|Birth name||Michael Jones|
|Also known as||Kashif Saleem|
|Born||1959 (age 53–54)|
|Origin||Brooklyn, New York|
|Genres||Pop, Dance, Soul, Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Funk, R&B|
|Occupations||Producer, Songwriter, Recording Artist, Author, Director, Activist and Educator|
|Instruments||Vocals, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Piano, Drums, Percussion|
|Years active||1974 - Present|
|Associated acts||B. T. Express, Whitney Houston, Kenny G., George Benson|
Kashif Saleem (born Michael Jones in 1959) is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, record producer, artist, composer, author, director and educator. Kashif discovered his artistic gifts at age seven when he first taught himself to play a $3 song flute and later the piano in the basement of his church. As he moved from family to family, music became a comforting refuge and the only common thread in the young boy's unstable life. At age 15, Kashif's musical skills took him through the door to a brighter future. He joined B. T. Express and performed on stages around the world. He studied Islam and changed his name from Michael Jones to Kashif, which means discoverer and inventor. He crafted his own distinctive sound and later signed with Arista Records enjoying success as a solo artist.
Born Michael Jones on December 26, 1959, in Harlem, New York. His only connection to his birth family is his birth certificate that indicates that his biological mother was incarcerated when he was four months old. It lists no biological father. His introduction to music came in the form of a $3.00 song flute when he was in elementary school. He was instantly hooked and insisted on playing his flute all throughout the school day. His teacher encouraged him and delivered on her promise that she would help to enroll him at a junior high school that had a great music program. That is where he first learned to play trumpet, piano, flute, saxophone and tuba. Music as it turned would be the only common denominator amidst a life of uncertainty. Kashif endured a total of eight foster homes in various neighborhoods in Brooklyn including, Bushwick, Bedford Stuyvesant, Brownsville, East New York and others. By age 12, with the mentoring of his junior high school music teacher (Robert Wedlaw) he had mastered several musical instruments and began performing in some of New York’s finest night clubs (The Copacabana and Lloyd Price’s Turntable).
In 1974, at the age of 17, Kashif was recruited as a keyboard player and vocalist to join world renown funk band B. T. Express, whose credits included the mega hits "Here Comes The Express" and "Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)", among others. Seeking a more challenging musical assignment in 1978, Kashif exited B. T. Express and landed a job as keyboardist for R&B musician, Stephanie Mills.
1979 marked a major milestone for Kashif’s budding career because he wrote and produced the smash hit "I’m In Love" for Evelyn "Champagne" King. The song revitalized King’s career and branded Kashif as one of the most sought after producers of the day. Over the next ten years his creativity blossomed and he created hit after hit including "So Fine" for Howard Johnson, "Love Come Down", "Becha She Don’t Love You" and "Back To Love" among many others.
In 1980, Kashif signed with Arista Records as a solo artist and continued his unrelenting assault on the R&B music charts with hits like "I Just Got To Have You, Lover Turn Me On" "Stone Love", "Help Yourself To My Love" and the Grammy-nominated instrumental "The Mood". In 1983, his second album, Send Me Your Love resulted in two Grammy nominations, "Edgartown Groove", featuring Al Jarreau, and the instrumental "Call Me Tonight" along with the hits "Baby Don’t Break Your Baby’s Heart" and "Are You the Woman". Introduced to Arista by Milton Allen, its artist development director in 1983, his self-titled debut Kashif (1983) spawned the hits "I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On)", "Stone Love", "Help Yourself to My Love", and "Say Something Love". With this release, Kashif was well received as an innovator in music, as R&B artists were only beginning to experiment with synthesizers and other electronic instruments. He is said to have been Arista Records' attempt to respond to Warner Bros. Records' Prince.
In 1985, he received another Grammy nomination for yet another instrumental entitled "The Movie Song". He also wrote and produced "Inside Love" for his musical idol, George Benson. It was during this time that he met and launched the career of then unknown Kenny G with "Hi How Ya Doin" and "Nighttime In Tribeca".
In 1985, KASHIF teamed up with then newcomer, Whitney Houston. The result was the smash hit ‘You Give Good Love’ which instantly sent her career into the stratosphere. KASHIF also produced and was her duet partner on ‘Thinking About You’, a single track from Whitney’s astounding 17-million selling debut-album. The album KASHIF became the best selling debut album by a female artist. KASHIF also produced ‘Where You Are’ on Whitney’s second project, the result, a 15-million selling album entitled “Whitney”.
In 1987, he produced ‘Love Changes’, a chart topper in which Me’lisa Morgan was his duet partner and that name was taken from his bestselling album, which had the same name. Also contained on that album, was another duet that yielded yet another international hit, the song, ‘Reservations For Two’, The artist? The legendary, Dionne Warwick. Between 1987 and 1989 KASHIF continued to churn out the hits for Jermaine Jackson, The Stylistics, Melba Moore, George Benson, Stacy Lattisaw and many others.
In 1996, with an invitation from the famed UCLA Extension program, KASHIF created the critically acclaimed ‘Contemporary Record Production With Kashif’, one of the most successful courses in UCLA Extension history. He also wrote and self-published the highly acclaimed book ‘Everything You’d Better Know About The Record Industry’, considered by many to be the music industry bible, it has sold over 375,000 copies worldwide!
Year 2000 was another banner year for KASHIF, as he produced the theme song for the Para-Olympics, and wrote and produced ‘Brooklyn Breezes’ for R&B great Will Downing. He also co-produced along with George Duke the Duke Ellington Tribute CD for The Duke Ellington Foundation. On November 14, 2004, KASHIF was inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame as a ‘Living Legend’. That year Janet Jackson’s hit “R&B Junkie” utilized a sample of ‘I’m In Love’ written and produced by KASHIF.
Growing up in the foster care system has inspired KASHIF to lend his time and energy to help find ways to improve the lives of the more than 518,000 young people who are in foster care every day in America. In 2006, he created and founded Team iCare Foundation produced the very first Walk/Run for Foster Care at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena California. The result was 247 individuals signed up to become foster parents. He also created the Mentorship Dinner Cruise for youth in foster care, an event where 200 youth went on a cruise in Marina Del Rey, California and were paired with 250 professional in various industries for the purpose of creating mentoring relationships.
KASHIF has received community awards from the California State Senate, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villariagosa, all five Los Angeles County members of the Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Children & Family Services and others. KASHIF remains humbled and driven to help bring a better life to America’s most valuable resource, our children. In 2006, KASHIF founded Kashif University, which was located on the campus of Morningside High School in Inglewood California. It is an integrated education and arts training program for at-risk-youth ages 8–18. The results of the program have been no less than superb.
KASHIF has also added Producer/Director to his list of talents. He has written directed and produced commercials and corporate films for Hyundai Motors America, Casey Family Programs, UPS, St. Joseph Health System, Patten Academy and many others. Kashif is currently producing and directing a ten part documentary series entitled "The History Of R&B Music and Its Influence On World Culture" for world wide distribution.
His other albums include Send Me Your Love and Condition of the Heart. On the album Love Changes, Exposé provided background vocals. 1989's Kashif, with the cover of the Four Tops' hit "Ain't No Woman Like the One I Got," "Baby Don't Break Your Baby's Heart," and "Are You the Woman."
As an in-demand writer/producer, Kashif can be heard on releases by Kenny G, George Benson, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Johnny Kemp, Melba Moore, Dionne Warwick, Giorge Pettus, Stacy Lattisaw, Exposé, The Wootens, Freda Payne, Whitney Houston, and others. His Grammy nominations are for the instrumentals "The Mood," "Call Me Tonight," "Edgartown Groove" featuring Al Jarreau, and "The Movie Song."
|Year||Album||Chart positions||Record label|
|1984||Send Me Your Love||51||3|
|1985||Condition Of The Heart||144||32|
|1998||Who Loves You?||—||—||Expansion|
|2004||Music From My Mind||—||—||Brooklyn Boy|
|"—" denotes the album failed to chart|
|Year||Album||Chart positions||Record label|
|1992||The Best of Kashif||—||—||Arista/BMG|
|1998||The Definitive Collection||—||—||Arista|
|2002||The Best of Kashif||—||—||BMG|
|"—" denotes the album failed to chart|
|1983||"I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On)"||103||5||28||—||79||Kashif (1983 album)|
|"Help Yourself to My Love"||—||28||—||—||—|
|"Say Something Love"||—||—||—||—||—|
|1984||"Baby Don't Break Your Baby's Heart"||108||6||40||—||—||Send Me Your Love|
|"Are You the Woman"||—||25||—||—||—|
|"Love on the Rise" (with Kenny G)||—||24||—||—||87||Gravity|
|"Condition of the Heart"||—||34||—||—||—||Condition of the Heart|
|1986||"Dancing in the Dark (Heart to Heart)"||—||36||—||—||—|
|"Love the One I'm With (A Lot of Love)" (with Melba Moore)||—||5||—||—||—||A Lot of Love|
|1987||"Reservations for Two" (with Dionne Warwick)||62||20||—||7||—||Love Changes|
|"Love Changes" (with Meli'sa Morgan)||—||2||—||—||—|
|1988||"Love Me All Over"||—||14||—||—||—|
|"Loving You Only"||—||66||—||—||—|
|"I'm in Love" (with Melba Moore)||—||13||—||—||—||I'm in Love|
|1989||"Personality"||—||6||—||—||—||Kashif (1989 album)|
|1990||"Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)"||—||33||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes the single failed to chart|