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Music Producer and Singer Kashif Dead at Age 56

Kashif Feature Image

Famed music producer and singer Kashif has passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 56. While the cause of death is unknown at this time, his family has promised to keep his friends and family updated with details.

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Kashif was born Michael Jones on December 26, 1959 in New York City. According to Euroweb, it was his teachers that encouraged and helped him to enroll him at a junior high school that had a great music program.  Inspired by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Earth, Wind, & Fire and Barry White, the producer went on to work with Howard Johnson, Melba Moore, George Benson, and eventually, Clive Davis.

It was his introduction to Davis that would allow him the opportunity to work on Whitney Houston’s debut album. Her first single, “You Give Good Love” was an instant hit and would skyrocket his career as a musical architect.

Earlier this year, Kashif shared his experience with Red Bull Academy.

“It took me a year to figure it out. Clive brought her to me. She was singing cabaret shows. I’m like, ‘She’s great, but I don’t get it. What am I supposed to do with her?’ Then I saw her singing on The Mike Douglas Show. She sang “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” and suddenly everything clicked into place.”

Industry giants took to social media to remember the legend’s contributions.

I’m so devastated over this news. Forget the whole “2016 sucks!” talk. Kashif was a cat who truly made a shift & shaped the evolution of black music. Like HE is primarily the reason why I even agreed to do a radio show like #QLS. I wanted a chance to preserve & really tell his story. Nothing scares me more than the idea of passing on in silence. I’m mean, there are unsung heroes & then there are UNSUNG heroes. I’ll say next to #LeonSylvers & #LeroyBurgess (might as well throw #RodTemperton & #OffTheWall up in there too) no one helped evolve the genre of #Boogie more than this man. Boogie was a more refined slowed down feel of disco without all the cliche & corny it evolved into in the late 70s (I’m no disco basher, that whole #DiscoSucks movement that came to a head at the Tigers/White Sox game in Chicago (lol shame!) w #SteveDahl & #BillVeeck ending in a riot was the music version of #AllLivesMatter—a knee jerk racist & homophobic reaction to lifestyle and culture—but I do believe in general much like hip hop today that the creative art of disco was running out of ideas–really each genre has like 5 to 7 MAGIC YEARS—before labels come and squeeze the life out of it) so what Boogie did was slow disco down (think how Diddy came and slowed down rnb from its panic stricken New Jack/Public Enemy “music’s worst nightmare” madness) Boogie is the sound of your parents & aunties gettin down at a family reunion BBQ. If you see folk electric sliding to #SecondTimeAround #AndTheBeatGoesOn (Leon Sylvers) or #SomebodyElsesGuy or #GetOverLikeAFatRat (Burgees produced the later) THAT’S the sound: 4-on-the-floor kick drum w moog synths doin the rest. Kashif had classics after classics: #EvelynChampagneKing’s “I’m In Love” & “Love Come Down” his own “Baby Don’t Break Your Baby’s Heart” & “The Mood” (super classic!)—Clive Davis trusted him at the helm when the world got its first glimpse of Whitney Houston as a solo artist (“You Give Good Love” “Thinking About You”) wish I had met the brother to get more knowledge of his life & journey. This is a SAD day for music. Kashif Saleem’s Boogie will rock forever on. Rest In Melody.   A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on