What first drew you into music production?
When I was around 12 years old my aunt bought me this program called Magix Music Maker. I was heavily into Hip-Hop at the time, so it kind of became my hobby to attempt recreating different beats I heard on the radio. I was constantly listening to my mom’s music too – a lot of Disco, R&B and Classic Rock. I just became obsessed with everything that goes into creating music.
You are probably the best mashup creator we have ever encountered on the internet! And your Illenium/Porter Robinson mashup is one of our all time favorites. How do you know if 2 songs can work together? Also, what is your creative process like when making mashups?
It’s really hard to say how I find what works, but usually, ideas jump out at me because I’m always listening to music. With the Illenium/Porter mashup, I had both songs on a private Spotify playlist that I listen to randomized. Where’d You Go happened to play right after Divinity and I immediately thought, “wait, that sounded cool. Let’s try something.” I love it when artists incorporate live or alternate versions of songs into their shows – like what Porter Robinson and Madeon did with Shelter Live. The intention with these mashups is to capture that familiar unfamiliarity – it’s like breathing new life something that is already beautiful. When I create mashups I try to focus on the strongest and most memorable elements of each song. After I am happy with the general layout, I dive deeper and start adding parts you don’t hear on the originals like new chords, different drums, a section from an entirely different song – anything that helps to create a new listening experience. It’s so much fun making these because the possibilities are so vast!
Your latest remix of “You’re on” is another great example of how capable you are as a producer! The mixing is on point and the melodies/ideas are out of this world! Could you tell us more about your studio setup and your remix creation process?
I create all of my music with Logic Pro X, an AKAI midi controller, KRK Rokit monitors and a Subpac. I’ve always approached remixes with the mentality that “this needs to sound as much like an original as possible.” Sometimes I include stems from the track I am remixing, but I do my best to only work with the vocals. I always start with the chord progression, usually with a piano or string VST. Sometimes I write the entire song with a just a piano and then focus on ‘electronic’ sounds after the fact. A lot of artists start with drums or a lead melody, but chords always seem to inspire me more. I have a lot of really cool remix ideas right now. A few are almost finished and can’t wait to finally share them with everyone!
Your signature sound reminds us of the sound of some of the greatest melodic producers in the world (Porter Robinson, Illenium etc). How did you manage to achieve such a professional sound in such a short time? Can you tell us more about your musical background?
A LOT of trial and error. I’ve produced so many genres under multiple aliases while trying to find what works for me. Around 2014-2015 I made the decision to step away from releasing music so that I could focus on learning new things and developing my sound. Not only did I improve so much during this time, but I also discovered so many new artists and genres that led me to the style I make today. The entire experience was life changing. My ‘Frontlines’ remix is a direct result of this hiatus, and since then I’ve been encompassing myself more and more into melodic music – there are so many possibilities in this genre! Porter Robinson and Illenium are amazing producers and have really paved the way for up-and-coming artists like k?d, Dabin and Anki. I have a long way to go, but I’m hopeful that one day my music can make as big of an impact for artists in this genre as they have.
Your “Where’d You Go X Divinity” mashup has been recently published on one of the worlds biggest EDM YouTube channels “Proximity” and the video has already been viewed by 1.7m! How does it feel when a track you made is that successful?
It’s so surreal. I woke up that morning to a message from a fan on my Facebook page congratulating me on the Proximity upload… I immediately closed Messenger, jumped over to YouTube, found the video and stared at the screen completely awestruck. I’ve discovered so many artists through Proximity. Now people can discover me the same way? I can’t put into words how that feels. All of the support and love surrounding this mashup has been so reassuring. I’ve always been very insecure when it comes to the music I make… I think a lot of artists are. But if anything, the reception has really helped me to overcome my self-doubt.
What are your goals for 2018? Any upcoming projects we can get excited about
In 2018 I really want to start focusing more heavily on originals. The mashups and remixes are not going to stop, but I do feel like I have a story to tell. I’m actually working on an EP right now… it’s powerful and very emotional. I’m so stoked to share it with everyone! I’m also pushing really hard to start performing. All of this is so uncharted for me, but I’m very optimistic to connect with fans beyond my computer screen this year. Everyone who has reached out is so enthusiastic towards what I do. I think it would be really cool to meet them and deliver a performance that affects them on the same level my mashups and remixes have.
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