SJXJX - PHOTO RENEE STAMATIS PHOTOGRAPHY-9SILENTJAY

Almost-forgotten 90’s R&B B-sides, dusty ’45s, a blissful midday nap and the sting of not-quite realized romance are just some of the rich textures and colours that Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist Silentjay – the project of Alejandro Jay Abapo – captures with his unique production, soulfully understated voice and phone book of friends and collaborators that he creates the perfect foil for.

Having studied jazz improvisation, playing no less than the saxophone, piano and keyboard, drums and flute, Silentjay soon turned his ear for music to production after his uncle, a DJ, gave him his record collection. He brought his own sampler and combined his talents as a trained musician and a life time sized collection of hip-hop, soul, funk and footwork, finding his signature sound in instrumental beats and frequently led by his searching, jazz background.

It’s little wonder given his inimitable musical-leanings that Silentjay’s productions soon pricked the ears around the world – first at home as the backing vocalist for Hiatus Kayiote, encouragement from Los Angeles’ Brainfeeder label-head Flying Lotus, who Jay has supported twice on national tours of Australia, to London’s Rhythm Section director Bradley Zero, who invited him and his frequent collaborator Jace XL to release their debut EP ‘Sacrifice’ through his label.