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Kashif

Songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist Kashif was part of the post-disco vanguard that revolutionized R&B with synthesizers and drum machines. In terms of commercial yet progressive pop-oriented R&B, he is the link from Patrick Adams, Leroy Burgess, and Leon Sylvers III to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and therefore part of a lineage that extends to the likes of "super producers" such as Teddy Riley and Timbaland. Active from the mid-'70s until his 2016 death, he was a major creative force for the majority of the '80s, a decade in which he advanced his genre with a rhythmically advanced and melodically sophisticated sound that elevated the careers of Evelyn "Champagne" King, Melba Moore, and Whitney Houston, among others. Although his contemporaneous solo work didn't bring any gold or platinum certifications, it made a major impact with serious R&B listeners and was acknowledged with several Grammy nominations.

Born Michael Jones in New York City's Harlem neighborhood in 1956, Kashif was orphaned at an early age, grew up in foster homes, and survived physical and mental abuse throughout childhood. Music provided an escape. Prior to completing junior high, he became proficient with keyboards, brass, and woodwind instruments. As a teenager, he joined B.T. Express as a keyboardist and played synthesizer bass using the Minimoog, his first experience with synthesized instrumentation. After three albums with the band -- Energy to Burn, Function at the Junction, and Shout! (Shout It Out), the first two of which featured his earliest songwriting credits -- Kashif left to perform with Stephanie Mills.

Inspired by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell's Mighty Three Music, Kashif subsequently formed Mighty M Productions with fellow songwriters and producers Paul Lawrence and Morrie Brown. They infused early-'80s R&B with a vibrant synth-based sound that revitalized established artists and propelled newcomers. As a team, Kashif, Lawrence, and Brown broke out with Evelyn King's "I'm in Love." Written, arranged, and co-produced by Kashif, who was also credited with playing an array of keyboards, the song debuted on Billboard's R&B chart in June 1981 and eventually went to number one. Through 1982, Kashif drove five additional Top 20 R&B hits for Melba Moore, Howard Johnson, and King, whose "Love Come Down" also topped the chart. Emerging technology enabled Kashif to pioneer uses for sampling, such as replacing drum sounds, lead and background vocal placements, and duplicating vocal passages.

While he was in-demand as a producer and songwriter, Kashif was signed to Arista and released five albums for the label through the '80s. The singles "I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On)" (1983), "Baby Don't Break Your Baby's Heart" (1984), and a duet with Meli'sa Morgan on a cover of Mother's Finest's "Love Changes" (1987), added to his stack of Top 20 R&B hits. Album cuts "The Mood," "Call Me Tonight," and "Movie Song" each received Grammy nominations in the category of Best Instrumental R&B Performance, and the Al Jarreau collaboration "Edgartown Groove" was nominated for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. All the while, Kashif was behind the scenes with work for prominent artists such as George Benson, Kenny G, and Dionne Warwick. Most significantly, he produced Whitney Houston's debut solo single, "You Give Good Love," a number two R&B hit. He also co-wrote and produced another song from the singer's diamond platinum self-titled album, "Thinking About You."

Not as busy in studios after the '80s, Kashif remained active on a number of other music-related fronts. In 1994, he received an invitation from the UCLA Extension program and created a course called Contemporary Record Production with Kashif. A year later, Kashif authored the crucial music industry tome Everything You'd Better Know About the Record Industry, as CEO of his Los Angeles-based Brooklyn Boy Books, Entertainment, and Information. Who Loves You?, issued on the U.K.-based Expansion label in 1998, and Music from My Mind, self-released in 2003, were his final solo releases. Kashif died in Los Angeles in September 2016 at the age of 59. At the time, he was active as a performer and working on a ten-part documentary, The History of R&B Music. ~ Andy Kellman & Ed Hogan
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Definitive Collection

1. I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On)

2. Help Yourself To My Love

3. Are You The Woman

4. Stone Love

5. Dancing In The Dark (Heart To Heart)

6. Love The One I'm With (A Lot Of Love) (feat. Melba Moore)

7. Baby Don't Break Your Baby's Heart

8. Condition Of The Heart

9. Reservations For Two (feat. Dionne Warwick)

10. Love Me All Over

11. Loving You Only

12. Ain't No Woman (Like The One I Got)

13. Love Changes

14. Personality

x

Track List: Condition Of The Heart (Bonus Track Version)

1. I Wanna Have Love With You

2. Dancing In The Dark (Heart To Heart)

3. Condition Of The Heart

4. Say You Love Me

5. Movie Song (Instrumental)

6. Stay The Night

7. Weakness

8. Botha Botha (Apartheid Song)

9. Condition Of The Heart (Extended Version)

10. Love On The Rise (Extended Remix) (Feat. Kenny G & Kashif)

11. Love On The Rise (Instrumental) (Feat. Kenny G & Kashif)

x

Track List: Kashif

1. Don't Stop My Love

2. Stone Love

3. I Just Gotta Have You

4. Help Yourself To My Love (Remastered)

5. Rumors

6. Say Somethin' Love

7. The Mood (Instrumental)

8. All

x

Track List: Kashif (Bonus Track Version)

1. Don't Stop My Love

2. Stone Love

3. I Just Gotta Have You

4. Help Yourself To My Love (Remastered)

5. Rumors

6. Say Somethin' Love

7. The Mood (Instrumental)

8. All

9. Help Yourself To My Love (Remastered Extended Version)

10. I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On) (Instrumental)

11. I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On) (Single Version)

12. Stone Love (Instrumental)

13. Say Somethin' Love (Single Version)

x

Track List: Love Changes (Bonus Track Version)

1. Love Changes (Feat. Kashif With Meli'sa Morgan & Meli'sa Morgan)

2. Loving You Only (Feat. Doug E. Fresh)

3. It All Begins Again

4. Love Me All Over

5. Midnight Mood (Feat. Kenny G & Kashif)

6. Fifty Ways (To Fall In Love)

7. Somebody

8. Who's Getting Serious?

9. Reservations For Two (Feat. Dionne Warwick & Kashif With Dionne Warwick)

10. Vacant Heart

11. Love Changes (Full Version) (Feat. Kashif With Meli'sa Morgan & Meli'sa Morgan)

12. Loving You Only (Extended Remix)

13. Love Me All Over (Extended Version)

14. Love Changes (A Cappella Version) (Feat. Kashif With Meli'sa Morgan & Meli'sa Morgan)

15. Kathryn (Instrumental)

16. Love Changes (Instrumental Version)

Comments

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I Truly loved this artist's music as well as all whom he helped along the way. This brother was no doubt one of our best!!
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... didn't know he passed...RIP
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Wow, thanks for the info. I had no idea he died. I just read about it, and that is a sad loss. I will pray this evening during and after worship. He was a true pioneer of music. So talented, I wish I could have been there to pay respects to him.
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I just was thinking about my dog I didn't know he passed away and I said let me put him on my Pandora life can leave a person so fast he's very much missed by me.
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RIP
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I love his music now and forever RIP your home now but the music will last forever
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Rest in peace....one of the smoothest voices in the 80s as I remember listening to the radio...wow, he would've been a great vocal coach and/or judge on "The Voice..."
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This and Stone Love are my favorite Kashif songs! SIP!
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One of the greatest writers and producers ever! He set a standard that's still used today! Peace&Love my brother RIP!
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Rest in Heaven my dear long time friend!
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Help yourself to my love what a great song.Neil Rollo from CHICAGO
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KASHIF~~Rest In Peace....was saddened to hear of your passing...yo u r R&B music lives on!
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Kashif's contribution s to R&B music were monumental to the culture,he was the reason quite a few artists careers went to that next level..Addin g to his impressive musical accolades,wh y doesnt anyone ever mention *Lillo Thomas*(I'LL KEEP HOLDIN ON) when they bring up his name!? Kashif was also responsible for a huge portion of HIS success in the 80's,as well.. ALOT of Ppl seem to have forgotten but I havent,& never will! R.I.P KASHIF,your soul & spirt will DEFINETLY live on,thru your many musical
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clo.cynthia
Rest in peace KASHIF thank you for blessing the world with your incredible musical talents, your music will live on forever.
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Very sad to hear of his passing. I've got all of his music from the 1st cassette and all on cd. Great artist. RIP
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Rest Well Kashif Thank you for beautiful music that have shared #goodmusic
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RIP.. Such a great talent...
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gwenrvs63
RIP. So talented and handsome. I still have his first album (vinyl).
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I'm very sad
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Rip
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RIP
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Kashif was one the BEST! There will never be anyone that will come close to his talents GOD has given him. KASHIF YOU WILL BE MISSED, GOD BLESS YOU BROTHER. YOUR MUSIC HAS GIVEN ME GREAT MEMORIES!
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lwashington0
RIP
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R.i.p you will be missed
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lrjenkins94
Will be missed - loved your voice and music!
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wonnielu
R.I.H I loved your all of your music.
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R.I.P
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Heard Kashif passed away this morning. So sad to hear this
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Kashif is back in my life again. Love u Kashif, Thank you.
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Love making music
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So damn underrated.. . . . . . s m o o t h vocals
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This Brother is so smooth. No one can only groove when listening to his music. Me, well I both groove and sign along!! Love you Kashif!
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Back in the day music! Smooth
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love changeable,
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KASHIF and Alexander O'Neal that was some good smooth loving making music.
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Strictly 80's, thas wzup mkng sweet LoVe
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lamour05
Love Kashif
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colemanrb.rc
This is music that you can understand and appreciate. Aka. Cole.R
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Got all his music, great voice and instruments. Real music, I stay old school
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I LIKE THIS song fill good song
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Haven Good music great artist bring back the pass , the music sounds like it was made today ( 2015 )
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Came up on this song love it
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Very under rated singer, producer and writer
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Been. Years. Since. I. Heard. This. Tune. Sounds. Great. Goood. Tune
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Lindsay california I miss it just like I miss these jams
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Did I say ' like ' I'm bugging I meant to say "love" this
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I like this.. turn the hands of time back plzzzz
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dhickman67
Back in the day I wore out my Kashif cassettes. Yes, I said cassettes.
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Love this guys music
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KASHIF SEXY AZZ YASSSSSSSS HONEY
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