake, VA, life was all about basketball and music. J. Braye was always exposed to music as early as he could remember. His father played jazz music CDs daily. Even though he hated jazz as a kid, music theory was being programed into his young mind.
J. Braye's first experience with music was with a Roland/Boss DR-220E 'Dr Rhythm' given to him by his older brother Blake. "Making beats on that machine was like a new video game to me. I was hooked and couldn't put it down." Seeing the interest young Jason took to music creation, his father purchased a video game called "MTV Music Generator". "MTV Music Generator was like FL Studio on the playstation. I had shoeboxes full of PS memory chips with beats on them!". Jason found ways to manipulate the program to make fully custom beats and even sample!
Jason Braye formally known as JB Eazy's music production got so good, he was offered a position as a teenager at a local recording studio as an "in-house producer". "I used to bring my playstation to the studio and run 50 foot RCA cables from the lounge to the control room. Guys would be like, what did you make that on? A triton? MPC? I'd be like nope Playstation. I couldn't afford any of those pieces at the time so I made it work with what I had!" Jason's first production deal didn't work out as he learned quickly the nature of the music business.
After parting with the local record label/studio, J. Braye started to take his destiny in his own hands. He started recording himself and friends in the neighborhood. "My first recordings was with a radio shack mic hanging from the ceiling fan. We use to record on one tape, then play that one back to put in adlibs. It sounded horrible but we were just excited to be making music." Word got around that J had beats and recording equipment so he started to gain a following and team of artist. "When I think back, I've always loved music but made sure that I generated some revenue to keep my dream going. My first investment was a box of 200 tapes. I hit the streets with a few friends and sold them each for $2 bucks. We made $400, I recall having over $300 myself because I sold most of the copies. I turned around and bought a CD burner for $260 then started selling CDs for $5.
Working at some random photo album warehouse and selling CDs allowed J. Braye to get a computer and basic home studio set up. "The first week I started charging my friends $15 a song. I quickly realized that some people would take FOREVER to do one song so I changed that to $15 per hour ASAP! The sound quality was pretty good back then so the word really started to spread." Once business picked up in J. Braye's home studio, he quit his job. "I was working for $6 per hour. They'd expect me to empty a whole container of boxes in one hour. That didn't make sense to me. All that work was worth $6 bucks to them. I said I'd rather go back to selling CDs before doing that again."
J. Braye was quickly discovered by a local record labelled called Little Rob Productions. They had an amazing studio located on Princess Anne Road but with one catch. No engineer. They where a record label so they where private. J. Braye negotiated with the label owner "Pee Wee" to open to the public in exchange for producing and engineering for the label. This opportunity opened many doors for the producer on the rise known at the time as JB Eazy. A few years after working, the studio closed due to rezoning. "At that time, I had way too much gear to go back to recording in the closet again. I had just had a son with no income. I was devastated I had to get a JOB!" J. Braye worked at Hanes on Virginia Beach Blvd. "I will never forget one of my most humbling and motivating moments was when one of my basketball coaches came in to buy some furniture. He didn't even speak to me, he just looked and shook his head at me as if I was a failure. What he didn't know is that every morning I made 5 beats a day. Every lunch break I was reading books about business, web design, marketing and more."
In 2002, J. Braye launched BeatboxKing.com (no longer active). This was one site that was the first wave of instrumental downloads online. "I created my site using free AOL disc on a telephone dial up connection!" J. Braye's website really made a mark in its time. CDs where shipped to many countries around the world. He got a chance to work with artist from all over that supported his website. "I wanted to quit my job so bad but I had a kid that I was responsible for. I did what I had to do and worked hard building my own brand". With his tax refund, J. Braye was able to invest in hard copy CDs. He started distributing the CDs to local music stores and urban clothing stores. Some locations would purchase wholesale, others would do consignment deals. I learned a lot about product placement, retail display, and the importance of relationship with your clients at that stage of my career.
By then second CD release, J. Braye had stumbled across an opportunity that would shape the course of his career. He was producing for an artist named M-Rep that was developing a label called Radio Ready Records. "We where in Norfolk and saw a building that looked abandoned but it was a group of people walking in with cameras so we followed them in. One of the guys was a photographer. He asked, "What kind of space are you looking for?" I said, a recording studio. He said, oh wow, it's one on the second floor. Later we discovered it was 103 Jamz former radio station!" The next day J. Braye, his brother Blake, and M-Rep decided to pursue the space. In the process, M-Rep was having mixed feelings about the investment so he backed out with no hard feelings. "Once I got those keys, I set up shop. Called every artist I had worked with in the past on top of the new artist I met from selling my beat CDs and I was back in business! I NEVER went back to Hanes! Job abandonment is what they call it (laughs)". Radio Ready Recording Studios opened its doors in April of 2005 and as been moving forward since then.
Being offered a publishing deal by Teddy Riley and working with Virginia's icons such as Pusha-T, No Malice, and FamLay certified him as one of the up and coming producers and engineers in VA to keep on the radar. In 2009 J. Braye formally known as JB Eazy gain enormous success by producing "I Look Good" for an up and coming artist out of Texas named Chalie Boy. "I had no idea that song was going to be as big as it was." This record was internationally received and is still in club dj's playlist to this day. "Chalie Boy and I joke around about him not liking the song at first..lol".
Since our inception, Radio Ready has opened its doors to interns, producers, and engineers. They've trained some successful engineers locally and gave a solid foundation to our current rising stars. KinoBeats was a very integral part of Radio Ready's story. KinoBeats consistently brought "fire mixes" and industry quality beats. His talent's quickly rose him to the most requested engineer and producer position, with his skills traveling from speaker to speaker. Since his start at Radio Ready, he has worked with countless celebrities and been on 5 world tours as a international producer and dj. KinoBeats is always on the move and producing records around the globe. Tracks for famous asian rap group Higher Brothers to producing underground gold for A$AP Rocky and Pharrell. Only the music aficionado would know about this gem. (Instagram: @KinoBeats)
Radio Ready has also been the meeting place for celebrities passing thru. Every now and then you may walk right past someone very important and not even know it. From the legendary Lex Luger, to Rich The Kidd, Sonny Digital, Malice, FamLay, MadeInTYO, and so many others to mention.
Currently, J. Braye is mentoring engineers and working as creative director with his socially interactive web series called Live in the Garden. #LiveInTheGarden features up and coming artist with all styles and no bias. Everyone gets a shot to share with the world. "Some will be received more than others initially but growth with continue for each artist on the platform with hard work.
I am here to help. I can connect clients with professionals that create cover art, videos, photos, beats, mixing, mastering, now even marketing! It's has been so amazing to watch artist go from finding their sound, to working on a project, to making final adjustments before songs are released! Then they share the music and realize that people really enjoy good music. All you have to do is share it. I want to inspire my creative community to continue to dream and explore their creativity. I'm here to help at every step with the insight I've gained over the years of working on countless projects." (Instagram: @iamjbraye)