10 years ago, “Your Friends From San Francisco” aka Jay-J and Chris Lum, created a remix/edit of Jill Scott’s “He Loves Me”. Ironically, the production was created as a teaching tool, not intended to be released. However, a fluke late night at the studio, some random luck, and a little help from “some friends”, the track became a international hit.
Says Jay-J, “The story goes like this. One late night at the studio, I was taking a break and chatting with a graphic artist friend of mine in the office next door. He always wanted to learn how to make music. So I decided to quickly show him how the concepts behind music making software are similar to those of photoshop. I took him into my studio and explained how a track in a music sequencer is like a ‘layer’. The ‘filters and effects’ are like plug-in eq’s, compressors and delays etc. I grabbed a piece of audio from my hard drive, which just happened to be a cut from Jill Scott’s debut album, and told him to think of it as an “image”. Then I changed the tempo of the song, ‘image resize’. Then I grabbed a drum beat to drop under the re-tempo’d original track and made it another ‘layer’. He got the analogy and went back to work. I re-listened to the ‘graphic design to music production’ demo I created and thought to myself, this is actually kinda dope!”
Next thing you know, it’s 5am, Jay-J’s in the live room, crashed out on the couch. A few hours later, he’s woken up by the ‘track’ blaring out of the speakers from the control room.
“I get my bearings and see Chris Lum sitting there, staring at the computer screen. Chris had cut up some of the original track, edited the drum beat, and started a proper arrangement. I joined him in the control room, still in the same clothes from the day before, and said, ‘this shit’s dope, right?”
They played the ‘edit’ to a few DJ friends, sparking the same immediate reaction as it did for Jay-J and Chris. Next thing you know, Miguel Migs drops it New Years Eve in LA with King Britt and Marques Wyatt. Britt from Philly, played his copy for Jill and Louie Vega and Tony Humphries hammer the track during the 2002 WMC.
Jay-J goes on “That year, every where I went I kept missing the record being played, I would walk in and someone would comment, so and so just played your remix. This happened several times throughout the conference week.”
It was at the Magic Sessions (Louie Vega, Tony Humphries and Ted Patterson) during the 2002 WMC that he realized the impact of the record, “I was on the floor dancing along with about 1,500 others and noticed the drum beat coming in. As the first chord stab filled the room on the massive sound system the whole place started screaming”
The momentum culminates with a 2003 Grammy® Nomination for Best Remixed Recording. Then the song gets officially released as a special hidden track on Jill’s live album. And if that wasn’t enough, Jay-J and Chris attend the Jill Scott concert in San Francisco, and for her encore, the band busts out a house beat with her chanting, “Girl, I’ll House You”, then smoothly transitions into their version of “He Loves Me”.
To commemorate this release, Jay-J has pulled out the original session and gave it a facelift. The reason: “I was at WMC this year and people were still paying it. All these people were telling me how special that track was to them and we talked about how its been around for 10 years. I’m thinking in the back of my mind that the track needs some serious tweaking to get the audio quality right so why not celebrate the anniversary by doing just that. It is, after all, one of the most amazing love songs ever written”
So here they are.
The new and improved original version with updated drums and a brand new mix – Jay-J’s Spread the Powder Mix.