Kashif was born Michael Jones in 1959 in Brooklyn, NY. Later he took the Islamic name Kashif Saleem, under which name he became famous. During his early years he played first trumpet for Robert Wedlaw at JHS 35 in Brooklyn. When he was 15 he started his main career as a member of the street funk band BT-express where he played keyboards. He left the group in 1980, just before BT-express’ disco funk album “1980” was released, and became a successful producer and songwriter.
In 1981 had Kashif, keyboardist Paul Laurence and producer Morrie Brown created the production company Mighty M Productions.
Kashif’s sound, whether he worked within the Mighty M Productions company or by himself, was characterized by a clever mix of the soul and R&B emphasizing much on slick guitar and synth grooves and a clear extension of the hypnotic SOLAR sound of Leon F. Sylvers III. Despite the appealing sound Kashif’s productions were sometimes a bit to repetitive.
Vinyl MasterpieceKashif main producer career started In 81 when he produced the strong female vocalist Melba Moore’s album “What a women needs” including the hit “Take my love”. In 81 Kashif Saleem, now a Muslim, also wrote and co-produced the hypnotic “I’m in love” with Evelyn King taken from the album with the same name that was partly produced by Morrie Brown and Mighty M Productions.
In 82 he produced and wrote the smash hit “So fine” with Howard Johnson but left him the year after for other engagements. The debut album of Johnson also included the lovely and soulfully dance gem “So you wanna”. That same year he really was in the middle of the heat. Once again he produced Melba Moore’s new album “The other side of the rainbow” with eternal and great gems like “Love’s comin’ at cha” and “Mind up tonight”. He also wrote three tracks and co-produced a second album “Get loose” with Evelyn King including one of the best tracks ever, the brilliant “Love come down”. In addition, Kashif worked as an assistant producer on High fashion’s Popdisco debut album “Feelin’ lucky” in 82 under the mighty wings of Jacques Fred Petrus (see High fashion’s full biography at my new site here). Kashif wrote two tracks on their album including the catchy “Hold on”.
In 83 he produced for the third time an album with Melba Moore “Never say never” including hits like “Keepin’ my lover satisfied” and “Love me right”. In addition to all that he also got time to release his own brilliant debut album from 83 full of hits like soulfunk inspired “I just gotta have you (lover turn me on)”, “Stone love”, and “Help yourself to my love”. In 83 he also was the executive producer of the controversial jazz musicians Kenny G:s fabulous and dreamlike jazz soul album “G-force” and the old guitarist George Benson’s album “In your eyes” including the hit “Inside love (so personal)”. Kashif did also some work with the young soulstar Stacy Lattisaw. Since Kashif debut he recorded for Arista until 1985, and then for Capitol in 1986, and finally return to Arista again in 1987.
His final hit was “Love me all over,” another duet, this time with Meli’sa Morgan from 1987. This made it to the number two spot on the R&B; chart in 1987. The same year he produced Whitney Houston’s album “Whitney” and produced the track “Love changes” (a duet with Meli’sa and Kashif) on Meli’sa Morgan´s album, “Good love”. That lovely track did also appear on his own album with the same name that year. In 88 he wrote and produced just another duet (the man loves duets 😉 with Melba Moore, “I’m in love” on her album with the same name. Kashif took a hiatus from recording in 1990, devoting his time to holding seminars and conducting classes for aspiring performers about the music business but he couldn’t get his hands from the studio. Because in 1998 he released a souljazz album named “Who loves you” on the UK label Expansion records exclusively for the UK. A soft and gentle piece for more contemplative moments.
In January 2004 an exclusive 2 CD set release hit the market featuring the entire first album and 15 new studio songs! Catch it!