I have so many great memories of music as a kid. The one that stands out the most though, for me, is in the early 90s, my mom taking my sister and me to downtown Seattle every Saturday morning to run errands and listening to the radio in the car. We would always sing along to our favourite jams!
Why do you think it captivated you so much?
Those were probably one the happiest moments for me. Most of the time I had no idea where we were going, but I didn’t care. We always had the best time. Also because when we got home, mom would make pancakes, eggs and bacon. You can’t beat that!
What were you listening to back then?
What didn’t we listen to? Music was so important at home, everything we did had music associated with it. We listened to UB40, Boys II Men, Julio Iglesias, En Vogue, Adina Howard, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Jackson 5, Kris Kross, LL Cool J, Nirvana, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Vanessa Williams & and the list goes on. Whatever sounded good to us, we would listen to. Music was so much better back then anyways!
You produce your own music. How did you get into that?
When I first got into House music, I listened to a lot of compilations. I was always intrigued as to how they made these tracks. Some years later, after high school, I started to learn how to DJ. As much I was enjoying it, I felt like it wasn’t enough. I kind of got tired of mixing other people’s music and felt that I could get into making music (I also felt that I could do a better job than some of these big names – cocky, I know)… I had a friend introduce me to Fruity Loops 4. Showed me the basics, and from there I was hooked.
How did you feel after you’d made your first track?
Oh my goodness…My first track was horrible!! This was before I knew how to adjust BPMs, keys, chords or anything. It was at 135bpm and was all over the place haha…admittedly I was very happy with what I had accomplished (It will never see the light of day though). From there I was determined to keep at it and master my craft – still am.
What type of stuff were you making during those first forays into music production?
I was so into House music so, that’s all I knew at that time. One thing I knew was that I didn’t want to make a pop-like, commercial sound. It needed substance. I was making very easy, mellow listening tracks.
How has your production style evolved over the years?
I think more than anything it has been a willingness to learn and not be afraid to try new things. Also opening my mind up to different genres of music has helped tremendously. Listening to different styles has opened me up to explore new ways of going about making music.
What technology out there has had the greatest influence / helped with this evolution in style?
To be honest, I’ve only ever used FL Studio. I have dabbled with other software, but FL is home for me. It’s my comfort zone, and it allows me to make the music I need to. Probably better software out there, but they’re not for me.
What do you look for on the dance floor to know you’ve made that connection with the crowd?
In South Africa, there’s a saying that goes, “The aim is not to sweat…”, so that being said, for me and the style of music I play, there’s nothing better than a crowd around me bopping their heads (sometimes with their eyes closed) feeling the music. A few jumping jacks never hurt either.
Who are the major influences on both you as a producer?
Ah man, there are so many people I look up to and appreciate. The ones that stand out the most for me are Jimpster, Atjazz, Nick Holder, Bas Amro. A few of those guys are great acquaintances and/or friends, haha. Most importantly (as cheesey as it may seem) my mom. She’s always taught me to follow my dreams and pursue them. She gives me massive strength!
Have you any advice on how to get noticed for the aspiring producers out there?
First and foremost, believe in yourself and your music. If you have that, then you’ll have the courage to put yourself out there. We live in a world where everything is at your finger tips. Online streaming, social media, etc. Promote yourself, don’t be afraid to approach a DJ online or at a gig and give him your work. If they are friendly, exchange details and speak on a regular basis so that
they know you are serious.
You’ve got your first release upcoming on Something Different Records; how does that feel?
Words cannot express how much of an awesome feeling this is for me. It’s been one of many dreams for me, ever since I started making music. I remember I had put a podcast mix up and ‘Searching For Love’ was the first track in the mix. Jesus Pablo immediately hit me up after hearing and said he wanted it!! So many emotions ran through me all at once. It was insane! To have
Junior Gee and Terry Grant on remix duties for my track is also just incredible.
What’s upcoming on your horizons?
Well this only beginning for me, and I’m just getting started. A follow up EP or two on Something Different Records and a few remixes coming up (hopefully). I’m really hoping I can spread my wings a little and have more releases on other labels! The more music I’ll be able to make, the happier I’ll be.
If you could team up with any other producer to make a track, who would that be? Or they be, for that matter?
SO MANY PEOPLE!!!
Difficult to say, because as much as you’d like to work with someone sometimes chemistry is a problem. If I could make a track with Jimpster, I would die a happy man! I’d also like to make a track or two with Bas Amro, really love his work. It would be great to work with Terry Grant, as well. I feel like I could learn a whole lot from him.