30 Sep 2022

New Zealand DJ Jay Bulletproof remembered as 'loveable rogue' who 'paved the way'

7:07 pm on 30 September 2022

By Amberleigh Jack of Stuff

DJ Jay Monds, known as Bulletproof, died aged 46 on 29 September, 2022 after a severe brain bleed.

DJ Jay Monds, known as Bulletproof, died aged 46 on 29 September, 2022 after a severe brain bleed. Photo: Instagram / jaybulletproofnz

Drum and bass producer and DJ Jay Monds, best known as Bulletproof, is being remembered by the Aotearoa music industry as a "loveable rogue" who "paved the way" for up-and-comers in the local scene.

Monds, a pioneer in the local drum and bass scene, died on Thursday night after a severe brain bleed earlier this week, aged 46.

New Zealand singer-songwriter Hollie Smith featured on the 2011 Bulletproof album Dub Me Crazy. She told Stuff that Monds was an "incredibly loyal, thoughtful, loving friend. If you were a friend of Jay's, you were a friend for life."

She said the late musician had amassed a huge number of friends globally and "we are all hurting a lot with this loss".

"He was a huge pioneer with electronic music in New Zealand and an amazingly passionate member of our industry. He was a deep thinker who loved hard, loved a party ... That cheeky smile is not going to be ever forgotten."

Smith said the late musician had the "most ultimate love" for his family and girlfriend.

"I'm so sorry for the sudden loss they've had to endure."

On Auckland-based radio station George FM on Friday morning, friend and fellow DJ General Lee, real name Leigh Dolbear, choked up paying tribute to the late producer.

"Jay's passion for breaking new artists on his radio show was incredible ... rest in peace, bro. We love you," he said before breaking down in tears unable to continue.

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Monds hosted the George FM night show from 2016 until 2018, and Dolbear said on air "Jay's passion for breaking new artists was incredible".

Sam Trevethick, founding member of Shapeshifter, told Stuff Monds was a person "we all need as a friend".

"He was really important to our scene, and he was also honest about his own struggles which is really important in our industry," he said.

"He had his demons and he was really honest about that, and I think that in a lot of ways comforted and elevated people too. It gave people a shoulder."

DJ Jay Monds, known as Bulletproof, died aged 46 on 29 September, 2022 after a severe brain bleed.

New Zealand artists are mourning the loss of DJ Jay Monds, known as Bulletproof. Photo: Instagram / jaybulletproofnz

Trevethick said Monds was one of the early members of the drum and bass scene that helped grow the culture in New Zealand.

"They made it happen. A lot of people are crediting their careers to Jay ... It takes a family to make it happen, but within that family you're going to have people like Jay ... He [helped] build the scene and pave the way for everyone."

"I'll always be grateful for that."

Auckland-based DJ Dick Johnson described Monds in a Facebook post as a "King" of the music scene in New Zealand.

"A loveable rogue with a heart of gold. Always there to offer help, praise and always support others. One of the most multi talented music producers I've ever known," he wrote.

"We'll miss you coming over to borrow the lawn mower and line trimmer and bringing them back empty every time, we'll miss that cheeky smile and twinkle in your eye ... We really lost a king today. Sending love and strength to your family."

Philip Bell, commonly known as DJ Sir-Vere tweeted a tribute to Monds on Friday morning.

"We will miss you so much x Love you bro - rest easy."

Fellow drum and bass artist, Patrick Hawkins, one half of the duo State of Mind, told Stuff, "I learnt so much during the sessions collaborating with Jay - techniques I still use to this day. We became great friends, and I'll cherish the times we had over the years, incredible moments spent both on and off the stage.

"The NZ music scene has lost a legend, but his music and impact will never be forgotten. See you on the other side, me old mucker," he said.

Paul "El Hornet" Harding of Australian act Pendulum said of Monds in a tweet: "you're way too precious to go out this soon. Rest in peace brother."

"Your tunes inspired me long before I'd even made one. I won't forget all those sweaty nights down the Fu Bar and your cheeky grin. Devastated."

This story was originally published on Stuff's website.