b. Michael Jones a.k.a. Kashif Saleem, 26th December 1959, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
d. 25th September 2016, Playa del Rey, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
The artist Kashif, was a hugely influential producer, writer and performer.
He was responsible for many of the best known Soul songs spanning the last 30 years or so.
These songs include hits for Evelyn King (‘I’m In Love’ & ‘Love Come Down’), Howard Johnson (’So Fine’ & ‘Keepin’ Love New’), Melba Moore (‘Underlove’), George Benson (‘Inside Love’) and Tavares (‘Loveline’).
Born Michael Jones, Kashif was brought up in foster care as a child.
He began studying Islam, and converted to the religion, changing his name to Kashif Saleem.
B.T. Express circa 1978:
back row: King Davis, Carlos Ward, Bill Risbrook, Richard Thompson, David Nathan (B&S), Kashif Saleem, Jamal Rasool
front row: Dennis Rowe, Ace Adams (journalist) and Leslie Ming
At the age of 15, he joined the group B.T. Express as a keyboard player and singer.
He joined the group in 1974 and left in the summer of 1978.
His work with the group saw him moving on to work with the R&B songstress, Stephanie Mills, between 1979 and 1980.
By the time he reached 24, Kashif had signed to the Arista Records imprint.
His first solo single ‘I Just Got To Have You, Lover Turn Me On’, set in motion a sound, which became highly sought after by artists throughout the Eighties.
kashif - 1983 / send me your love - 1984 / condition of the heart - 1985 / love changes - 1987
During the decade he released 5 albums, namely ‘Kashif’ (in 1983, featuring ‘I Just Got To Have You, Lover Turn Me On’, ‘Help Yourself to My Love’ and ‘Say Something Love’), ’Send Me Your Love’ (in 1984, featuring ‘Baby Don't Break Your Baby's Heart’ and ‘Edgartown Groove’ featuring Al Jarreau), ‘Condition Of The Heart’ (in 1985, featuring ‘Say You Love Me’), ‘Love Changes’ (in 1987, featuring ’Somebody’) and ‘Kashif’ (in 1989, featuring ‘Ain't No Woman (Like The One I Got)’).
Kashif was viewed as something of a musical ground-breaker, illuminating an artistic way forward, regarding the use of technology as instrumentation.
He contributed, not only in the capacity as a songwriter, but also as a producer, for the likes of: Kenny G, George Benson, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, High Fashion, Zinc, Johnny Kemp, Melba Moore, Dionne Warwick, Giorge Pettus, Stacy Lattisaw, Ray Parker Jnr., June Pointer, Debbie Allen, La La, Dr. York, Tavares, Geraldine Hunt, Meli'sa Morgan, Exposé, The Wootens, Freda Payne and Whitney Houston, amongst others.
In 1983, he contributed to a second album by a new Jazz saxophonist called Kenny G entitled ‘G Force’.
The album featured the popular Kashif arrangements on ‘Hi How Ya Doin’ and ‘Tribeca’.
In 1985, Kashif worked with his Arista label-mate, Whitney Houston, on the song ‘You Give Good Love’ on her self titled album that year.
He went on to work on Whitney’s ‘Whitney’ album in 1987.
In the Nineties, Kashif concentrated on a UCLA program and also wrote a book entitled ‘Everything You'd Better Know About The Record Industry’.
kashif - 1989 / who loves you - 1998 / the definitive collection - 1998 / music from my mind - 2003
In 1998, he teamed up with the U.K. based Expansion Records imprint, releasing the album ‘Who Loves You?’ (featuring ‘Bed You Down’ & ‘Brooklyn Breezes’).
In 2000, Kashif produced the theme song for the Para-Olympics.
In 2004, he released the double album ‘Music From My Mind’ for the Brookyn Boy Entertainment imprint (some songs featured on his 1983 debut album release).
As a result of his own foster care experiences as a child, Kashif has spend a great deal of time helping young people who are in foster care in America.
He created the Team iCare Foundation and produced the Walk/Run for Foster Care at the Rose Bowl Stadium in California.
Kashif’s work led to community awards across the West Coast of the U.S.A.
He also founded the Kashif University in California to help troubled teenagers.
Kashif passed away in September 2016 from natural causes at home in Los Angeles.
Kashif (Arista Records 1983)
Send Me Your Love (Arista Records 1984)
Condition of the Heart (Arista Records 1985)
Love Changes (Arista Records 1987)
Kashif (Arista Records 1989)
Who Loves You (Expansion Records 1998)
Music From My Mind (Brooklyn Boy Records 2004)