New Zealand drum and bass pioneer ‘Jay Bulletproof’ has died at the age of 46

New Zealand’s well-known drum and bass and dubstep producer and DJ, Jay Monds, 46 – commonly known by his moniker Bulletproof – has died following a brain haemorrhage.

Monds, (also known as Bulletproof, J Bulletproof or Jay Cyanide) suffered a severe brain bleed on Monday and was taken to Tauranga ICU. He passed away on Thursday evening surrounded by loved ones, his family confirmed material.

Jay Monds (aka Bulletproof) (left) with his son Zion, 19.

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Jay Monds (aka Bulletproof) (left) with his son Zion, 19.

MC Tali, whose real name is Natalia Shepard, revealed material She is “absolutely devastated” at the loss of her colleague and close friend of 20 years. Fellow drum and bass artist described Monds as an “absolute legend” not only for his achievements in the New Zealand music industry but for always “encouraging up-and-coming artists and helping to create opportunities for them”.

Regarded as a pioneer in the local drum and bass scene, Monds collaborated with musician Josh Lees as the duet Bulletproof in Christchurch in the late 1990s. He was one of the first producers to bring international attention to New Zealand drum and bass, along with groups such as Concord Dawn and Shapeshifter.

Jay is performing the Northern Bass festival at Bulletproof 2018.

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Jay is performing the Northern Bass festival at Bulletproof 2018.

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It was in 2009, still under the name Bulletproof but now operating on his own, that Monds made his debut in a more mainstream music world. Their album Soundtrack To Forever won Best Electronica Album at the 2010 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards and featured well-known artists Tiki Tane, Boh Runga and David Dallas.

In 2011, Monds released the album Dub Me Crazy, which included tracks with award-winning artists Holly Smith and Anika Mo. Dub Me Crazy peaked at number 7 on the NZ Top 40 chart. Monds’ next album #Listen was released in 2013.

When it came to scoring big-name allies, Monds told material In 2011, it happened organically thanks to a thriving local music scene.

“It’s just that the music community is so small that you’re friends with most people,” he said. “And if you’re not friends with them, well, you’ll be friends with them.”

Jay Bulletproof (second right) arrives with John Toogood and Julia Dean for the 2012 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, when Monds' album Dub Me Crazy was nominated for Best Electronica Album.

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Jay Bulletproof (second right) arrives with John Toogood and Julia Dean for the 2012 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, when Monds’ album Dub Me Crazy was nominated for Best Electronica Album.

That music and creative community is paying tribute to their friend this week.

“I will miss our deep conversation, his cheeky laugh and his big bear hug,” Shepard said.

“Our scene has lost a soldier, and he will be remembered by many around the world.”

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, artist Otis Friesel posted a piece he created for Monds in 2018, sending positive vibes to the musician and his whoa.

They told material When he worked on the artwork with Mondes, the composer wanted a “crazy looking” cartoon of himself.

Artist Otis Friesel a cartoon of Monds in 2018

Otis Frizzell

Artist Otis Friesel created “Looking Crazy,” a cartoon of Monds in 2018.

Evan Short, half of Concorde Dawn as of 2010, said that he always looked to Bulletproof when starting out in the industry.

“They gave a legitimacy and a reality that you can be a New Zealand artist” [and make it],

Bulletproof were the first NZ drum and bass group to gain “proper international recognition”, Short said. In part, he says, because Monds was “a hustler forever.”

But it was as a friend, the late musician made a real impact on Short.

“He always had a heart of gold, that he was once coated with the hustle and bustle of a gangster …

“He always patted everyone on the back,” he said.

“He was a handsome man.”

In recent years Monds took a break from making music and was a night show host on George FM from 2016 to 2018, but he recently released a track on his 2022 tribute album for friend and fellow musician Ed Optive, whose 2020 debut died.

In 2021, Monds started the podcast The History of New Zealand Drum and Bass, which he told UFK’s Dave Jenkins was started to quell boredom during New Zealand’s COVID lockdown. The podcast recorded over 30 episodes and garnered over 60,000 subscribers.

Shepard said that Monds also hoped to turn the series into a documentary – something he said “shows his complete dedication and commitment to creating a legacy for our scene – which we shared a great love and passion for”. .

Monds is survived by his mother Sue, his girlfriend Sophie, his son Zion and his sister Casey.

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